Although the large mammals of Yellowstone National Park draw crowds and captivate cinematographers, the amazing intersection of geologic events in this region is an even greater wonder. With greater subtlety, the geothermal systems of YNP present their beholders questions that cannot be easily answered, despite our technological advances and excellent descriptions of the geochemistry and geomicrobiology of thermal environments. Whether it be questions regarding the close proximity of two disparate geothermal springs, the nature of microbial life in boiling battery acid, or the origins of life in hot gurgling mud-pots, the geothermal systems of YNP leave the viewer with a sense of frontier, and the realization that we have not explained everything yet. Certainly, the linkage between geochemistry and mineralogy could not be more apparent than in YNP. Volcanism has created a unique biogeoecosystem in this region, an island of biodiversity. Much of the unexplored microbial diversity in YNP is found distributed in the numerous geothermal features; the evolutionary history of these organisms is intimately associated with the secondary minerals discussed in this chapter, and their physiological strategies are often either directly or indirectly associated with the mechanisms of mineral precipitation and or dissolution.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||28|
|Journal||CMS Workshop Lectures|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes