Abstract - Thermal Springs of the Southern Black Hills

Alexander, E. Calvin, Jr., Davis, Marsha A., Alexander, Scott C. and Lively, Richard S. 1988. Thermal Springs of the Southern Black Hills. Guidebook of the Forty-fifth Annual Convention, National Speleological Sociey. National Speleological Society, Huntsville, AL. pp. 14-26.


This article provides an introduction to some of the geographic, thermal, and chemical complexities of the waters in which many visitors to the Black Hills swim. Interjected with intelligent humor, this overview answers the most common and uncommon questions about the springs: 1) why is the water warm, 2) how long has it been underground, 3) where did it sink into the ground, and 4) what is the chemical composition? By providing a section on chemistry and heat, the authors give a fairly descriptive view of the thermal intricacy of the waters that are often taken for granted. Also included is a generalized geological map of the Black Hills showing the location of the thermal springs in relation to Wind and Jewel Caves and a table listing the temperature and location of each of the thermal waters.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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