I don’t think I mentioned why I visited Chena Hot Springs. I took three students there for a science field trip sponsored by the Unite Us program. Unite Us has developed a very good curriculum about climate in Alaska. On this field trip, the students were required to present a climate project to a panel of scientists and tribal elders. My three students discussed biomass energy production. That is energy produced in plants that burn wood chips rather than oil to produce heat. Fort Yukon will begin installing a new biomass plant this summer and the first phase of operation should begin the following year.
Oh, about the photographs. The Chena Hot Spring Resort has a creek on their property that flows down out of the surrounding hills. They also have a natural overflow of the geothermal waters present in the valley. The first picture is the creek bottom. The water is very cold and the creek bed is lined with sand containing a considerable amount of muscovite. When I first saw it, I thought it was gold and I almost ran off to find a pan! But it was only mica, quite beautiful, actually.
The second photograph was taken on the bottom of the overflow creek where the water was warm and mineral rich. Algae and moss thrived in it, as you can see.