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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A hot spring is a spring that is produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater from the Earth's crust. There are hot springs all over the earth, on every continent and even under the oceans and seas.

Contents

Definitions

"Blood Pond" hot spring in Beppu, Japan

There is no universally accepted definition of a hot spring. For example, one can find the phrase hot spring defined as

  • any geothermal spring[1]
  • a spring with water temperatures above its surroundings[2]
  • a natural spring with water temperature above body temperature – normally between 36.5 °C (97.7 °F) and 37.5 °C (99.5 °F)[3]
  • a natural spring with warm water above body temperature[4]
  • a thermal spring with water warmer than 36.7 °C (98.1 °F)[5][6]
  • a natural spring of water greater than 21.1 °C (70.0 °F) (synonymous with thermal spring)[7][8][9][10]
  • a natural discharge of groundwater with elevated temperatures[11]
  • a type of thermal spring in which hot water is brought to the surface. The water temperature of a hot spring is usually 6.5 °C (43.7 °F) or more above mean air temperature.[12][13] Note that by this definition, "thermal spring" is not synonymous with the term "hot spring"
  • a spring whose hot water is brought to the surface (synonymous with a thermal spring). The water temperature of the spring is usually 8.3 °C (46.9 °F) or more above the mean air temperature.[14]
  • a spring with water above the core human body temperature – 36.7 °C (98.1 °F).[15]
  • a spring with water above average ambient ground temperature,[16] a definition favored by some
  • a spring with water temperatures above 50 °C (122 °F)[17]

The related term "warm spring" is defined as a spring with water temperature less than a hot spring by many sources, although Pentecost et al. (2003) suggest that the phrase "warm spring" is not useful and should be avoided.[15] The US NOAA Geophysical Data Center defines a "warm spring" as a spring with water between 20 °C (68 °F) and 50 °C (122 °F).

Sources of heat

The water issuing from a hot spring is heated by geothermal heat, i.e., heat from the Earth's interior. In general, the temperature of rocks within the earth increases with depth. The rate of temperature increase with depth is known as the geothermal gradient. If water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it will be heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks. The water from hot springs in non-volcanic areas is heated in this manner.

In active volcanic zones such as Yellowstone National Park, water may be heated by coming into contact with magma (molten rock). The high temperature gradient near magma may cause water to be heated enough that it boils or becomes superheated. If the water becomes so hot that it builds steam pressure and erupts in a jet above the surface of the Earth, it is called a geyser. If the water only reaches the surface in the form of steam, it is called a fumarole. If the water is mixed with mud and clay, it is called a mud pot.

Note that hot springs in volcanic areas are often at or near the boiling point. People have been seriously burned and even killed by accidentally or intentionally entering these springs.

Warm springs are sometimes the result of hot and cold springs mixing but may also occur outside of volcanic areas, such as Warm Springs, Georgia (frequented for its therapeutic effects by paraplegic U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who built the Little White House there).

Flow rates

Deildartunguhver, Iceland: the highest flow hot spring in Europe
Picture of Las Sopas hot springs on the north side of Cordón Caulle, Chile

Hot springs range in flow rate from the tiniest "seeps" to veritable rivers of hot water. Sometimes there is enough pressure that the water shoots upward in a geyser, or fountain.

A very low flow rate hot spring fed the closed resort, Fales Hot Ditch, which is north of Bridgeport, California. There is a huge subterranean lake below Tonopah, Arizona, which provides natural hot mineral waters to several hot springs. These hot springs were used by the seven or more hot spring spas that once operated in Tonopah. The ruins of two such spas are still visible in Tonopah.

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High flow hot springs

There are many claims in the literature about the flow rates of hot springs. Some of the hot springs with high flow rates and high claimed flow rates. It should be noted that there are many more very high flow nonthermal springs than geothermal springs. For example, there are 33 recognized "magnitude one springs" (having a flow in excess of 2,800 liters/second) in Florida alone. Silver Springs, Florida has a flow of more than 21,000 liters/second. Springs with high flow rates include:

  • The combined flow of the 47 hot springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas is 35 liters/second.
  • The combined flow of the hot springs complex in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is estimated at 99 liters/second.[18]
  • Lava Hot Springs in Idaho has a flow of 130 liters/second.
  • Glenwood Springs in Colorado has a flow of 143 liters/second.
  • Elizabeth Springs in western Queensland, Australia might have had a flow of 158 liters/second in the late 1800s, but now has a flow of about 5 liters/second.
  • Deildartunguhver in Iceland has a flow of 180 liters/second.
  • The hot springs of Brazil's Caldas Novas ("New Hot Springs" in Portuguese) are tapped by 86 wells, from which 333 liters/second are pumped for 14 hours per day. This corresponds to a peak average flow rate of 3.89 liters/second per well.[citation needed]
  • The 2,850 hot springs of Beppu in Japan are the highest flow hot spring complex in Japan. Together the Beppu hot springs produce about 1,592 liters/second, or corresponding to an average hot spring flow of 0.56 liters/second.
  • The 303 hot springs of Kokonoe in Japan produce 1,028 liters/second, which gives the average hot spring a flow of 3.39 liters/second.
  • The Oita Prefecture has 4,762 hot springs, with a total flow of 4,437 liters/second, so the average hot spring flow is 0.93 liters/second.
  • The highest flow rate hot spring in Japan is the Tamagawa Hot Spring in Akita Prefecture, which has a flow rate of 150 liters/second. The Tamagawa Hot Spring feeds a 3 m (9.8 ft) wide stream with a temperature of 98 °C (208 °F).
  • There are at least three hot springs in the Nage region 8 km (5.0 mi) south west of Bajawa City in Indonesia that collectively produce more than 453.6 liters/second.
  • There are another three large hot springs (Mengeruda, Wae Bana and Piga) 18 km (11 mi) north east of Bajawa City, Indonesia that together produce more than 450 liters/second of hot water.
  • The Dalhousie Springs complex in Australia had a peak total flow of more than 23,000 liters/second in 1915, giving the average spring in the complex an output of more than 325 liters/second. This has been reduced now to a peak total fow of 17,370 liters/second so the average spring has a peak output of about 250 liters/second.[19]

Therapeutic uses

Japanese open air hot spring in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama
Hammam Essalihine, romain hot spring in Algeria

Because heated water can hold more dissolved solids, warm and especially hot springs also often have a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium, and even radium. Because of both the folklore and the claimed medical value some of these springs have, they are often popular tourist destinations, and locations for rehabilitation clinics for those with disabilities.[20][21]

Biota in hot springs

A thermophile is an organism — a type of extremophile — that thrives at relatively high temperatures, between 45 and 80 °C[22] (113 and 176 °F). Many thermophiles are archaea. Thermophiles are found in hot springs, as well as deep sea hydrothermal vents and decaying plant matter such as peat bogs and compost.

