Why are hot springs different colors?



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    Hot springs come in a myriad of colors, from everyday clear water to sapphire blue to emerald green. Color depends on what wavelength of sunlight we see reflected off the pool’s surface.

    The sinter around the edge of hot springs comes in all colors, as well. In fact, water temperature can be estimated by the colors. Different microbes are present at different water temperatures. These microbes create the colors. “Cooler” temperature water is habitat for microbes creating darker colors. Microbes are colored by pigments like chlorophyll in green plants and carotene found in carrots. These microbes are known as thermophiles because they love heat.

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