A German scientist once described the bactericidal properties of hot springs:
“The curative properties of natural hotsprings are founded in its special physical characteristics, above all in the distribution of its minute particles. Individual clay particles are smaller than many bacteria. If infected mucous membranes are more or less flooded with clay, the bacteria are completely surrounded by clay particles and are thus separated from their source of nourishment and become imbedded in the inorganic material. Growth and the survivability of the bacteria are thus halted almost instantaneously, and from this explained strikingly speedy abatement of the symptoms of infection and/or symptoms of poisoning in acute infectious diseases of the alimentary canal. — Julius Stumpf, Bolus fur medizinische Anwenduno Darmstadt, 1916, p. 19.
In the United States, there are no real standards to classify the properties of hot springs. However, in Europe and Japan, there are general standards that are widely accepted by balneologists.
The Hot Springs Source
There are two primary classifications of hot springs:
- Filtration Hot Springs — A filtration hot spring is a geothermally heated mineral water that is initially fed by rain water that seeps into the Earth through faults and fractures. As it travels into the Earth, it becomes subject to increased energy from natural geothermal heat, and is exposed to gases and an often wide variety of minerals from rock and mineral deposits. The water adsorbs the minerals via leaching, is heated by the geothermal heat source, and then returns to the Earth’s surface.
- Primary Hot Springs — A primary hot spring is a geothermally heated mineral water, where direct volcanic activity plays a far greater role in the process of the hot springs formation. One of the fundamental physical distinctions between a filtration spring and a primary spring is the mineral and gas content of the water, such as radon and bromide. Primary hot springs are often “powered” by magma chambers which exist miles under the Earth’s surface, as well as in volcanically active regions.
What is the Classification of the Tecopa Hot Springs?
The Tecopa Hot Springs are primary hot springs. According to native traditions, the Tecopa hot springs would be considered a primary water source, embodied with the living power of Mother Earth. The water that surfaces is estimated to have been deep within the Earth for more than 1.5 million years ( according to our source at the Bureau of Land Management, Inyo County, California ).