Boiling Spring Landscape
Reference work entry
This is a landscape composed of hot springs with water temperatures that reach the local boiling point at the spring outlet. The saturation temperature of boiling springs is a function of the elevation of the spring mouth. The boiling point is lower at higher elevations, but the rate of decrease is not constant. At elevations below 5000 m, the boiling point decreases by 1 °C for every 303 m increase in elevation. The saturation temperature of boiling springs at the seafloor increases rapidly with depth. The dissolved gas in the water can cause the boiling point to decrease slightly, but dissolved minerals cause the boiling point to rise. Boiling springs are examples of two-phase high-temperature hydrothermal activity on the Earth’s surface. They usually only occur in geothermal regions at the edges of tectonic plates (Fig. 22).
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