Hot Spring: The Sincere Devotion of Geothermal Energy
By Qiankui, Liu
In Sichuan, the most impressive memory about hot spring must be Chongqing Nanbei Hot Spring and its by-product Sulphur soap. At that time, many families would buy this cheap soap, it’s said that it can prevent and cure skin disorder which is also a truth. In addition, hot springs have many other beneficial functions to human body,
Hot spring is a kind of spring water, produced by geothermal energy. Due to different mineral compositions in water which is caused by property differences of rocks where the hot spring is located in, hot spring can be divided into many types. In terms of physical properties, mainly based on the cause of formation of the place where the hot spring is in, there are hot spring in igneous rock area, in metamorphic rock area and in sedimentary rock area. In everyday life, people usually distinguish hot springs using the concept such as Sulphur hot spring. This helps people have a general view on the mineral content of hot springs and can choose with purpose. The main chemical composition of the hot spring is chloride ion, carbonate ion and sulfate ion, which are the three negative anions. The proportion of the hot spring can be specifically divided into chlorinated springs, bicarbonate springs and sulfate spring. Then there are bicarbonate rocks spring, salt spring (mainly with sodium chloride ion), chlorinated soil salt spring, Glauber's salt spring (mainly with sodium sulfate ion) , gypsum spring(mainly with Calcium sulfate) , bitter taste spring(mainly with magnesium sulfate), iron spring(white sulfur spring), copper spring, iron springs(also known as bronze spring) and so on.
Strictly speaking, hot spring is the natural water emerging naturally from underground whose mouth temperature is remarkably higher than the average temperature of that year and lower than (or equal to) 45 degrees, and having beneficial trace element to human health. But from the perspective of fuzz ology, the water extracted underground and heated by a certain ratio is sometimes called hot spring in general.
The average temperature of hot spring is over 20 degrees. The spring with a temperature exceeding the average temperature of the year is called warm spring. The water of a spring mostly comes from rain or surface water. They seep into underground, absorb the heat of magma around and rise up to the surface. The spring with a temperature equal to or slightly over the boiling point of local water is called boiling spring. The hot spring that can constantly spout water in cycle is called geyser. The number of hot springs known in China is about 2400. The hot springs are mainly located in Taiwan, Guangdong Fujian, etc. Yunnan has more than 400 hot springs, ranking the top. Tengchong hot springs is the most famous one, with large quantity and high temperature, full of sulfur. In china, there is a saying about the distribution of famous gourmet soda hot springs that” Conghua in the south, Fuxin in the north.”
The world-famous geysers are mainly distributed in Iceland, Yellowstone National Park in America and Taobo of North Island, New Zealand.
The formation of hot spring is related to the geothermal energy in the mantle. Meanwhile the rock area has cracks beneath which there are a considerable amount of water storage and source. These hot water needs pressure from the rocks to spew to the surface, without which the water will stay still underground forever. Therefore, leading by the modern technology, exploration is an important means in developing hot springs.
Because of my work, I often walk in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau where abundant hot springs lie. The most famous one is Hailuogou hot spring. It has abundant water of high quality and is surrounded by beautiful scenery, so it’s a hot holiday resort. The hot springs all over this plateau provide convenient conditions for bathing, for example, Reshuirang hot spring in Kangding Pusharong County. As people enjoying the hot spring, they conclude that hot spring is really good for human health. For instance, it can eliminate muscle fatigue, improve blood circulation, dilate blood vessels and accelerate human metabolism. These benefits are recorded by traditional Chinese medicine classics. It should be noticed that not all hot springs are good for health and not all the springs could be eaten. In addition, patients of high blood pressure and heart attacks should have medicine before enjoying the hot spring, and each time should be within 20min in case of emergency. Though Sulphur spring and other acid-base substance have anti-inflammatory property and sterilization function, sometimes they will irritate the skin and deteriorate the damaged part, even cause “hot spring skin disease”. It’s not suitable to enjoy a hot spring after drinking, eating or on an empty stomach. You should follow the tips and suggestions given by the service unit when enjoying a hot spring.
Both traditional experience and modern technology could testify that most hot springs are beneficial to human body, and the hot springs developed today are tested before putting into use, so people could enjoy it without worries. People should constantly enjoy hot springs and choose the springs fit for themselves. Here is an excerpt from modern medicine working as a reference for hot spring lovers:
Essence/Spring quality ----------- Efficacy
Acidic carbonate spring ---------- the igneous rock forms the gray mud. Apply the spring mud over the face to whiten the skin.
Acidic sulfate cyanide spring -------- have the curative effect on skin diseases.
Acidic sulfur spring ------ skin diseases, rheumatism, gynecology diseases and beriberi.
Acidic sulfate rock spring ------- chronic skin diseases.
Alkaline bicarbonate spring ----- neuralgia, skin diseases, arthritis.
Weak acidic pure spring ----- rheumatism and skin diseases.
Weak alkaline carbonate spring ----- skin diseases, rheumatism and arthritis.
Weak alkaline carbonic acid spring ----- neuralgia, skin diseases and arthritis. Colorless, odorless and drinkable.
Weak alkaline sulfur spring ----- be beneficial to neuralgia, anemia and chronic poisoning.
Sulfate spring ----- volcanic geothermal spring with heavy smell of sulfur can cure skin diseases.
Sulfate cyanide spring ------ arthritis, brawn ache, neuralgia and gout.
Sulfur carbonic acid spring ----- chronic diseases such as neuralgia, skin diseases, arthritis.
Bicarbonate spring ----- neuralgia, skin diseases, arthritis, athlete’s foot.
Carbonic acid sulfur spring ----- neuralgia, anemia.
Low temperature neutral bicarbonate spring ------ chronic skin diseases.
Neutral carbonic acid spring ----- skin diseases, rheumatism, gynecology diseases and beriberi.
Cyanide spring ----- the spring is soft and slippery. The spring can cure skin diseases, rheumatism and neuralgia.
I wish this sincere devotion of geothermal energy could bring us more heath, happiness and fun!