U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY and the U.S. FOREST SERVICE—OUR VOLCANIC PUBLIC LANDS
Hot Creek flows through the Long Valley Caldera in a volcanically active region of east-central California. This stretch of the creek, looking upstream to the southwest, has long been a popular recreation area because of the warm waters from its thermal springs. These springs, however, are unpredictable and can suddenly erupt with violence and at boiling temperature. Because of this danger, the U.S. Forest Service has had to close parts of the Hot Creek Geologic Site to visitors. (USGS photo by Chris Farrar.)
The beautiful blue pools and impressive boiling fountains along Hot Creek in east-central California have provided enjoyment to generations of visitors, but they have also been the cause of injury or death to some who disregarded warnings and fences. The springs and geysers in the stream bed and along its banks change location, temperature, and flow rates frequently and unpredictably. The hot springs and geysers of Hot Creek are visible signs of dynamic geologic processes in this volcanic region, where underground heat drives thermal spring activity.
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