When you think of a volcano often the first thing you think of is an exploding mountain of lava (hot melted rock) but have you ever thought about what is next? After a very large explosion the mountain can collapse eventually forming a caldera, a volcanic crater. Yellowstone National Park in the United States is one such example.
Molten rock close to the Earths surface can heat rainwater and snowmelt. Hot springs, geysers, steam vents and mudpots are all examples of what happens when underground water comes in contact with these hot areas.
Have you ever seen or heard of a mudpot? A mudpot is a hot bubbling mound of clay and sand mixed with a little water. The thickness of the bubble depends on how much water is in the mix. Sometimes the bubble surfaces slowly and when it pops it flips its lid into the air then splashes back or splatters along the edge of the pot. A mudpot is usually white to greyish in color. Mixed with iron in the soil they can become colorful and then referred to as paint pots.