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Methods: Mammoth Hot Springs


Created by George Rice, Montana State University


Image of Angel Terrace and a deposition being measured.
Image of Angel Tarrace, and a deposition being measured. Images provided by the Fouke lab.


A unique interdisciplinary research team heads this project with specific expertise in geology, microbiology, and physics. Project milestones include:
  1. Performing in situ crystallization experiments to determine the form and chemistry of travertine deposited when the microbes have been UV-irradiated, a sterilization technique that will leave the other fundamental physical and chemical conditions of the spring drainage outflow relatively unchanged.
  2. Documenting associations between calcite crystal growth form, distribution and chemistry with microbial form, diversity and metabolic activity.
  3. Quantitative modeling of carbonate terrace formation using stochastic differential equations to describe the combined effects of geological and biological processes.


Research Techniques:



Crystalization of an electrode on a wire.
In situ crystallization experiments:To determine the form and chemistry of travertine deposited when the microbes have been UV-irradiated, a sterilization technique that will leave the other fundamental physical and chemical conditions of the spring drainage outflow relatively unchanged.

Figure depecting the matching of environmental rDNA to laboratory clones.
Associating crystal growth with microbial communities: Documenting associations between calcite crystal growth form, distribution and chemistry with microbial form, diversity and metabolic activity.

Graph relating areas of the spring with the types of minerals present.
Quantitative modeling of carbonate terrace formation: Using stochastic differential equations to describe the combined effects of geological and biological processes.

Copyright on all images and material by Bruce Fouke, 2006.

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