Some hot springs biota are infectious to humans. For example:

  • Viruses have been collected from very extreme environments, for example, a hot spring with a temperature of 87 °C (189 °F) to 93 °C (199 °F) and an incredibly acidic pH of 1.5 in Pozzuoli, Italy. These viruses were observed to infect cells in the laboratory.[31]

List of hot springs

Distribution of geothermal springs in the US
Macaques enjoying an open air hot spring or "onsen" in Nagano
Churning Caldron in Yellowstone National Park

There are hot springs on all continents and in many countries around the world. Countries that are renowned for their hot springs include China, Costa Rica, Iceland, New Zealand, Peru, Canada, Taiwan, and Japan, but there are hot springs in many other places as well:

  • The Geysir hot springs in Iceland are the source of the word "geyser".
  • Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is a famous area for different types of springs, Hot Springs, Sulfur Springs and Volcanic Mud Springs Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park.
  • The town of Spa, Belgium is the origin of the word "spa" and features springs with water temperatures of 32 °C (90 °F). Casanova visited Spa in 1783 looking for business opportunities but was disappointed.[32]
  • Aachen, Germany has the hottest springs of continental Europe with water temperatures of 74 °C (165 °F).
  • There are more than 275 hot springs registered in Chile including South America's largest hot spring source in Liquiñe.[citation needed]
  • The Yangbajing hot springs field about 87 km. north of Lhasa in Tibet is several square kilometers in size, and used to supply a large fraction of the electricity of Lhasa. At an altitude between 4,290 m (14,070 ft) and 4,500 m (14,800 ft), this is a strong candidate for the set of highest altitude hot springs on earth.
  • Taiwan, is ranked among one of the world's top hot spring sites, harboring a great variety of springs, including hot springs, cold springs, mud springs, and seabed hot springs.
  • Icaria, Greece features a radioactive hot water spring that has been used since the fourth century BCE.
  • There are numerous hot springs in Greenland, such as in Uunartoq. There are over 2000 hot springs just on Disko Island, which has an area only 0.4% of that of Greenland.
  • The closest town to Machu Picchu in Peru is Machu Picchu Pueblo, which features several hot springs. The local name for Machu Picchu Pueblo is Aguas Calientes.
  • Widely renowned since a chemistry professor's report in 1918 classified them as one of the world's most electrolytic mineral waters, the Rio Hondo Hot Springs in northern Argentina have become among the most visited on earth.[33] The Cacheuta Spa is another famous hot springs in Argentina.
  • Iceland has many famous hot springs, including the one feeding the Blue Lagoon spa in Grindavík, Iceland, and Europe's highest flow rate hot spring Deildartunguhver. Deildartunguhver's water emerges at 97 °C (207 °F) and is piped many miles to heat neighboring towns.
  • Shiretoko National Park in Hokkaidō, Japan has a hot springs waterfall called Kamuiwakkayu-no-taki, which translates as "river of the gods" in the Ainu language.
  • Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, Spitsbergen at 80 degrees north, contains two of earth's most northerly hot springs.
  • There are many geothermal springs in the UK, but the thermal springs found in the town of Bath produce the highest temperature geothermal water in the UK. The Bath hot springs are only true hot springs in the UK, by some definitions.
  • Oymyakon in eastern Siberia is a candidate for the coldest permanently-inhabited location in the Northern Hemisphere and another hot springs site. The Yakut language word "oymyakon" means "river doesn't freeze" after the local tributary of the Indigirka River fed by the hot springs which continues to flow year round in this permafrost region.
  • Being located in the "Pacific Ring of Fire", Japan is in a volcanic region, and is home to many hot springs. The onsen (a Japanese word for "hot spring") plays a notable role in Japanese culture. Visiting an onsen is a quintessential Japanese experience and is a popular tourist activity.
  • Chutsen Chugang Hot Springs are located on the grounds of the Zhoto Terdrom / Tidro Nunnery, at an altitude of 4400 meters in Maldrogongkar / Mozhugongka County, Lhasa, Tibet. Buddhist nuns and the "hot spring snake" both live near this set of high altitude hot springs.
  • There is a hot spring on Deception Island in Antarctica.
  • Champaign Hot Springs is a shallow submarine geothermal spring system along the coast of the island of Dominica, Lesser Antilles.[34]
  • Australia Peninsula Hot Springs are located one and a half hours drive South of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. 47 degrees C waters flow from 637 meters to the surface and into private baths and pools.

See also

References

  1. ^ "MSN Encarta definition of hot spring". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. http://www.webcitation.org/5kwr3UrtU. 
  2. ^ Miriam-Webster Online dictionary definition of hot spring
  3. ^ Wordsmyth definition of hot spring
  4. ^ American Heritage dictionary, fourth edition (2000) definition of hot spring
  5. ^ Infoplease definition of hot spring
  6. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006. definition of hot spring
  7. ^ Wordnet 2.0 definition of hot spring
  8. ^ Ultralingua Online Dictionary definition of hot spring
  9. ^ Rhymezone definition of hot spring
  10. ^ Lookwayup definition of hot spring
  11. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition, article on hot spring
  12. ^ Physical Geology, 6th Edition, Don L. Leet, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1982
  13. ^ A thermal spring is defined as a spring that brings warm or hot water to the surface. by Physical Geology, 6th Edition, Don L. Leet, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1982 and Leet states that there are two types of thermal springs; hot springs and warm springs.
  14. ^ "Water Words Glossary - Hot Spring". NALMS. 2007. http://www.nalms.org/Resources/Glossary.aspx?show=H. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  15. ^ a b What is a hot spring?, Allan Pentecost, B. Jones, and R.W. Renaut Can. J. Earth Sci./Rev. can. sci. Terre 40(11): 1443–1446 (2003) provides a critical discussion of the definition of a hot spring.
  16. ^ For example, ambient ground temperature is usually around 55–57 °F (13–14 °C) in the eastern United States
  17. ^ US NOAA Geophysical Data Center definition
  18. ^ Truth or Consequences, New Mexico- A Spa City, John W. Lund, James C. Witcher, GHC Bulletin, December 2002.
  19. ^ Desert Springs of Great Australian Arterial Basin, W. F. Ponder, Conference Proceedings. Spring-fed Wetlands: Important Scientific and Cultural Resources of the Intermountain Region, 2002.
  20. ^ The web site of the Roosevelt rehabilitation clinic in Warm Springs, Georgia
  21. ^ Web site of rehabilitation clinics in Central Texas created because of a geothermal spring
  22. ^ Madigan MT, Martino JM (2006). Brock Biology of Microorganisms (11th ed.). Pearson. pp. 136. ISBN 0-13-196893-9. 
  23. ^ emedicine article on naegleria
  24. ^ Occurrence and Distribution of Naegleria Species in Thermal Waters in Japan, Shinji Izumiyama, Kenji Yagita, Reiko Furushima-Shimogawara, Tokiko Asakura, Tatsuya Karasudani, Takuro Endo, The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology Vol. 50 Issue s1 Page 514 July 2003
  25. ^ Primary amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri: An autopsy case in Japan, Yasuo Sugita, Teruhiko Fujii, Itsurou Hayashi, Takachika Aoki, Toshirou Yokoyama, Minoru Morimatsu, Toshihide Fukuma & Yoshiaki Takamiya, Pathology International, Volume 49 Page 468 - May 1999
  26. ^ Southern New Mexico web site article about some local hot springs, including a warning about Naegleria fowler
  27. ^ CDC description of acanthamoeba
  28. ^ Molecular determination of infection source of a sporadic Legionella pneumonia case associated with a hot spring bath, H. Miyamoto, S. Jitsurong, R. Shiota, K. Maruta, S. Yoshida, E. Yabuuchi, Microbiol Immunol., 41(3):197-202, 1997.
  29. ^ An outbreak of legionellosis in a new facility of hot spring Bath in Hiuga City, Eiko Yabauuchi, Kunio Agata, Kansenshogaku zasshi (Kansenshogaku zasshi), ISSN 0387-5911, vol. 78, no2, pp. 90–98, 2004.
  30. ^ Indolent herpetic whitlow of the toe in an elderly patient with diabetic neuropathy, Maki Ozawa, Tomoyuki Ohtani, and Hachiro Tagami, Dermatology Online Journal 10 (1): 16, 2004.
  31. ^ Viral Diversity in Hot Springs of Pozzuoli, Italy, and Characterization of a Unique Archaeal Virus, Acidianus Bottle-Shaped Virus, from a New Family, the Ampullaviridae, Monika Häring, Reinhard Rachel, Xu Peng, Roger A. Garrett, and David Prangishvili1, J. Virol., 79(15): 9904–9911, August 2005.
  32. ^ Spa: Belgium's healthy-living retreat, Gareth Bourne and Sarah Hajibagheri, The Independent, November 3, 2006
  33. ^ Welcome Argentina: Turismo en Argentina 2009
  34. ^ Geochemistry of Champagne Hot Springs shallow hydrothermal vent field and associated sediments, Dominica, Lesser Antilles, Kevin T. McCarthy, Thomas Pichler, Roy E. Price, Chemical Geology 224, pages 55– 68, 2005

