"Opalescent Pool" Yellowstone National Park Things to Do Tip by sim1

Yellowstone National Park Things to Do: 705 reviews and 1,607 photos

  Opalescent Pool
by sim1

Black Sand Basin

Am I on another planet? Is this a science fiction film?....

No, this is Opalescent Pool in the Black Sand Basin. This Basin is only 1,5 kilometers to the north west of Old Faithful.

Opalescent Pool has a temperature 144F and is 28x55 feet wide, with a depth of 6 feet. This pool has a cooler temperature than other thermal features at Black Sand Basin. Early in its history Opalescent was a boiling spring, surrounded by smaller springs. In the early 1950s it was a small dry pool, then the run-off from Spouter Geyser flowed into it. The increased water flow flooded the surrounding area, killing the lodgepole pine. Since then silica has precipitated upon the dead tree trunks creating the white "bobby sock" trees. This silica, a non-crystalline compound, slowly impregnates the wood and over time, with the absence of oxygen, could eventually petrify the wood.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 19, 2003
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