December 19, 2014

Yellowstone's Thermal Springs -- Their Colors Unveiled

Scientists from Montana and Germany develop simple new model that explains the brilliant deep hues of Yellowstone National Park’s most beautiful thermal springs.

Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany have created a simple mathematical model based on optical measurements that explains the stunning colors of Yellowstone National Park’s hot springs and can visually recreate how they appeared years ago, before decades of tourists contaminated the pools with make-a-wish coins and other detritus. The model, and stunning pictures of the springs, appear today in the journal Applied Optics, which is published by the Optical Society (OSA).