Further reading

  • Marjorie Gersh-Young, Hot Springs and Hot Pools of the Southwest: Jayson Loam's Original Guide, Aqua Thermal Access, 2007. ISBN 1-890880-07-8
  • Marjorie Gersh-Young, Hot Springs & Hot Pools Of The Northwest, Aqua Thermal Access, 2008. ISBN 1-890880-08-6
  • G. J Woodsworth, Hot springs of Western Canada: a complete guide, West Vancouver: Gordon Soules Book Publishers. 1999. ISBN 0-919574-03-3
  • Clay Thompson, "Tonopah: It's Water Under The Bush", the Arizona Republic 1-12-03, p. B12

External links


A hot spring is a spring that is produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater from the Earth's crust. There are hot springs all over the crust of the earth.

Contents

Definitions

There is no universally accepted definition of a hot spring. For example, one can find the phrase hot spring defined as

  • any geothermal spring[1]
  • a spring with water temperatures above its surroundings[2]
  • a natural spring with water temperature above body temperature – normally between Template:Convert/°C[3]
  • a natural spring with warm water above body temperature[4]
in Algeria]]
  • a thermal spring with water warmer than Template:Convert/°C[5][6]
  • a natural spring of water greater than Template:Convert/°C (synonymous with thermal spring)[7][8][9][10]
  • a natural discharge of groundwater with elevated temperatures[11]
  • a type of thermal spring in which hot water is brought to the surface. The water temperature of a hot spring is usually 6.5 °C (12 °F) or more above mean air temperature.[12][13] Note that by this definition, "thermal spring" is not synonymous with the term "hot spring"
  • a spring whose hot water is brought to the surface (synonymous with a thermal spring). The water temperature of the spring is usually 8.3 °C (15 °F) or more above the mean air temperature.[14]
  • a spring with water above the core human body temperature – Template:Convert/°C.[15]
  • a spring with water above average ambient ground temperature,[16] a definition favored by some
  • a spring with water temperatures above Template:Convert/°C[17]

The related term "warm spring" is defined as a spring with water temperature less than a hot spring by many sources, although Pentecost et al. (2003) suggest that the phrase "warm spring" is not useful and should be avoided.[15] The US NOAA Geophysical Data Center defines a "warm spring" as a spring with water between Template:Convert/°C.

Sources of heat

The water issuing from a hot spring is heated by geothermal heat, i.e., heat from the Earth's mantle. In general, the temperature of rocks within the earth increases with depth. The rate of temperature increase with depth is known as the geothermal gradient. If water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it will be heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks. The water from hot springs in non-volcanic areas is heated in this manner.

In active volcanic zones such as Yellowstone National Park, water may be heated by coming into contact with magma (molten rock). The high temperature gradient near magma may cause water to be heated enough that it boils or becomes superheated. If the water becomes so hot that it builds steam pressure and erupts in a jet above the surface of the Earth, it is called a geyser. If the water only reaches the surface in the form of steam, it is called a fumarole. If the water is mixed with mud and clay, it is called a mud pot.

Note that hot springs in volcanic areas are often at or near the boiling point. People have been seriously burned and even killed by accidentally or intentionally entering these springs.

Warm springs are sometimes the result of hot and cold springs mixing but may also occur outside of volcanic areas, such as Warm Springs, Georgia (frequented for its therapeutic effects by paraplegic U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who built the Little White House there).

Flow rates

File:Islande source
Deildartunguhver, Iceland: the highest flow hot spring in Europe

[[File:|thumb|Picture of Las Sopas hot springs on the north side of Cordón Caulle, Chile]] Hot springs range in flow rate from the tiniest "seeps" to veritable rivers of hot water. Sometimes there is enough pressure that the water shoots upward in a geyser, or fountain.

A very low flow rate hot spring fed the closed resort, Fales Hot Ditch, which is north of Bridgeport, California. There is a huge subterranean lake below Tonopah,, Arizona, which provides natural hot mineral waters to several hot springs. These hot springs were used by the seven or more hot spring spas that once operated in Tonopah. The ruins of two such spas are still visible in Tonopah.

High flow hot springs

There are many claims in the literature about the flow rates of hot springs. Some of the hot springs with high flow rates and high claimed flow rates. It should be noted that there are many more very high flow nonthermal springs than geothermal springs. For example, there are 33 recognized "magnitude one springs" (having a flow in excess of 2,800 liters/second) in Florida alone. Silver Springs, Florida has a flow of more than 21,000 liters/second. Springs with high flow rates include:

  • The Excelsior Geyser Crater in Yellowstone National Park yields about 4,000 gallons per minute (about 252 liters/second).
  • The combined flow of the 47 hot springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas is 35 liters/second.
  • The combined flow of the hot springs complex in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is estimated at 99 liters/second.[18]
  • Lava Hot Springs in Idaho has a flow of 130 liters/second.
  • Glenwood Springs in Colorado has a flow of 143 liters/second.
  • Elizabeth Springs in western Queensland, Australia might have had a flow of 158 liters/second in the late 1800s, but now has a flow of about 5 liters/second.
  • Deildartunguhver in Iceland has a flow of 180 liters/second.
  • The hot springs of Brazil's Caldas Novas ("New Hot Springs" in Portuguese) are tapped by 86 wells, from which 333 liters/second are pumped for 14 hours per day. This corresponds to a peak average flow rate of 3.89 liters/second per well.[citation needed]
  • The 2,850 hot springs of Beppu in Japan are the highest flow hot spring complex in Japan. Together the Beppu hot springs produce about 1,592 liters/second, or corresponding to an average hot spring flow of 0.56 liters/second.
  • The 303 hot springs of Kokonoe in Japan produce 1,028 liters/second, which gives the average hot spring a flow of 3.39 liters/second.
  • The Oita Prefecture has 4,762 hot springs, with a total flow of 4,437 liters/second, so the average hot spring flow is 0.93 liters/second.
  • The highest flow rate hot spring in Japan is the Tamagawa Hot Spring in Akita Prefecture, which has a flow rate of 150 liters/second. The Tamagawa Hot Spring feeds a 3 m (9.8 ft) wide stream with a temperature of Template:Convert/°C.
  • There are at least three hot springs in the Nage region 8 km (5.0 mi) south west of Bajawa City in Indonesia that collectively produce more than 453.6 liters/second.
  • There are another three large hot springs (Mengeruda, Wae Bana and Piga) 18 km (11 mi) north east of Bajawa City, Indonesia that together produce more than 450 liters/second of hot water.
  • The Dalhousie Springs complex in Australia had a peak total flow of more than 23,000 liters/second in 1915, giving the average spring in the complex an output of more than 325 liters/second. This has been reduced now to a peak total fow of 17,370 liters/second so the average spring has a peak output of about 250 liters/second.[19]

Therapeutic uses

File:Bain romain de
Hammam Essalihine, Roman hot spring in Algeria

Because heated water can hold more dissolved solids, warm and especially hot springs also often have a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium, and even radium. Because of both the folklore and the claimed medical value some of these springs have, they are often popular tourist destinations, and locations for rehabilitation clinics for those with disabilities.[20][21]

Biota in hot springs

A thermophile is an organism — a type of extremophile — that thrives at relatively high temperatures, between Template:Convert/°C.[22] Thermophiles are found in hot springs, as well as deep sea hydrothermal vents and decaying plant matter such as peat bogs and compost.

