10 Spring Types Are Found in Grand Canyon

10 of the 12 types of classified springs found in the world - are found within Grand Canyon National Park. Imagine how vast and complicated the geology of Grand Canyon is - to have this many spring types.

Illustrations and information on this page courtesy of the Museum of Northern Arizona Springs Stewardship Institute. For more detailed information about spring types visit their website: http://www.springstewardship.org/

Watch Hidden Waters, the new video podcast about Grand Canyon's Seeps and Springs.

 
Spring Type Emergence Setting
and Hydrogeology
Grand Canyon Example

Springer and Stevens (2008)

Cave
Emergence in a cave in mature to extreme karst with sufficiently large conduits


Roaring Springs



Springer and Stevens (2008)
Fountain
Artesian fountain with pressurized CO2 in a confined aquifer


Vulcan’s Bidet





Springer and Stevens (2008)
Gushet

Discrete source flow gushes from a cliff wall of a perched, unconfined aquifer


Vasey's Paradise




Springer and Stevens (2008)
Hanging Garden
Dripping flow emerges usually horizontally along a geologic contact along a cliff wall of a perched, unconfined aquifer


Showerbath Spring




Springer and Stevens (2008)
Helocrene
Emerges from low gradient wetlands; often indistinct or multiple sources seeping from shallow, unconfined aquifers


Fence Garden Spring




Springer and Stevens (2008)
Hillslope
Emerges from confined or unconfined aquifers on a hillslope (30-60 degree slope); often indistinct or multiple sources


Robbers Roost




Springer and Stevens (2008)
Hypocrene
A buried spring where flow does not reach the surface, typically due to very low discharge and high evaporation or transpiration


70 Mile Mound Spring



Springer and Stevens (2008)
Limnocrene
Emergence of confined or unconfined aquifers in pool(s)


Kanabownits Spring



Springer and Stevens (2008)
(Carbonate) mound-form
Emerges from a mineralized mound, frequently at magmatic or fault systems


Pumpkin Spring



Springer and Stevens (2008)
Rheocrene
Flowing spring, emerges into one or more stream channels


Hermit Creek


Spring Types Not Found Within Grand Canyon National Park



Springer and Stevens (2008)
Exposure
Cave, rock shelter fractures, or sinkholes where unconfined aquifer is exposed near the land surface

Example: Devil's Hole in Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada



Springer and Stevens (2008)
Geyser
Explosive flow of hot water from confined aquifer

Example: Riverside Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming


 

Illustrations and information on this page courtesy of the Museum of Northern Arizona Springs Stewardship Institute. For more detailed information about spring types visit their website: http://www.springstewardship.org/

When most people think of water at Grand Canyon, they immediately picture the raging Colorado River. The water in that river travels through Grand Canyon like a boater, passing by on a journey elsewhere. Not native to Grand Canyon, the water in the Colorado River travels from distant mountain streams on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

Seeps and springs - the true local water of Grand Canyon - offer significant resources to visitors and wildlife alike. The water from Roaring Springs, for example, provides the park with its entire domestic water supply. And at even the smallest seeps, abundant plant and animal life grows and flourishes. In fact, the ecosystems of seeps and springs represent some of the most complicated, diverse, productive, provocative, and threatened ecosystems on earth.

 

Learn More

Watch "Hidden Waters" Episode 2 of the Grand Canyon in Depth Video Series.

Visit A Study of Grand Canyon Springs.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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