Hot springs in Idaho/Wyoming heating up

Man suffers third-degree burns on over 50 percent of his body after going into a hot springs near Salmon, Idaho. Two dogs killed.

The freak accident occurred last week in the Panther Creek Hot Springs, a popular spot in the Salmon-Challis National Forest about 50 miles northwest of the town of Salmon in east-central Idaho.

Forest managers were unaware of a similar incident ever occurring in the 107-year history of the  4.3 million acre (1.7 million hectare) Salmon-Challis, which contains numerous hot springs.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest has issued a warning urging people to use caution when approaching the geothermally heated springs because the water could be near – or even above – boiling.

Thanks to Alexander Smith and Angela Rambolosik for these links

“It looks as if there might be underground volcanic activity,” says Alexander.

24 thoughts on “Hot springs in Idaho/Wyoming heating up”

  1. I often wondered if all the seismic signals at seismic station ymr were strictly traffic , rock fractures or weather. Some look suspiciously like long period events that might indicate pressurization of Yellowstone. It is the sound of a surge of a fluid through a passage way. It is a steady build up and then a long fall off in the signal. If magma is rising that might account for some anomalies like rising hot spring temperatures and some odd looking seismic signals on a very sensitive seismo meter set at 125 micro volts.

  2. This appears to be a few hundred miles from Yellowstone, so maybe the water is somehow being heated by the same magma chamber. All the more to be a little worried about what might be happening underground, though there’s nothing we can do about it short of “wait and see.”

    • As the North American Plate has moved WSW over the hotspot that is now Yellowstone it has left a deep trail of connected magma chambers under the landscape. The older ones to the West are cooled and extinct, while the recent ones closer to Yellowstone are more than likely still quite hot. The Heise Volcanic Field deep magma chambers are probably responsible for this particular Hot Spring. See this map:

    • Yes we can. Drain the Yellowstone water systeem. If Yellowstone blows water(vapor) will make it MUCH more explosive.

      • I’m not so sure that if you somehow pumped out the hydrothermal water, that it would do anything beneficial. I think all those hot springs, mudpots, and geysers have the effect of keeping the hotspot stable, and from erupting in a more severe way. After all, the hydrothermal features serve to carry heat away from the magma chamber below.

        • Then on the other hand, if that whole area received some unlikely torrential rain, or even a steady widespread soaking of the ground, filling all pores and completely recharging the water table, that might act as a lid on a pressure cooker… and boom! Maybe that’s how it went off the last time? One thing is for sure, we don’t really know what triggers the large Yellowstone hotspot eruptions.

  3. I’m telling you this bloody planet man, heat is everywhere.Core at 6000 degree and magma is oozing all over this planet.Where is the big ice age?That would be cool change.I’m @ 40th parallel Big Apple to be exact.We should not be dealing with bloody 90F from April to September.So damn sick of global warming ,anthropogenic or otherwise.We want iceagenow.

  4. Hot Springs can and often do vacillate their temperatures.

    It is not uncommon for springs to become very hot.

    If there are odors of sulfur and or if plants, tree’s or animals are dead in the area there is serious reason for consideration. Volcanic gases can be deadly. These can be but don’t have to be indicators of an eminent eruption.

    I saw no indications of earth quakes in the articles. Ground tremors make a big difference. OBVIOUSLY

  5. Film becomes real life. Just such a thing happened in the film ‘Volcano’ or was it ‘Dante’s Peak’, it was on TV at the time and not something requiring a 100% concentration.
    Scary situation, who would think of testing the water if for many years, possibly hundreds, it had always been warm and just the right temperature to dive in.
    Anyone checking other hot springs across the globe, may not be merely a local situation?

  6. “The incident has prompted the Salmon-Challis National Forest to issue a warning that the hot springs are experiencing a dangerous temperature increase this summer.” Something is ramping up. Hot Blob anyone? I wonder if similar temperature increases have been measured at Yellowstone? Or do they even publish that kind of info?

    • Do we know if those hot springs are actually heating up? I understand that that particular hot spring, Panther or Big Spring runs at 180F, perhaps that is normal?, and the area has had some stream blowouts that changed some of the natural flowage. There used to be a pool for soaking that was controlled by having cool water also diverted into it. But after some more catastrophic runoff related to forest fires the local topography was altered. Nevertheless, even 140F water will cause Third degree burns within 5 seconds. 120F in 5 mins. 100F safe.

    • Some temperature monitoring of the Yellowstone geyser basin is being done, but published graphs are not of a sufficient time frame to discern any trends upward or downward. My guess is that the the Geothermal field remains at a fairly constant temperature over the long haul, with minor fluctuations caused by rainfall, seasonal variation, and variations in water level. One metric I wanted to check out was ‘Soil Temperature Near Vixen Geyser’, a link at the bottom of page. I thought if the probe there was deep enough, then perhaps it would not be as affected by diurnal or seasonal variations, but the daily, weekly, monthly temperature graphs return the message ‘Data Currently Unavailable.’ :p

  7. The first concrete proof of global warming! Now we know where all the heat has gone during “the pause”. Its revving up volcanos! This discovery vindicates Al Gore!

  8. I recall hearing a tale about Yellowstone, before it became a National Park. All sorts of fellows were roaming that landscape looking for gold and silver (thank heavens they didn’t find any) and they tended to get very dirty and stink, so they would take baths in the warm springs at one particular spot, so of course a saloon sprang up, and then a gentleman from China set up a laundry over a spring that was too hot to bathe in, and constructed a canvas roof to protect himself from the weather. But then it turned out there was a reason for that water being so hot. Once in a while that hot spring was a geyser.

  9. I feel so sad for that poor man, most likely it had been a regular dip spot for his dogs and he on walks, while we might think to test it first his dogs wouldnt
    and I admit I too would be suffering burns if any of mine had gone into it:-(

  10. Boy are we in trouble! Looks like Yellowstone and other volcanoes underground getting more active!!

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