File:Algal mats on hot pool, Orakei Korako
Algal mats growing in a New Zealand hot pool

Some hot springs biota are infectious to humans. For example:

  • Viruses have been collected from very extreme environments, for example, a hot spring with a temperature of Template:Convert/°C and an incredibly acidic pH of 1.5 in Pozzuoli, Italy. These viruses were observed to infect cells in the laboratory.[30]

List of hot springs

File:Geothermal springs map
Distribution of geothermal springs in the US
File:Jigokudani hotspring in Nagano Japan
Macaques enjoying an open air hot spring or "onsen" in Nagano

There are hot springs on all continents and in many countries around the world. Countries that are renowned for their hot springs include China, Costa Rica, Iceland, Iran, New Zealand, Peru, United States, Taiwan, and Japan, but there are hot springs in many other places as well:

  • The Geysir hot springs in Iceland are the source of the word "geyser".
  • Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is a famous area for different types of springs, Hot Springs, Sulfur Springs and Volcanic Mud Springs Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park.
  • The town of Spa, Belgium is the origin of the word "spa" and features springs with water temperatures of Template:Convert/°C. Casanova visited Spa in 1783 looking for business opportunities but was disappointed.[31]
  • Aachen, Germany has the hottest springs of continental Europe with water temperatures of Template:Convert/°C.
  • There are more than 275 hot springs registered in Chile including South America's largest hot spring source in Liquiñe.[citation needed]
  • The Yangbajing hot springs field about 87 km. north of Lhasa in Tibet is several square kilometers in size, and used to supply a large fraction of the electricity of Lhasa. At an altitude between 4,290 and 4,500 m (14,070 and 14,800 ft), this is a strong candidate for the set of highest altitude hot springs on earth.
  • Taiwan, is ranked among one of the world's top hot spring sites, harboring a great variety of springs, including hot springs, cold springs, mud springs, and seabed hot springs.
  • Icaria, Greece features a radioactive hot water spring that has been used since the fourth century BCE.
  • There are numerous hot springs in Greenland, such as on Uunartoq island near Alluitsup Paa. There are over 2000 hot springs just on Disko Island, which has an area only 0.4% of that of Greenland.
  • The closest town to Machu Picchu in Peru is Machu Picchu Pueblo, which features several hot springs. The local name for Machu Picchu Pueblo is Aguas Calientes.
  • Widely renowned since a chemistry professor's report in 1918 classified them as one of the world's most electrolytic mineral waters, the Rio Hondo Hot Springs in northern Argentina have become among the most visited on earth.[32] The Cacheuta Spa is another famous hot springs in Argentina.
  • Iceland has many famous hot springs, including the one feeding the Blue Lagoon spa in Grindavík, Iceland, and Europe's highest flow rate hot spring Deildartunguhver. Deildartunguhver's water emerges at Template:Convert/°C and is piped many miles to heat neighboring towns.
  • One of the highly potential geothermal energy reservoirs in India is the Tattapani thermal springs of Madhya Pradesh.[33][34]
  • Shiretoko National Park in Hokkaidō, Japan has a hot springs waterfall called Kamuiwakkayu-no-taki, which translates as "river of the gods" in the Ainu language.
  • Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, Spitsbergen at 80 degrees north, contains two of earth's most northerly hot springs.
  • There are many geothermal springs in the UK, but the thermal springs found in the town of Bath produce the highest temperature geothermal water in the UK. The Bath hot springs are only true hot springs in the UK, by some definitions.
  • Oymyakon in eastern Siberia is a candidate for the coldest permanently-inhabited location in the Northern Hemisphere and another hot springs site. The Yakut language word "oymyakon" means "river doesn't freeze" after the local tributary of the Indigirka River fed by the hot springs which continues to flow year round in this permafrost region.
  • Being located in the "Pacific Ring of Fire", Japan is in a volcanic region, and is home to many hot springs. The onsen (a Japanese word for "hot spring") plays a notable role in Japanese culture. Visiting an onsen is a quintessential Japanese experience and is a popular tourist activity.
  • Chutsen Chugang Hot Springs are located on the grounds of the Zhoto Terdrom / Tidro Nunnery, at an altitude of 4400 meters in Maldrogongkar / Mozhugongka County, Lhasa, Tibet. Buddhist nuns and the "hot spring snake" both live near this set of high altitude hot springs.
  • There is a hot spring on Deception Island in Antarctica.
  • Champaign Hot Springs is a shallow submarine geothermal spring system along the coast of the island of Dominica, Lesser Antilles.[35]
  • Australia Peninsula Hot Springs are located one and a half hours drive South of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. Template:Convert/°C waters flow from 637 meters to the surface and into private baths and pools.
  • Bela-Bela (formerly Warmbaths) in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
  • Sirch (Kerman), Sar'eyn (Ardabil) and Geno (Bandar Abbas) are notable hot springs in Iran.

