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Canada Earth Science News

Canadian Island's Historic Hot Springs Dry Up After Earthquake 97

theshowmecanuck writes with this snippet from Canada's National Post: "Days after the remote B.C. archipelago of Haida Gwaii emerged virtually unscathed from Canada's second-strongest earthquake, locals discovered that the shifting earth had mysteriously switched off a centuries-old hot spring considered sacred by the Haida. ... A Parks Canada inspection party set out to investigate and stepped ashore to find that the island's three main hot spring pools, which once bubbled with water as warm as 77 Celsius, were bone dry. "Not even a small puddle," said Mr. Gladstone. Surrounding rocks, once warm to the touch, were cold." The earthquake measured 7.7 on the Richter scale."
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Canadian Island's Historic Hot Springs Dry Up After Earthquake

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  • by mfarah ( 231411 ) <miguel @ f a r a> on Saturday November 03, 2012 @10:05AM (#41864137) Homepage

    I live in Chile, one of the most earthquake-prone countries. Near my city there used to be a rather popular hot spring pools place *in the Andes Mountains* (not in a close-by valley), called "Baños Morales" ("Morales' [Thermal] Baths"). An earthquake in the '50s shifted plates and the hot springs completely dried up. The place still exists, but it's been abandoned.

  • Re:Global Warming (Score:1, Informative)

    by durrr ( 1316311 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @10:15AM (#41864189)

    Sure it's not GMO crops or teenage pregnancy?

  • Re:not surprising (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @06:21PM (#41868053)

    Hot springs are not a case of 'water flowing uphill'. Water under high pressure is heated due to a raised geothermal gradient (maybe due to magmatic intrustion or other volcanic processes). This heat increases the pressure further until the rock above fractures and cracks propagate upward to the surface. Then you're in business for a hot spring that can be continuously fed by the way the water table is setup, especially if there is an aquifer nearby. Earthquakes cause shifts in the water table and probably drained the water source for the hot spring.

    Cold springs aren't any more permanent, just governed by a different set of circumstances. In Iowa, an earthquake probably won't cause the eventual death of the cold springs. More likely, a massive flooding event will load the water table differently and the spring distribution will change.

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