Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hot Springs, as related to Coriolis-induced Rock Shear

Below is the outlet for Pah Tempe hot spring, located along-side the Virgin River. This spring has been used for commercial purposes, and it was temporarily cooled by a diversion dam built upstream on the Virgin. Water travelled subsurface through fractures, when the head of water behind the dam created a channel for underground movement. The spring cooled noticeably, but recovered after a fill was made at the diversion dam, and after a year had elapsed (for the spring to re-heat).

Hot Springs and Coriolis Force-induced Rock Shear
An important consideration for the occurrence of hot springs is that of location on or near a river valley. Geologists would not consider this to be due to anything except that springs are a source of water flow- yielding a waterway from erosion of surroundings to create a stream and valley. However, the hot springs I have observed are on a through-going stream, and they have not created the valley- only having enlarged and augmented it, This would include the famous springs such as Hot Springs, AR, Pagosa Springs, CO, Sol Duc in WA, and Harrison Springs in BC, Canada.
I have documented several hot springs in previous Blogs (such as Tofino, BC, and Kizildere.Turkey, both of which I have analyzed in the field), and I will review them and others, to show that there is a strong correlation between their location and a circular river valley system (obviously for more than one river- usually two or three). This would infer that the location of a hot spring is determined by the shear of two or more Coriolis cells at their common boundary. Should a cell featuring a rising entity (such as an uplifting mountain) lie adjacent to another cell rotating in the same direction, there would be shear between their wall rocks. This is similar to grinding of your gears in the transmission, creating shear and HEAT! The hot spring usually is located in a river valley- the valley having been created by the unusual erosion occurring where boundary faulting or fracturing transpires. Two adjacent cells rotating in opposite directions would not produce shear sufficient to create HEAT (the gears would mesh, rather than grind).
A Coriolis cell has some regular features:
1. There is a rotation of the cell and resulting shear (fracturing or lateral faulting) to produce preferred river paths- either CCW for rising Crust (volcanoes, salt domes, or uplifts), and CW rotation for sinking Crust, as in basins, sinks, depressions, and salt seas;
2. There is a linear centerline, which may accompany or create the rotation- such as a normal fault with a scarp- or which may precede the rotation, such as with the Mogollon Rim, AZ;
3. The cell can be seen to drag the boundary rock, to indicate the direction of rotation in some cases. The outside boundary will be dragged and distorted by the oppositely-moving inner boundary to create a noticeable change in the river orientation; and,
4. The cell will be roughly circular, with a stationary inner Crustal rock and a graduation of the velocity of movement as the outer circumference is approached (fastest movement occurs at the outer boundary- where slickensides may be found). A few cases exhibit elliptical shape and I am still working on this to determine whether this additional information is of value.
Below is shown Sol Duc WA and surroundings, which is at the boundary of a Coriolis cell, which has Crescent Lake on the centerline (indicating a fault or other linear feature).

Sol Duc hot spring might be thought to be related to the Olympic Mountains. It is, but only indirectly- connected with the faulting and rotation of the Crescent Lake region. The spring lies on the west extremity, and you can see the disruption left by the movement which creates the heat (from shear of border rocks).
Another Geothermal case and Hot Spring is that of Denizli, Turkey (where I developed a cuttings log for the UN project) and Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) spring nearby. Although the spring has a travertine outcrop, the Geothermal deposit contains metamorphic rocks at the surface. In those days, the temperature in geo-wells was excessive for normal logging tools and electronics, and I made a log from drill cuttings- which were ground to silt size and mixed with equal weight of distilled water to make a slurry (see previous Blogs to view a Geothermal Log made for this case). This slurry could be measured for many geochemical parameters, such as K ion, resistivity, filtration rate, Sodium ion, and other parameters known to Log Analysts.
Above photo of the Hurricane town and fault has a hot spring at the Hiway 9 bridge between Hurricane and Laverkin towns, which has an interesting man-influenced history. This was the discovery cell which is now rotating CW as it cools. Nevertheless, even with cooling and shrinking of the magma chamber, there is still sufficient rotation to create a hot (110F) spring right alongside the Virgin River. More on this later, but for now the photo below shows the location and relation to the river:
Below photo shows Roosevelt Hot Springs, UT, where electricity is produced from hot water at depth, from wells. This is a special category- Geoothermal, with exceptional drag from interfering Coriolis cells- and I will have a separate analysis of this entity.

The photo of Ojo Caliente NM hot spring lies along a wash (intermittant, since this is in the desert), and the orientation of washes and valleys are obvious. Analyze this on your own!

The Crescent Lake, WA cell has Sol Duc hot spring on its west extremity. The centerline lies along E-W axis, as shown by the orientation of the lake and the valley to the east. I have re-presented this photo for readers to print and make their own observations.
As to the contrast in composition of water between Gt and Hot Springs, Silica requires high temperature for solution, and there is a consideration of pH or acidity for change of solubility, with the occurrence of Gt. Conversely, carbonates are easily dissolved from shallow limestones and dropped from solution by change of pressure or acidity. The rule is backwards compared to most solutes, CaCO3 going into solution with increase of pressure and drop of temperature. There are cold travertine springs, such as the one at Montezuma Well, AZ, but the deposition of travertine is faster when both T and p are changed.
Hot springs, with T< boiling, probably derive from depths < 5 km, whereas Gt areas are found where both shear and depth are considerable greater. We will first locate the few continental Gt areas, which are rare on a global scale (except for areas involving subduction and ocean-bottom shear- such as the Tonga Trench). The ones I have personally analyzed and visited include the Hot Dry rock project in Fenton Hill, NM, Kizildere, Turkey, and Salton Sea, CA. These are shown in photos below, a repeat of previous blog entries:

The ultimate hot fluid transfer is shown on the island of Maui, where two major volcanic emissions have occurred. Both of these are now cooling, the vulcanism moving on to the big island of Hawaii. After a million years or so, after the major building phase with basalt emission, there occurs on all of the studied islands rejuvenation cones- a classification made by the Geology Culture.
Looking more closely, we see that there has more recently occured a rejuvenation cone named Waikapu, on Maui. This small cone lies next to the drainage (river trace) between the two major emissions- just the position which would be created by the rotation conflict (SHEAR and HEAT) between the two major volcanoes.
This explanation for rejuvenation cones fits well with the paradigm of world-wide Coriolis Forces influencing the topography and geology of protruding land masses. This shows the impetus for presently-occurring structural changes on the EARTH's surface. We won't have to rely upon pHantasies such as Mantle Plumes, stationary "Hotspots" under continents (Yellowstone conjectures) and imaginary vertical cells of circulation beneath Geothermal regions (in the Mantle) for "hand-waving" explanations, for everything that is not understood.