Wednesday, July 28, 2010

View from the Tufa Mounds.

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~ Photo Series ~ Nahannni – River of Quest and Legend ~
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View from the Tufa Mounds, looking toward the Ragged Range.

Rabbitkettle Hotsprings and Tufa Mounds
At Rabbitkettle, and other hot springs in the park, water bubbles to the surface from deep beneath the earth, warmed by the same volcanic energy that induced the formation of the Ragged Range. The Rabbitkettle tufa mound is the largest in Canada and a key point of interest in Nahanni. Tufa mounds are created by the precipitation of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium carbonate, from thermal spring water. In Nahanni, this water retains a temperature of 20 degrees C year-round. As the warm mineral water pours from the spring, it radiates outwards over the surface of the tufa mound. Calcium carbonate precipitates out of the spring water and hardens to form tufa. As the calcium carbonate hardens, it forms series of intricate terraces and basins known as rimstone dams and gours. The North Mound, believed to be 10 000 years old, is 30 m high and 60 m in width. The tufa mounds are very fragile and are accessible only through guided hikes with park staff.

Parks Canada - Nahanni National Park Reserve


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