A Hot Spring, also known as a geothermal spring is a naturally occurring spring of water that emerges due to heated groundwater. The heat produced is either through the magma within the Earth’s crust or through the movement of fault in the crust.
In this article, we shall discuss what is hot springs along with key facts about these hydrothermal or geothermal spring, from the IAS Exam and other competitive exam perspectives.
Given below are other important related links in line with the UPSC Syllabus for the reference of candidates:
Key Facts on Hot Spring
- A Hot Spring is a naturally occurring spring of water that is hotter than 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 degrees Celsius) when it flows from the ground
- The temperature of this water remains high even during the winter season when the land is covered with ice and snow
- Hot Spring can be used by human beings for various purposes, based on their temperature
- There are minerals present in the water released by Hot Spring
- Hot springs often host communities of microorganisms adapted to life in hot, mineral-laden water. These include extremophile that thrives at high temperature
- What is Geyser – Hot Spring?
- A jet of steam and hot water that immediately spouts out of the ground is known as Geyser. It results from the heating of groundwater by shallow bodies of magma.
- As water is ejected from geysers and is cooled, dissolved silica is precipitated in mounds on the surface. This material is known as sinter.
- What are Mud Pots – Hot Spring?
- When the water in a hot spring mixes with dirt or clay before it reaches the surface, the spring is called a mud pot
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How is Hot Spring Formed?
When the rainwater or the groundwater heats upon coming in contact with the rocks that have been heated by magma, deep beneath the Earth’s surface, Hot Spring is formed. This form of geothermal spring generally occurs in areas near volcanic activities.
Formation of hor spring is also possible in areas with no volcanic activities. This happens when rainwater flows into the ground and is heated by the radioactive decay of elements present in the rocks and soils that it flows through.
To learn more about Volcanoes, their formation and their different types, visit the linked article.
How Hot Spring is useful for Human Beings?
- Hot Springs are tourist attractions in countries where they are present
- Due to the presence of dissolved minerals in the water formed through Hot Spring, it also holds therapeutic uses. It also has medical attributes
- Many Hot Springs have been converted into rehabilitation centres for disabled persons
- Also, beneficial for animals during the extremely cold season. As animals find heat near these sprouts.
How is Geothermal Spring dangerous?
However, not all Hot Springs can be used for human purposes due to their high temperature which is not suitable for living beings. Also, the naturally occurring chemical in springs close ti volcanic activities can cause severe burns on the skin.
Hot Spring In India
India comprises numerous natural hot water springs which have naturally emerged from the geothermal forces beneath the Earth’s surface. With dissolved chemicals and medicinal properties, Hot Springs are present in various parts of the country. Given below are a few of the springs in India:
There are various other Hot Springs present in the country with medicinal, spiritual or other historical attributes.
Latest Updates on Hot Spring
- In August 2020, the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India investigated and characterised the gas emissions from the Himalayan water springs.
- The Himalayan geothermal springs which cover about 10,000 square km in the Garhwal region of Himalaya show a significant discharge of carbon dioxide-rich water.
- The Himalayas alone, host about 600 geothermal springs having varied temperature and chemical conditions and their role in regional and global climate, as well as the process of tectonic driven gas emission, needs to be considered while estimating emissions to the carbon cycle and thereby to global warming
- The study published by the Institute also suggests that CO2 in these thermal springs are sourced from metamorphic de-carbonation of carbonate rocks present deep in the Himalayan core along with magmatism and oxidation of graphite
Aspirants can also read in detail about Climate Change in India and get UPSC notes regarding the same, at the linked article.
Furthermore, all government exam aspirants can visit BYJU’S and get the latest study material, exam updates and preparation tips.