See also

References

  1. ^ "MSN Encarta definition of hot spring". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. http://www.webcitation.org/5kwr3UrtU. 
  2. ^ Miriam-Webster Online dictionary definition of hot spring
  3. ^ Wordsmyth definition of hot spring
  4. ^ American Heritage dictionary, fourth edition (2000) definition of hot spring
  5. ^ Infoplease definition of hot spring
  6. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006. definition of hot spring
  7. ^ Wordnet 2.0 definition of hot spring
  8. ^ Ultralingua Online Dictionary definition of hot spring
  9. ^ Rhymezone definition of hot spring
  10. ^ Lookwayup definition of hot spring
  11. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition, article on hot spring
  12. ^ Physical Geology, 6th Edition, Don L. Leet, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1982
  13. ^ A thermal spring is defined as a spring that brings warm or hot water to the surface. by Physical Geology, 6th Edition, Don L. Leet, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1982 and Leet states that there are two types of thermal springs; hot springs and warm springs.
  14. ^ "Water Words Glossary - Hot Spring". NALMS. 2007. http://www.nalms.org/Resources/Glossary.aspx?show=H. Retrieved 2008-04-04. [dead link]
  15. ^ a b What is a hot spring?, Allan Pentecost, B. Jones, and R.W. Renaut Can. J. Earth Sci./Rev. can. sci. Terre 40(11): 1443–1446 (2003) provides a critical discussion of the definition of a hot spring.
  16. ^ For example, ambient ground temperature is usually around
    1. REDIRECT Template:Convert/°F in the eastern United States
  17. ^ US NOAA Geophysical Data Center definition
  18. ^ Truth or Consequences, New Mexico- A Spa City, John W. Lund, James C. Witcher, GHC Bulletin, December 2002.
  19. ^ Desert Springs of Great Australian Arterial Basin, W. F. Ponder, Conference Proceedings. Spring-fed Wetlands: Important Scientific and Cultural Resources of the Intermountain Region, 2002.
  20. ^ The web site of the Roosevelt rehabilitation clinic in Warm Springs, Georgia
  21. ^ Web site of rehabilitation clinics in Central Texas created because of a geothermal spring
  22. ^ Madigan MT, Martino JM (2006). Brock Biology of Microorganisms (11th ed.). Pearson. pp. 136. ISBN 0-13-196893-9. 
  23. ^ emedicine article on naegleria
  24. ^ Occurrence and Distribution of Naegleria Species in Thermal Waters in Japan, Shinji Izumiyama, Kenji Yagita, Reiko Furushima-Shimogawara, Tokiko Asakura, Tatsuya Karasudani, Takuro Endo, The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology Vol. 50 Issue s1 Page 514 July 2003
  25. ^ Primary amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri: An autopsy case in Japan, Yasuo Sugita, Teruhiko Fujii, Itsurou Hayashi, Takachika Aoki, Toshirou Yokoyama, Minoru Morimatsu, Toshihide Fukuma & Yoshiaki Takamiya, Pathology International, Volume 49 Page 468 - May 1999
  26. ^ Southern New Mexico web site article about some local hot springs, including a warning about Naegleria fowler
  27. ^ CDC description of acanthamoeba
  28. ^ Molecular determination of infection source of a sporadic Legionella pneumonia case associated with a hot spring bath, H. Miyamoto, S. Jitsurong, R. Shiota, K. Maruta, S. Yoshida, E. Yabuuchi, Microbiol Immunol., 41(3):197-202, 1997.
  29. ^ An outbreak of legionellosis in a new facility of hot spring Bath in Hiuga City, Eiko Yabauuchi, Kunio Agata, Kansenshogaku zasshi (Kansenshogaku zasshi), ISSN 0387-5911, vol. 78, no2, pp. 90–98, 2004.
  30. ^ Viral Diversity in Hot Springs of Pozzuoli, Italy, and Characterization of a Unique Archaeal Virus, Acidianus Bottle-Shaped Virus, from a New Family, the Ampullaviridae, Monika Häring, Reinhard Rachel, Xu Peng, Roger A. Garrett, and David Prangishvili1, J. Virol., 79(15): 9904–9911, August 2005.
  31. ^ Spa: Belgium's healthy-living retreat, Gareth Bourne and Sarah Hajibagheri, The Independent, November 3, 2006
  32. ^ Welcome Argentina: Turismo en Argentina 2009
  33. ^ Ravi Shanker et al.,(1987), http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/0375650587900794
  34. ^ D.Chandrasekharam and Antu Maprani (1995), http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/037565059500005B
  35. ^ Geochemistry of Champagne Hot Springs shallow hydrothermal vent field and associated sediments, Dominica, Lesser Antilles, Kevin T. McCarthy, Thomas Pichler, Roy E. Price, Chemical Geology 224, pages 55– 68, 2005

Further reading

  • Marjorie Gersh-Young, Hot Springs and Hot Pools of the Southwest: Jayson Loam's Original Guide, Aqua Thermal Access, 2007. ISBN 1-890880-07-8
  • Marjorie Gersh-Young, Hot Springs & Hot Pools Of The Northwest, Aqua Thermal Access, 2008. ISBN 1-890880-08-6
  • G. J Woodsworth, Hot springs of Western Canada: a complete guide, West Vancouver: Gordon Soules Book Publishers. 1999. ISBN 0-919574-03-3
  • Clay Thompson, "Tonopah: It's Water Under The Bush", the Arizona Republic 1-12-03, p. B12

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Hot springs article)

From Wikitravel

For destinations named "Hot Springs", see the Hot Springs disambiguation page.

This article is a travel topic.

Hot springs are natural features resulting when ground water is heated (sometimes far beyond the level of human endurance) by geothermal forces and brought to the surface, typically becoming diluted with cool surface water on the way. Many are in attractive locations and are scenic (e.g. the geysers of Yellowstone National Park, Kamchatka, New Zealand, etc.) or celebrated (e.g. the original town of Spa), hence are attractions or even destinations in their own right. However, for the hot-spring aficionado, the greatest pleasure comes not from just looking at the spring, but from getting into the water for its therapeutic powers, not to mention just because it feels good -- really good. This article will help travelers get the most out of their hot-spring experiences world-wide.

Hot springs in Oku-Hida, Japan
Hot springs in Oku-Hida, Japan

"Developed" versus "wild" hot springs, and what's a spa?

The term "hot spring" means different things to different people, and it's a good idea to know just what manner of hot spring you're bound for at a destination, because it may be something quite different from what you're expecting. In English the term is used more or less interchangeably for "wild" springs, where the water emerges directly from the ground into a natural catchment that can be used for bathing, and "developed" springs, which exploit the spring through construction of man-made artifacts such as pools and bath houses. "Wild" springs and "developed" springs can differ so much, and in so many ways, that the visitor expecting one and getting the other may not enjoy the experience very much. Some examples:

  • Wild springs are often (although not always) on public land or otherwise accessible to the public without charge, while developed springs are almost invariably intended by the developer to make a profit, and hence will charge (and be in a legal position to demand) an admission fee.
  • You can't count on creature comforts at a wild spring; you may have to sit on a rock at water's edge to doff your clothing, and pre-entry showers are pretty well out of the question, let alone amenities like poolside drinks that a developed spring may offer. On the other hand, wild springs are generally open-air and take you "back to nature" in ways that a developed spring may not.
  • At a wild spring, water temperature is purely on an as-is basis; the pool where you bathe will be at a temperature that's regulated solely by the relative proportions of water from the spring and meteoric (surface) water that the terrain imposes. As a consequence, water at wild springs can be uncomfortably, or even dangerously, hot. Commercial operators of developed springs will generally ensure that the water temperature is appropriate (sometimes offering several choices of temperature in different pools) through dilution of the spring's effluent with water from the commercial supply or other sources. This distinction is particularly important; the bather used to "tame" water from a commercial spring who wades directly into a seething-hot wild spring can receive a painful, or even fatal, surprise.
  • Hot-spring water is usually fairly safe from the standpoint of carrying disease-causing organisms, but some is not (see below under "Stay healthy"), and the surface water that cools a scalding spring to usable temperatures will be prone to the same bugs and pathogens as any other surface water. Operators of developed springs may (or may not) take steps to disinfect the water, but at a wild spring, you're obviously on your own.

Note, incidentally, that a "developed" hot spring is not necessarily a commercial hot spring, i.e., one that has been developed for profit-making purposes. The distinction can be important in countries and regions where the political/economic system allows for both for-profit and public-interest/non-profit/governmental development; regulations for doing the developing will often differ between the two cases, as will the resulting amenities, access, etc. For example, as a general rule, springs in the United States that have been developed by government will have fewer amenities, but also lower admission fees, than for-profit developments. In Japan, many hot springs in rural locations are maintained by the local government and are open to the public for free, and even expensive spa resort towns usually have at least one public bath open to all for a token fee.

Spas

There is a difference between a hot spring and a spa. The latter term denotes either a pleasantly warm tub of water (not necessarily originating in a hot spring) suitable for bathing for medicinal and recreational purposes, or the -- sometimes incredibly elaborate, luxurious, and expensive -- resorts where such tubs can be found, which incorporate massage, body wraps, and so on. Not every spa is based on a hot spring (many, perhaps most, simply heat meteoric water to the desired temperature); not every developed hot spring has spa-like amenities.

