The gently sloping mound around the geyser is travertine. The stone often develops into flights of pools enclosed within little dams.
These dams form through a mix of water and carbon dioxide which makes carbonic acid, and dissolved calcium carbonate.
Carbonic acid is the same weak acid that makes soda water taste slightly sour.
When the carbon dioxide evaporates from a thin film of water on the lip of a pool, a layer of calcium carbonate is deposited because the water becomes less acidic in that particular spot.
The mineral springs in the area were a remarkable phenomenon to pioneers and, for a period of time, made Soda Springs world famous.
A bottling plant was set up at nearby Ninety Percent Spring in 1997.
Huge drums were put over Mammoth Spring, to trap escaping carbon dioxide, which was piped 5 miles over the mountain to the bottling works.
Here the bottles were filled with water from Ninety Percent Spring and charged with gas from Mammoth Spring 5 miles north of here, to make carbonated water.
Bottled water was shipped by the railway carload to eastern markets and to foreign countries, bringing prosperity and fame to Soda Springs. An early ad calls it "the highest class naturally carbonated water in the world."
Known as Idan-ha, the water took first prize at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893
and at the 1905 World's Fair in Paris.
One can still sample the sparkling waters mentioned by emigrants at nearby Hooper Springs, one mile north of town, or Octagon Spring just north of the railroad tracks.
The onset of prohibition and new technology to artificially inject carbon dioxide into water brought the demise of the Idan-ha bottling works.
Celebrating its location adjacent to the Oregon Short Line railroad and mineral waters, the luxurious Idan-ha Hotel was dedicated in 1887.
The governors of Utah and Idaho declared the new hotel the "finest hostelry in the territory."
The 42-room hotel catered to the elite and later operated as a dining station for the Union Pacific Railroad.
Unfortunately, the hotel, located at the southeast corner of Hooper Avenue and Main Street, burned in 1921.