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A mudpot, mud pool or paint pot is a sort of hot spring or fumarole consisting of a pool of usually bubbling mud. The mud is generally of white to greyish color, but is sometimes stained with reddish or pink spots from iron compounds. When the slurry is particularly colorful, the feature is then called a paint pot.

Mudpots form in high-temperature geothermal areas where water is in short supply. The little water that is available rises to the surface at a spot where the soil is rich in volcanic ash, clay and other fine particulates. The thickness of the mud usually changes along with seasonal changes in the water table.

The mud takes the form of a viscous, often bubbling, slurry. As the boiling mud is often squirted over the brims of the mudpot, a sort of mini-volcano of mud starts to build up, sometimes reaching heights of 3-5 feet. Although mudpots are often called mud volcanoes, true mud volcanoes are very different in nature.

The geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park contain several notable examples of both mudpots and paint pots, as do some areas of Icelandmarker and New Zealandmarker.

Photo gallery

Image:Fountain Paint Pots in Yellowstone-750px.JPG|Fountain Paint Pots, Yellowstone National ParkmarkerImage:MudPot_8334.jpg|Mudpot in Lassen Volcanic National ParkmarkerImage:Yellowstone mud pot p1090998.jpg|Mudpot in Yellowstone National ParkImage:RincónMudpot Apr2003.jpg|Mudpot at Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Parkmarker, Costa RicamarkerImage:Mud pool near Waiotapu.ogg|Short video of mud pool activity near Waiotapumarker, New ZealandmarkerFile:Mud pool at Orakei Korako.ogg|Video of mud pool at Orakei Korakomarker, New Zealandmarker

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