Fountain Paint Pot

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Fountain Paint Pot
FountainPaintPots-Darton 1899.jpg
Fountain Paint Pot, 1899
LocationLower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
Coordinates44°33′02″N 110°48′22″W / 44.550578°N 110.8062419°W / 44.550578; -110.8062419[1]
Elevation7,306 feet (2,227 m) [2]
TypeMud pot
FountainPaintPotsMap-Fountain Paint Pot.JPG
Fountain Paint Pot

The Fountain Paint Pot (often pluralized) is a mud pot located in Lower Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park.

The Fountain Paint Pot is named for the reds, yellows and browns of the mud in this area. The differing colors are derived from oxidation states of the iron in the mud.[3] As with all hot springs, the heat in the caldera forces pressurized water up through the ground, which is expelled here. Also, rising gasses cause the bubbling action. The bubble action in the mud varies with the seasons. In the early summer, the mud is watery from the high water table due to rain and snow melt. By the end of summer, the mud is much thicker as the water table drops.[4]

Several significant geysers erupt near the Paint Pots, notably Fountain Geyser, which usually has several large eruptions a day; Clepsydra Geyser, which is active most of the time except following an eruption of Fountain; and powerful but erratic Morning Geyser, active in the latter part of 2018 following a dormancy of nearly five years.[5][6] These features and others are reachable by a short boardwalk trail from the parking lot on the main road through Lower Geyser Basin. Off-trail travel in this area is prohibited due to hazardous conditions.


  1. ^ "Fountain Paint Pot". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University.
  2. ^ "Fountain Paint Pot". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  3. ^ "Fountain Paint Pots". Historic 3-D Geology Tour of Yellowstone National Park. Archived from the original on 2005-09-02.
  4. ^ "Fountain Paint Pot". Fountain Paint Pot Nature Trail Tour.
  5. ^ Bryan, T. Scott (2008). Geysers of Yellowstone, The (4th ed.). University Press of Colorado. ISBN 978-0-87081-924-7.
  6. ^ "Morning Geyser Data from".

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