A Brilliant Blue could be a color of Yellowstone’s hot springs – proposed researchers based on a mathematical model that used optical measurementsÂ to assess the impact of physical and chemical variables on the pools. The coins and garbage thrown by tourists are responsible for the contamination and color change of the hot springs.
A one dimensional model used by scientists used digital SLR cameras, long-wave thermal imaging cameras, and handheld spectrometers. The study attributed the change on springsâ water color to lower water temperatures triggered by the âmicrobial mat compositionâ located within those springs. Alongside natural debris, coins and garbage were found responsible for the color change.
The findings suggest the detrimental impact tourism caused to this popular hot springs. Around 1940s, tourists started coming to this natural habitat and using the pools as wishing wells, tossing in coins or garbage intentionally.
A team of researchers, and in fact members of the Optical Society, from the Montana State University and the University of Applied Sciences in Germany reconstructed the original colors of hot springs using a mathematical model. The findings of this study are published in the journal Applied Optics.
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