Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Salton Sea Mud Pots

Salton Sea Mud Pots

In past trips to the Imperial Valley we visited Bombay Beach, Salvation Mountain, Desert View Tower, and the Imperial Valley Pioneer Museum. This time around the agenda included: mud pots and another sampling of the special quesadilla. The special quesadilla is discussed in the Camacho’s Place entry. In this post we discuss the mud pots.

What is a mud pot? A mud pot is bubbling pool of mud that is found in geothermal active areas where there is a shortage of water. When the mud pot is colored due to minerals it is called a paint pot. Which mud pots are we talking about? The mud pots we visited are at the corner of Davis and Schrimpf roads located at the south end of the Salton Sea just east of Red Hill Marina. In this empty lot you will find mud pots and formations called gryphons – small mud-volcanos usually shorter than three meters. The gryphons form as mud splatters and spews out over time so that a cone builds up.

Every now and then as we walked around we caught a wiff of petroleum. Apparently, researchers have found that mud pots at the Davis-Shrimff seep field can contain juvenile oil and gas. These particular mud pots emit mostly carbon dioxide and at the area at one time was formerly used to commericially collect carbon dioxide [ref]. Moreover, the mud pots in this area are throught to be a southern extension of the San Andreas Fault [ref].

The sound coming from the mud cones is interesting. You don’t hear anything until you get close. Then you hear what sounds like a udu drum – a deep, slurping sound that is part creepy and part soothing. For some cones you can carefully walk up the side and peak into the top to see the bubbling mud. On this early June day, humid and gray, it was just us, the mud pots and gryphons and their hypnotic udu sound. The Davis-Schrimpf mud pots are close to Red Hill Marina and the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, so that’s a natural stop while in the area.

Mud Man
Salton Sea Mud Pots

Looking Out Over the Gryphons
Salton Sea Mud Pots

Different Mud Flow From a Gryphon
Salton Sea Mud Pots

Mud Bubbling On the Ground
Salton Sea Mud Pots

Mud Bubbling on a Gryphon – Mud Cone
Salton Sea Mud Pots

Mud Bubbling Inside a Gryphon Cone
Salton Sea Mud Pots

A Greenish Pool With Briney Edge?
Salton Sea Mud Pots

Aerial View of the Davis-Shrimpf Field (from Google Maps)Salton Sea Mud Pots

A Blue-Eyed Darner Dragonfly Near the Mud PotsSalton Sea Mud Pots

3 comments:

  1. good infromation @luv_pink.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hallo!
    I wonder if we ( a little magazine in sweden http://www.hjarnstorm.com/english.html) could print one pr twp of you rmud pictures. No money in it though, sorry!

    with best regards

    edvard derkert

    edvard@dad.a.se

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sure. Image attribution back to Travelmarx would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete