Friday, June 29, 2007

Boiling Water at Hot Creek—The Dangerous and Dynamic Thermal Springs in California’s Long Valley Caldera

Hot Creek flows through the Long Valley Caldera in a volcanically active region of east-central California. This stretch of the creek, looking upstream to the southwest, has long been a popular recreation area because of the warm waters from its thermal springs. These springs, however, are unpredictable and can suddenly erupt with violence and at boiling temperature. Because of this danger, the U.S. Forest Service has had to close parts of the Hot Creek Geologic Site to visitors. (USGS photo by Chris Farrar.)

The multitude of the hot springs in the Mammoth area Long Valley Caldera of the east Sierra Nevadas south of Mono Lake have long fascinated me. The area has long been unstable, volcanic activity, earthquakes, resurgent dome rebuilding, massive CO2 poisoning of tree roots from volcanic gases, etc.

Now the USGS has released a series of reports on the geologic activity around Long Valley Caldera that make for some enlightening and educational reading for any hot spring afficianado.
Read about the spontaneous boiling water geysers unpredictably erupting from the waters of hot creek and why the Forest Service rightfully closed this once popular hot spring swimming and soaking spot.

Download this report as a four-page PDF document (fs2007-3045.pdf; 5 MB)

Press-quality illustrations, original artwork you may use (CMYK).

Also of interest

Living with a restless caldera - Long Valley, California (USGS Fact Sheet 108-96)
Invisible CO2 gas killing trees at Mammoth Mountain, California (USGS Fact Sheet 172-96)
Future eruptions in California’s Long Valley area-what's likely? (USGS Fact Sheet 073-97)

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