Where to find them

Africa

Namibia

  • Ai-Ais, developed

South Africa

Asia

Bhutan

Most hot springs (locally called tsachu) in Bhutan have avoided over development and generally a trek is required reach them. Popular ones are in Gasa. Duer in Bumthang and Koma in Punakha.

China

Many places in Southern China — at least Fuzhou, Zhuhai and Zhongshan — have hot springs.

Indonesia

Air Panjar in Bali
Air Panjar in Bali

Indonesia is a highly volcanic archipelago and consequently has hot springs (air panas) all over the place, but few are developed or on the tourist trail. Bali is the most popular hot spring destination by a mile, but many of them are considered holy and have been developed into temples, where the locals come to bathe (fully clothed) but foreigners may not be welcome. A few, however, have been developed and are open to all, such as Air Banjar near Lovina, where stone mouth carvings allow hot water to pass between pools which are set among a lush garden.

Japan

Japan is very active geothermally and onsen hot springs dot the length of the entire country. The Japanese love their baths — so much so that the Japan guide has an entire section devoted to the topic and a visit to a Japanese hot spring is a highlight of any trip.

The Official Top 3 most famous hot spring resorts are Atami (Kanto), Beppu (Kyushu), and Shirahama (Kansai). Dogo Onsen makes a solid claim to be the oldest and Hokkaido's Noboribetsu claims to be the largest, while secluded hot-spring hideaways can be found in places including Iya Valley (Shikoku), Yagen Valley (Tohoku) and Oku-Hida (Chubu). Japan's major cities also have hot spring areas within striking distance, with Hakone and the many hot springs of Gumma being popular getaways for Tokyoites and Kobe inhabitants nipping across the hill to Arima Onsen. Last but not least, at the northeastern most tip of Hokkaido is Shiretoko National Park and its remarkable Kamuiwakkayu-no-taki, a hot spring waterfall thought by the Ainu to inhabited by the gods themselves.

Laos

Malaysia

Sungkai, Perak; Pedas, Negeri Sembilan; Selayang, Selangor;

Nepal

There isn't much of a 'hot spring' tradition in Nepal, but the residents of the aptly named Tatopani (tato = hot, pani = water) quickly realized that trekkers on the Jomson and Annapurna Circuit trails would pay for a hot soak. When soaking or swimming in Nepal it's best to have a swimsuit and sarong for modesty. on the way to rasuwa fort, a tibetian borderpoint north-west of the Langtang valley is a small beautiful hotspring. its complete natural without any items. the nepali word for hot spring is tato pani what means hot water, ask the lokals for the exact location

South Korea

Hurshimchung, Busan, South Korea
Hurshimchung, Busan, South Korea

Koreans also love their oncheon hot springs and Busan's Hurshimchung spa is a creditable contender in the heavily competed contest for the largest spa complex in the world.

Taiwan

Being located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, hot springs (Chinese: wen-chuan) can be found all over Taiwan. Popular places for bathing near the capital Taipei are Beitou, Wulai and the Yangmingshan National Park. At Guanziling near Chiayi, you can even sample hot mud springs.

Europe

Austria

The states of Lower Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Salzburg are crossed by a tectonic fault, resulting in a large number of hot springs in the area. Most springs are commercially exploited. Towns with the prefix "Bad" in the name, such as Bad Gastein normally have hot spring facilities, which are usually accompanied by pools, saunas, rehabilitation centers and hotels of high standards. Wild springs do exist, but are more difficult to find.

Belgium

Spa

Greece

There are many hot springs, traditional baths, spa and wild hot spring in greece. Among them at Thermopyles (site of a famous anciant battle). It's free (un attended, hence with some trash around), used by he locals, water 42c. Behind the gas station on the way to the thermopyles battle monument.

Iceland

Iceland sits on the fault between the North American and European plates, which are slowly moving apart, and is home to the original "Geysir"; so it should come as no surprise that it has geothermally heated water aplenty. Public heated swimming pools and attendant "hot pots" are commonplace throughout the country. The Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik, with its vivid, translucent blue, 100°F/40°C waters (cooled from their original temperature after being being pumped from a mile underground and powering an electrical plant) is a popular destination.

Italy

Look for scattered hot springs in the volcanic southern part of the country. The island of Pantelleria has well-known thermal baths, and Ischia is famous for the springs there, some of them "subaqueous" (submerged in the sea). The island of Vulcano features a "mud bath" in which the springs manifest in a goopy mud reputed to have therapeutic properties, as well as more subaqueous springs along the adjacent beach where mud-bath users can wash off the mud.

Romania

Băile Herculane – Inside the town and up the Cerna river a number of open pools with hot spring water can be accessed without charge. Locals of all generations mix with Romanian and international tourists.

Oradea – The region around the city has a number of commercial spas that appear to be developed from hot springs.

Spain

You can find working Moorish Baths, usually from natural hot spring sources, throughout southwestern Spain, including Granada. Some of these include deep soaking pools or the more traditional steam room style.

United Kingdom

The famous hot springs at Bath (England) have been used by humans since Roman times, and probably long before, but until recently were in a state of disrepair and inaccessible to bathers, although still open for viewing. Recently the Thermae Springs have re-opened as a developed spring in which visitors can bathe (fee).

Middle East

Turkey

The calcite hot springs and waterfalls of Pamukkale.
The calcite hot springs and waterfalls of Pamukkale.

Pamukkale - Meaning "cotton castle", these natural travertine hot springs provide stunning natural beauty and wonderful warm water to soak yourself in. The bright white calcite deposits make it easy for visitors to walk along the cascading water (though officials are constantly moving boundaries and walking areas to preserve the area). Most of the pools are just large enough set your feet into and only a few of the larger pools go past your knees.

Hierapolis - Five minutes further up the white waterfalls of Pamukkale you'll find the Hierapolis hot springs where you can soak among sunken Roman columns (for a 20 Euro fee) submerged in an ancient pool.

North America

Canada

A natural hot spring waterfall set in a Canadian winter.
A natural hot spring waterfall set in a Canadian winter.

Hot springs in Canada cluster in geological settings similar to those of the United States (below). Banff National Park and Jasper National Park have well-known springs that are readily accessible to the visitor, and there are a number of hot-spring sites in British Columbia including those that are managed, such at Radium Hot Springs and Fairmont, and natural, such as at Tofino and Fairmont.

Central America

Costa Rica

This highly volcanic yet visitor-friendly country has several hot springs, with a concentration at the small town of Fortuna due to the proximity of the active Arenal volcano. Tabacon near Fortuna is a well developed spring/spa, with several options for visits. Another area where Hot Springs and Volcanic Mud Springs are usual to see in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park area. Rincon de la Vieja National Park is full of volcanic activity.

Mexico

Mexico is a volcanic and seismically-active country, and there are likely to be hot springs all over the landscape despite its aridity. A few commercially-developed springs are near Puebla, but their status following the re-activation of nearby Popocatepetl volcano is unknown; if you have information on springs in this area, please update this. Most the hotsprings of Mexico are in the Central interior states of Guanajato, Durango, and Chihuahua. The most accessible for tourists are those in the Copper Canyon area. Baja California has a number of hot pools and hot springs; San Carlos, near Ensenada, Guadelupe Canyon west of Mexicali, and the seaside springs at Puertocitos are well-known.

