Salton Sea Mud Pots
Mud Bubbling Up Out Of The Ground!
Map data: 2013 Google, 2013 DigitalGlobe
Location of The Mud Pots
South of the Salton Sea, CA.
33.2 latitude, -115.5 longitude
of the Area
This location has a number of grey cones made of mud up to 6 feet high and some depressions filled with bubbling water and mud. These features are the result of the geothermal activity in the area. This entire valley is on the boundary between the North American Plate to the east and the Pacific Plate to the west. The geothermal activity is the result of the spreading center beneath this area.
Is That Mud?
Yes, it really is just mud......
The mud is very fine and smooth. When the mud bubbles up and out of the vents, it collects on the sides, dries, and builds up, making these mounds of mud taller and taller. Some can get up to 8 feet high.
Is That Hot?
It can be hot at times, (although the temperature may vary... so be careful!).
But the heat is not why it bubbles!
Water from deep in the ground is being heated and pushed up by magma. There is a chemical reaction between the water and the surrounding limestone that creates carbon dioxide gas.
The gas is trapped in the water and when it reaches the surface, it bubbles.
So the bubbles are not because its hot, it is just gas being released.