Nemadji "Mud Volcanoes"

The Deer Creek "mud volcanoes" are  a unique phenomenon, whereby artesian springs are boiling up through sand and clay causing excessive suspended solids and turbidity levels in the creek.  Research into these springs is being conducted by the University of Minnesota - Duluth geology faculty and staff and is ongoing.

While natural in cause, the environmental consequences appear to be negative, nonetheless.  The NRBP and our partners are looking into possible solutions to prevent the massive amounts of sediment from being transported by the creek and stop the slumping that is occurring at the site.  To date, the land where the springs are located has lost approximately 50,000 mē of soil.

Below are a few photos of the springs.  These springs are not completely unique to Deer Creek, however.  There is a similar spring on nearby Mud Creek.  This spring is approximately 35 m from the creek, however, the sediment load reaching the creek is significantly less.


Approximately 5 - 10 gallons of water per minute is boiling out                  Two active springs near the creek.

of this active boiling spring.                                                                       Note the two circular pools, one in the foreground,

                                                                                                                               the other near the center of the photo.


This photo shows the muddy water mixing with                     The mud flats shown here are mostly sand that has been

      the relatively clear water of Deer Creek.                              deposited after being boiled up with the springs.

A beautiful photo of a spring near Mud Creek.

his spring is approximately 6 feet across and 6 feet deep.

The flow pattern coming out is quite striking.


These mud volcanoes are not unique to the Nemadji.  A similar problem occurred in New York a few years ago. 

Click here to learn more.


Photos by NRBP staff and partners ( feel free to use, but give credit where credit is due.)

Nemadji River Basin Project

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