United States of America

Most hot springs in the continental United States are located either near the Rocky Mountains or in the geologically turbulent country of the West Coast (California and the Pacific Northwest), but there are a few in other, sometimes unexpected places. Quite a large fraction of the springs are in wild areas and entirely undeveloped, sometimes reachable only by a testing hike. Commercial springs vary wildly in degree of development; a few have been turned into posh, expensive resorts, but more are at the "rustic" end of the scale.

Alaska

Alaska is intensely volcanic, and wild springs abound; however, most are seriously inaccessible. Developed hot springs exist near Fairbanks. There are also some derelict developed hot springs near Fairbanks which can make for an interesting hike, but beware of the legality.

Arizona

Commercial hot springs are found at the unincorporated "town" of Tonopah, about 50 miles west of Phoenix. There have been recent changes of ownership.

Arkansas

Hot Springs (Arkansas) | Hot Springs National Park

California

Public hot springs are located along the east side of the Eastern Sierra, many near route 395, in Bridgeport (Travertine, Buckeye), Mammoth (Hot Creek), and others. Deep Creek is located in Apple Valley, near the town of Victorville.

Harbin Hot Springs 18424 Harbin Springs Rd. 707-987-2477 / 800-622-2477 [2] in Middletown (California) has private hot springs, spa, and retreat center.

Wilbur Hot Springs 3375 Wilbur Springs Rd Williams, CA 95987 / (530) 473-2306 [3] in Williams, (California) is famous for it's healing waters, historic hotel, it's 100% solar powered energy, and world renowned nature preserve [4] A healing experience with waters unlike anywhere in the world.

Information about these can be found in the book, "Hot Springs and Hot Pools of the Southwest" [5].

Colorado

Although not as volcanically or seismically active as its neighbors, Colorado has a number of hot springs. Major commercial springs are at Glenwood Springs (an enormous outdoor pool/spa complex) and Steamboat Springs, while smaller commercial operations are at Alamosa and in the Salida vicinity. A wild spring familiar to thousands of "peak baggers" who climb the state's highest mountains is Conundrum Hot Spring, near Aspen and not far below the summit of 14,000-foot Castle Peak. The weekend crowds at Conundrum can be substantial considering the length of the hike required to reach it; if you're bound for Conundrum, go during the week (and be vigilant for signs of altitude sickness, as the spring itself is over 11,000' in altitude).

Montana

Montana has deep thermal underground rivers under a large percentage of its large expanse. The largest swimming pools are at Fairmont Hot Springs outside of Butte, Montana. Quinn's Hot Springs outside of Paradise, Montana, is unique in that the water flows from tub to tub and cool, so that each pool is a different temperature. Bozeman Hot Springs is very popular. Norris Hot Springs, west of Bozeman offers organic food and live acoustic music poolside. One hot spring outside of Lolo is without any facilities and people decide their own dress code. Old fashion Saco Hot Springs is popular with hunters. Hot Springs, Montana, has a couple different pools and claims that the water has healing properties. Old fashion Chico Hot Springs is near Yellowstone Park.

Nevada

Nevada has a surprising number of hot springs considering its arid climate and lack of obvious volcanic/seismic activity. In fact, the slumbering earth is an anomaly in the geological history of the state, and there's plenty of geothermal energy available to drive the springs. Commercial springs cluster mainly around the Carson City/Reno/Lake Tahoe area, some of them quite extensively (and expensively) developed. The state, much of which is federally owned, also has a number of "semi-wild" springs -- sites on federal land that are at the end of a dirt road, haven't been developed beyond maybe an impoundment and a bench or two, and are freely available, yet are not as difficult to reach as wild springs in other areas that require a significant hike to reach.

New Mexico

New Mexico is volcanic country, and both wild and commercial hot springs can be found in the state. The North Central region has commercial hot springs at Ojo Caliente, a small town in the Española area, and at Jemez Springs in the Jemez Mountains. The Jemez also have several undeveloped springs east of Jemez Springs along NM SR 4, and there are a few wild springs in the foothills of the mountains near Taos. The Southwest region of the state also includes both developed and wild springs. The town of Truth or Consequences was formerly named "Hot Springs" because of its several springs with resorts. "T or C," as it's known locally, has undergone rebirth following some years of atrophy, with about ten commercial establishments offering soaks and spa services. Undeveloped springs are found in the wild country near Silver City, and Faywood Hot Springs, between Silver City and Deming, has undergone a major transformation and is now a premier destination area. They feature private and public pools, clothing optional and clothing required, with camp sites, RV spaces and a few cabins. (Note that undeveloped springs in this region have been implicated in at least one fatal case of PAME; see "Stay healthy" below, and be careful.)

North Carolina

Hot Springs Resort and Spa [6]. Located in the mountains of North Carolina. Reserve the jacuzzi-style tub of your choice, each individually enclosed and private.

Oregon

Breitenbush 503-854-3320 [7] private hot springs and retreat center about two hours southwest of Portland (Oregon).

Cougar Hot Springs (undeveloped) is located an hour east of Eugene, Oregon, near Cougar Reservoir.

South Dakota

The Badlands and Black Hills region contains a few springs, including a developed one at the imaginatively-named town of Hot Springs.

Texas

Texas is not as active geologically as most of the American West, but Big Bend National Park includes the ruins of Hot Springs Village, with what one might describe as a "feral" spring -- one that was commercially developed at one time but has been abandoned and is returning to a natural state. Hikers can take advantage of an impoundment that survives from the time of the village; water temperature around 105 F.

Washington

Washington State has hot springs located on the northern portion of the Olympic Peninsula as well as across the Cascade Mountains. Check the book, "Hot Springs & Hot Pools of the Northwest" [8]

Wyoming
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park; a "look-but-don't-touch" hot spring
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park; a "look-but-don't-touch" hot spring

The presence of hot springs in Wyoming should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Yellowstone National Park and its amazing assortment of geothermal features, but the sites there are better suited to photography than to immersion. The springs within Yellowstone are generally off limits to bathing, and the prohibitions are vigorously enforced, at least in the main tourist areas. They are also dangerously -- lethally -- hot in many cases. People (and countless animals, including pets) have died from falling into some of the features at Upper Geyser Basin just minutes from Old Faithful and the visitor center. Yellowstone is not a place to tempt fate in a hot spring; don't enter the springs themselves, period. However, swimming is allowed (but not encouraged) at the Firehole Cascades swimming area, a section of the Firehole River that is warmed by hot springs.

Commercial springs exist at Cody, Thermopolis and a few other places. The Thermopolis spring is notable as one of the world's largest, and also because a 19th-century treaty(!) dictates that one fourth of the spring's output remain free and available for public use rather than being captured by for-profit enterprises; the park preserving it therefore offers the rare treat of a "developed" spring (multiple bathing areas, changing room, etc.) that doesn't cost anything to use it. Wild springs most suitable for bathing are reached by trails along the Rockefeller Parkway connecting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, among other locations.

Oceania

Australia

Northern Territory]

There are many hot springs not far south of Darwin, the most famous being Mataranka. You can swim where the hot water meets the cold Katherine River during the dry season.

Queensland

Innot Hot Springs on the Atherton Tablelands has hot water coming through the ground into a creek. The creek can flood in the wet season.

New South Wales

There are hot springs near the Yarrangobilly Caves near Tumut in the Snowy Mountains region. There is a swimming pool built there.

New Zealand

Most of the volcanic regions of New Zealand have hot springs, some are in their natural state, and many have been developed into quite elaborate systems of pools. There are entire swimming complexes built around the spring water.

Rotorua has a large complex, and some natural swimming spots if you know where to look.

