Water

All About Hot Springs

Hot springs

are produced when they emerge from the earth’s crust. They come out in the form of geothermally warmed groundwater. These hot springs are present in every continent on earth. Even under the seas and oceans you can find these hot springs. On commonly related term is warm spring which is used synonymously with hot springs. But according to many sources, warm spring water has a lower water temperature when compared with a hot spring. Read on learn more about hot springs.

Definitions of Hot Springs

A concrete and universally accepted definition of hot spring is yet not coined. They are defined in various phrases like

  • Spring with high water temperature when compared with its surroundings
  • Natural spring water with a high temperature compared to body temperature. It usually lies between 36.5-37.5° C
  • Natural emergence of of groundwater with high temperature
  • Natural spring with water having higher temperature than 21.1 degrees centigrade. This is also known as thermal spring

Sources of Heat

The hot spring water is warmed by

geothermal heat

. This is the heat which is naturally found in the earth’s interior region. Generally, there is a gradual rise in the temperature of the rocks as the depth within the earth increases. This gradual increase in the temperature with increasing depth is described as

geothermal gradient

.

When water soaks deeply into the earth’s crust, it becomes warmer as it comes in touch with these hot rocks. In the same way, water from hot springs found in non-volcanic regions are warmed. But the water from hot springs found in volcanic regions are usually near the boiling point temperature.

Therapeutic Uses of Hot Springs

Hot springs have a high mineral content as warm water can contain and hold more amount of

dissolved salts

. They contain minerals like lithium, calcium and radium too. They have many proclaimed medicinal values. Hence, they are becoming hot spots for tourists. Even they are being recognised for rehabilitation centers for people with disabilities.

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