Monday, 6 October 2008: 2:00 PM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 332AD
Electrical and ground magnetic surveys at Saratoga Springs in southern Death Valley, California and Tecopa hot springs in the vicinity of Death Valley reveal faults that may control the groundwater flow. Magnetic and conductivity data reveal intersecting east and north striking faults at Saratoga Springs. Similarly northwest and northeast trending intersecting faults in the Precambrian basement have been identified at Isolated Spring (Tecopa hot springs). High conductivity and low resistivity values along the inferred faults at Saratoga Springs indicate that these faults provide conduits for ground water flow. A high conductivity anomaly along the northwest trend at Tecopa hot springs suggests a near surface flow of water from the hot springs along the bedrock. This water is cooled by mixing with the shallow aquifer. A deep groundwater flow along faults allows water to be heated as it traverses high temperature rock and accounts for the water temperature of about 41oC at Tecopa hot springs at the bath and lower temperatures in springs nearby. The ground water path suggested in a model by Mifflin (1988) suggests Saratoga Springs water temperature should be above 41oC because the water travels further than the Tecopa waters from the Spring Mountains recharge region. However Saratoga Springs and Isolated Spring water temperatures are about 30oC and 36oC, respectively. It is likely that cold water from the Amargosa River percolates downward and flows along the east trending fault south of Saratoga hills. This cold water mixes with hot water rising at the fault intersection and this accounts for the lower water temperature at Saratoga as compared to Tecopa. A similar scenario occurs at the Isolated Springs near Tecopa hot springs.