Dynamics of precipitation pattern formation at geothermal hot springs

Nigel Goldenfeld, Pak Yuen Chan, John Veysey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We formulate and model the dynamics of spatial patterns arising during the precipitation of calcium carbonate from a supersaturated shallow water flow. The model describes the formation of travertine deposits at geothermal hot springs and rimstone dams of calcite in caves. We find explicit solutions for travertine domes at low flow rates, identify the linear instabilities which generate dam and pond formation on sloped substrates, and present simulations of statistical landscape evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number254501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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