GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 236-9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


SOKOLOSKY, Kelly, Boone Pickens School of Geology, Oklahoma State University, P.O. Box 193, Fort Cobb, OK 73038; Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas, 758 W. Wynstone Dr. Apt. 106, Fayetteville, AR 72701,

The thermal waters of Hot Springs National Park are an invaluable resource for the park and the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. The allure of the hot springs is dependent on the protection and maintenance of their quality and quantity. To preserve this unique natural resource it is necessary to continuously monitor spring characteristics, most importantly temperature. The thermal waters consist of a primary, older hot-water component and a secondary, younger cold-water component. Contamination is a concern for the thermal springs due to the urban setting of the park and the cold-water contribution to discharge. We conducted weekly water quality testing on 35 hot springs, and monthly testing on three creeks in the park. The 2016 running average temperature of the measured hot springs is 55.3⁰C (131.6⁰F), specific conductivity is 288.06 µS/cm, pH is 7.37, and alkalinity is 131.7 mg/L as CaCO3. Due to our sampling process, the temperature we measure weekly is lower than the true spring temperature. Thermistors are installed for week-long periods in order to determine the difference between the measured spring temperature and the true spring temperature. Current data was compared to data collected by previous Geoscientists-in-the-Park as well as historical data in order to discern trends and changes in the thermal waters.