Swift

Wintry Porcelain Basin

Porcelain pools
Porcelain pools through the trees
Porcelain Basin gets its name from the milky color of the mineral deposits. The mineral, siliceous sinter, is brought to the surface by hot water and forms a "sheet" over this flat area as the water flows across the ground and the mineral settles.

This is the fastest changing area in Norris Geyser Basin, and siliceous sinter is one of the main reasons. If the mineral seals off a hot spring or geyser by clogging its vent, the hot, pressurized water might flow underground to another weak area and blow through it.

Siliceous sinter is also called geyserite. Deposits usually accumulate very slowly, less than one inch per century, and form the geyser cones and mounds seen in most geyser basins. So if you're planning to witness the formations yourself, it'll be a long wait!

Porcelain Basin in winter
Winter in Porcelain Basin is incredibly beautiful. The blue and green pools almost glow in the surrounding snow and it can be so quiet you can hear ice crystals fall from the trees and land gently on the ground like tiny bells. =]:)

Photos by NPS/Jacob W. Frank

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