South America

Brazil

Caldas Novas has the country's largest springs (so large it's called the Hot River in Portuguese) and many hotels.

Chile

  • Villarrica
  • Pucon: Huife, Quimey-Co, Los Pozones, Palguín, San Sebastián de Río Blanco
  • Curarrehue: Menetúe, San Luis
  • Panguipulli:Geométricas, Vergara, Rincon, Coñaripe, Pellaifa, Liquiñe
  • Curacautin

Peru

Aguas Calientes -- not merely the generic name for hot springs in Spanish, but the jumping-off point for travelers bound for Machu Picchu; it does offer hot springs.

How to get there, get access, and get wet

Synonyms

Step one in locating a hot spring is knowing exactly how to say -- or read -- "hot spring" in the language of the country you're visiting. Some translations into other languages:

  • French: Bain thermal or bain chaud
  • German: Heiße Quelle
  • Japanese: Onsen (温泉). Japanese has a number of linguistic nuances associated with hot springs; see the Bathe section of the Japan article for more.
  • Portuguese: águas termais
  • Slavic languages: frequently Banja (Бања)
  • Spanish: Aguas calientes or Ojo caliente or Aguas termales
  • Turkish: Kaplıca

(Please expand this list if you're fluent in a language not yet represented here.)

Access

Access to "commercial" hot springs is a simple matter: you do what the proprietor asks (likely involving the exchange of money, and possibly requiring reservations), then you use the spring. The situation is less clear-cut with "wild" springs. If a wild spring is located on private property, chances are good that the land owner will have the legal right to control access to the spring, including charging for entry if he/she wishes. If the land owner chooses to assert this right, honor it and do not trespass. Natural features the world over are being placed off limits as a result of trespassers abusing access that land owners had previously afforded visitors, with limitations. Please help fight this trend by respecting private property where applicable.

Springs on public land pose the most complex access issues. In the United States, a general but by no means universal rule of thumb (always inquire locally) is:

  • Hot springs in national parks and monuments are off limits, or at least carefully controlled, unless specifically indicated otherwise;
  • Hot springs in national forests, including wilderness areas (except those in a national park/monument), generally are available for free use unless indicated otherwise;
  • Hot springs on land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management are usually available for free use.
  • Springs on state (as opposed to federal) property follow the same general pattern, but are perhaps somewhat more likely to have controlled access of one form or another, as the state is likely to exert somewhat closer control on its parks and forests.

If you have experience that allows you to give comparable guidance on other countries, by all means add it here.

  • Most commercial springs will expect you to shower (usually with provided soap) before entering the water, theoretically to avoid contaminants that can clog filtration systems. If you're going to a wild spring, however, leave the soap at home. It isn't needed (since there's flowing, non-recycling water) and simply acts as a pollutant.
  • A pair of flip-flops ("beachwalkers," "thongs," etc.) is handy for both commercial springs (where they'll often, but not always, be provided) and in the wilds, owing to slick surfaces and uneven footing.
  • Some, but not all, commercial springs supply their own towels; if in doubt, have one available, and ask the proprietor if you'll need it. At wild springs, you're on your own, obviously. Note that if you use your own towel, whether at a commercial spring or a wild one, you'll be well advised to rinse it out soon after use, as the mineral content and, frequently, acidity of spring water can be damaging to the towel.
  • Be skittish about cameras, for several reasons. Spring water can be damaging to a camera, not just if a non-waterproof camera is immersed (surprise), but also if water is allowed to dry on the lens, as mineral deposits that are extremely difficult to remove may result. Local mores may be such that other occupants of the spring take offense at being photographed; the fact that you're in a "tourist" or "informal" environment provides no defense. At a clothing optional location, photographing anyone nude without their consent is almost always considered rude, and can be illegal in many jurisdictions; this is particularly true of children.

Clothing Optional Springs

At both commercial and wild springs, customs (and laws) vary substantially as to whether you're required to wear a bathing suit. Most commercial establishments will post their own rules, which may be "swimsuit required," "swimsuit prohibited," "clothing optional," or "required until sundown, then nudity OK" (this is commonly seen in commercial hot-spring operations in the United States). Normal practice at wild springs is much more a local, ad-hoc matter. As a general but by no means universal rule, in the United States, you should plan on wearing a swimsuit at springs in sight of a road unless the spring is specifically posted as accepting naturism; in the backcountry, you're on your own. It's wise to err on the side of conservatism, however, as some areas prohibit nude hot spring bathing and enforce the prohibition with fines. In most of Europe there are no laws regarding nude bathing, so it's up to you to decide. Local etiquette varies from spring to spring and country to country. If you know the standards and regulations in other countries, please expand this section.

Anyone offended by clothing optional use, most often including families and groups with children, should always scout locations ahead of time if the customs or practices at the spring aren't clear. Conversely, if you arrive at a spring and find a group with children, and everyone is wearing a bathing suit, you should either wait for them to leave or ask politely before disrobing.

If you do wear a swimsuit, it's a good idea to rinse it out shortly after use. The water in many hot springs is acidic to some extent and if allowed to dry in your suit it may damage the fabric.

  • Know the maximum temperature of the hot spring you're planning to enter. Most commercially-developed springs are diluted with cool water so that their temperatures are similar to those of residential "hot tubs," i.e., a maximum of about 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Centigrade). "Wild" springs, however, can have effluent temperatures far greater than this, indeed, far greater than what is safe. Temperatures as high as about 160 F (70 C) are common in hot springs, and some reach the boiling point; immersion in water this hot can prove fatal very quickly. A little dilution with surface water will go a long way, but be conservative unless you know the spring well.
  • Many wild springs are gathering places for wildlife. Know what kind of animals might frequent the area of the spring, and be prepared for a greater than average likelihood of wildlife encounters.
  • Thriller movies notwithstanding, very few of the world's hot springs are acidic enough to pose an immediate safety hazard, although many are acidic to some extent. The few exceptions tend to have very obvious connections to active volcanism, e.g. the crater lake at the active Poas volcano in Costa Rica (which in any event is not open to bathing).
  • Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM or PAME) is an extremely rare but life-threatening infection caused by protozoa that inhabit some hot springs. The disease is hard to catch; casual exposure via skin, etc., doesn't cause disease, and only the inhalation of contaminated waters can cause problems, as the pathogenic amebae migrate up the sinuses and surrounding tissue to the brain. If a brain infection does result, however, the consequences are extremely serious, with death nearly certain. Don't allow the spring water up your nose - avoiding being submerged or standing under a hot spring waterfall such that the water pressure goes up your nose. Avoid inhaling spray when possible. Also observe these precautions if there is any doubt as to whether waters in a commercial spa have been sterilized.

Simple English

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File:HotSpring
Hot spring in Lassen Volcanic National Park

A hot spring is a spring produced by the emergence of Geothermally heated groundwater from the Earth's crust. There are hot springs all over the crust of the earth.

Contents

Definitions

There is no universally accepted definition of a hot spring. For example, one can find the phrase hot spring defined as

  • any geothermal spring [1]
  • a spring with water temperatures above its surroundings [2][3]
  • a spring with water temperatures above Template:Convert/°C [4]
  • a natural spring with water temperature above body temperature – normally between Template:Convert/°C [5][6][7][8][9]
  • a natural spring of water greater than Template:Convert/°C (synonymous with thermal spring) [10][11][12][13]
  • a natural discharge of groundwater with elevated temperatures [14]

Sources of heat

The water issuing from a hot spring is heated by geothermal heat, i.e., heat from the Earth's mantle.

Relevant pages

References


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