2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM


LAMOREAUX Sr, Philip E., Environmental Geology Journal, P.E. LaMoreaux & Associates, Inc, P.O. Box 2310, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403, pel@dbtech.net

Few citizens of the world would have trouble understanding the terms springs, ground water, geology, or hydrology. Newer water terms, and nearly as familiar, include bottled water, spring water, sparkling water or mineral water, all of which now come in vessels of different shapes, sizes, colors and labels. It is interesting at this point to note that a glass of cold, refreshing tap water will cost from 1 to 3 cents, whereas the same glass of sparkling, cold bottled water will cost 30 or more times that price, even more than gasoline.

Historically, the use of spring waters dates back to the earliest civilizations. The principal source of water in the ancient Biblical city of Palmyra in Syria was a spring called Efca. That water is warm (33 degrees C), sulphurous and radioactive. It was believed by some to have curative powers. Similar karst-caves or systems provide water at Shobek, Kirhareshet, Lachish, Jerusalem, Hazor, and Gezer, all famous Biblical sites.

In Europe, one of the most famous springs is Bath in England. It is the site of one of the earliest spa developments. During Roman times, soldiers enthusiastically visited the hot springs for rest and relaxation. Hot springs were famous throughout the Roman Empire, and many remain today in use as health resorts.

In China, a book, "Annotation on Water Scripture," by Li Daoyuan, published during the second century A.D., describes hot springs, and the Lisban Spring, in China, is recorded in 1134 B.C. as having been used for medical purposes for many monarchies.

Dorothy Crouch, in her book, "Water Management in Ancient Greek Cities," (1993), presents one of the most comprehensive interrelationships between water supplies, and development of civilization in karst. The book illustrates that many of our basic concepts of karst were developed by the philosophers of ancient Greece. Springs from limestone, dolomite and marble in Europe and the Middle East have in the past been sites of earliest settlements and religious shrines. They have been sources of water supply, as well as mysterious natural phenomena subject to man's great curiosity and wonder.

Over time, beginning in the 17th Century, much effort has been devoted to the classification of springs. Classification has become much more complicated, and in addition to geologic, topographic size and durability systems of chemical character are now used to describe springs character.