Imaggeo on Mondays: Salted Moon

The eerie landscape depicted in our Imaggeo on Mondays image, is brought to you by Donatella Spano (University of Sassari, Italy).

This picture was taken at Mammoth Hot Springs, one of the largest hot spring areas at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States on August 10, 2010. Mammoth Hot Springs is divided into two sections, the Lower Terrace and the Upper Terrace Loops. The photo below shows the Upper Terrace. A combination of heat, water, limestone, and rock fractures created the terraces of the area. The main deposit is travertine, a form of limestone derived by mineral springs, especially hot springs. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate. Travertine is often a white rock; however, the microorganisms and living bacteria create beautiful shades of oranges, pinks, yellows, greens, and browns. The constant changes in water and mineral deposits create a living sculpture. This massive hot spring is extremely photogenic. The day I took the photo there were dark clouds creating interesting contrast between the surface, the mountain, and the sky.

Salted Moon. (Credit: Donatella Spano via

Salted Moon. (Credit: Donatella Spano via

By Donatella Spano, University of Sassari, Italy


Imaggeo is the EGU’s open access geosciences image repository. Photos uploaded to Imaggeo can be used by scientists, the press and the public provided the original author is credited. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. You can submit your photos here.

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Laura Roberts Artal is the Outreach and Dissemination Manager at The Water Innovation Hub (University of Sheffield). Laura also volunteers as the Associate Director of Communications for Geology for Global Development. She has also held a role in industry as Marketing Manager for PDS Ava (part of PDS Group). Laura was the Communications Officer at the European Geosciences Union from the summer of 2014 to the end of 2017. Laura is a geologist by training and holds a PhD in palaeomagnetism from the University of Liverpool. She tweets at @LauRob85.

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