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Springs and Geysers

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Springs and Geysers

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Springs

              
Source: Carolyn Conner https://www.flickr.com/photos/carolynconner/4264882098
License: CC BY-NC 3.0
   
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

When the top of an aquifer is high enough to meet the surface of a ground, water flows out and creates a spring. Different kinds of springs include:

  • artesian springs
  • mineral springs
  • hot springs

If an aquifer is confined, or trapped between two impermeable rock layers, artesian springs can form with water flowing naturally to the surface. How does pressure play a part in creating an artesian spring? How are artesian wells formed?.

Sometimes, groundwater dissolves minerals out of the rock and into the springwater. Some springwater can also be hot because hot magma within the ground heats the water, and many hot springs are also mineral springs. 

Why are hot springs usually mineral springs? (Hint: think about how temperature relates to the ability of minerals to dissolve)

Geysers

Source: Carolyn Conner https://www.flickr.com/photos/carolynconner/4264882098
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Old Faithful is a geyser in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park [Figure3]


geyser is heated groundwater that erupts from the ground under pressure after being trapped in spaces within rocks.

Remember: the main difference between hot springs and geysers is that the hot groundwater in a geyser is initially stuck underground and ultimately erupts, shooting up water!

To check your answers and find more information on springs and geysers, click here.

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Source: Carolyn Conner https://www.flickr.com/photos/carolynconner/4264882098; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  3. [3]^ Source: Carolyn Conner https://www.flickr.com/photos/carolynconner/4264882098; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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