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2009
17
Feb

Idaho’s Hot Springs

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by Ian Kleinee

Hot springs can be considered as one of the greater pleasures in life. Dipping in warm, tepid water while observing the lilting steam wafting up, caressing your body. Probably drink tea and eat some local sweets while you’re at it.

Hot springs are technically underground springs that come into contact with geothermal hot rocks. The water is heated and bursts out steaming and rich with minerals, silicates and other geological components. This was where the rumors of therapy and medicinal value originated.

Therefore, hot spring are usually found around areas near volcanoes. When water is able to dig in until it reaches a geothermal gradient hot enough to cause it to rise back up; a hot spring results. The conduction of heat also causes surrounding water to be affected by the heat as well. There are differences however. When the water is heated too much that it becomes steam and shoots out of the ground, it is termed as a geyser. In a calm manner, it is termed as a fumarole and when when mixed with mud and clay; the resulting product is called a mud pot.

A warm spring is the mixture of hot and cold (unheated) springs and may occur outside the area of responsibility of a volcanic vein. Hot spring lakes may also occur if an underground lake has access to a vein. This lake can feed several springs in its area.

Lava Hot Springs is a city in Idaho that boasts a good spring flow rate, which is the amount of hot water spewed out of the underground fountain. The mineral rich water, full of calcium, lithium and several salts is a good tourist attraction and has a good audience with the people around the state.

Just be sure that you have no external wounds when bathing in one, to make sure that you don’t get any form of infection. Hot, mineral water is quite painful even to shallow cuts or abrasions.

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