Extremities:  Geology and Life in Yellowstone and Implications for Other Worlds


Nymph Creek Slime
Sample Collection Site

Microbial mats at the edge of Nymph Creek, flowing water to the top left. The "floral succession" of microbial communities from the flowing water to the shore probably represents decreasing temperature and sulfur content toward the shore.
The microbial mat we sampled for microscopy and reflectance spectroscopy . The water here was 45°C, pH = 3, and moderate sulfur content. These mats are dominated by Cyanidium calderium, which is a eukaryotic "red" algae (oxygenic photosynthesis). The mat was delicate, but did survive its trip back to the laboratory.
Nymph Lake Flats
Nymph Lake Spatter

Where Nymph Creek empties into Nymph lake is a nice succession of microbial communities. Cyanidium is no longer present; the mats here are dominated by the eukaryotic green alga Zygogonium (oxygenic photosynthesis). Here, the water still has pH = 3, but is cooler at 30°C and contains little sulfur. Surrounding them are mats of brown alage.
A really hot spring at Nymph Lake, just below the road, about 1 foot across. This spring is boiling and spattering, emittting both water and steam.

Back to Nymph Creek 1  |  Back to Workshop
Back to "Extremeties: Geology and Life in Yellowstone"
LPI home page | LPI Education Resources Page
Copyright Allan Treiman, LPI.
Updated 11/15/02.
Comments to webmaster@lpi.usra.edu.