Thanks for the research (amazing results)

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 13:09:17 11/27/16

In Reply to: where it comes from posted by Hoot


Mucho gracias for researching the recharge on those springs. Ever since I learned of the dye research in Mammoth that demonstrated that water on the terraces exits the travertine formation at Boiling River a few hours later, I have been fascinated with subsurface movement of water. Since then, I have attended several presentations by Dr. Bob Smith, the noted geophysicist, professor emeritus at the University of Utah, author, and avid fly fisherman, who talks about newer technology being able to detect subsurface movement of hydrothermal fluids. I have no idea if it is continuing, but I know that in the late 2000's, there was steady movement from beneath the Mallard Lake resurgent dome (near the UGB) north/northwest toward Purple Mountain and beyond. That happened to coincide with numerous minor earthquake swarms in the 1.5 - 3.5 on the Richter scale range. It's one of those "correlation does not imply causation" things, requiring more research to determine any causal relationships.

What you are talking about with Big Spring is a much larger system, both in terms of distance and timing of flow. At Mammoth, gravity likely is a major contributor to the speed of travel, given the dramatic difference in the elevation of the entry and exit points.

I remember reading lots of information about cave formations in Missouri in close proximity to the Mississippi River. As I remember it, there are massive limestone formations exposed by the erosive force of the river over time, and there are countless caves in that area. (I'm thinking one or more of those caves even figured in Mark Twain's writing about Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.)

If I ever reach a point where I have the resources, both time and finances, to spend an autumn pursuing fall color photo opps, I would definitely have to weave in some time in the Ozarks along with cruising the Appalachians. I've done much smaller versions in the Rockies, where the sizeable elevation gradient can produce a way long season of fall color photo opps. (My personal record is the Autumn of 1983, when I photographed falls colors in Rocky Mountain National Park on FIVE (5) consecutive weekends, starting with the highest elevation aspen groves in early September and ending in Horseshoe Park and Upper Beaver Meadows in early October.


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