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Old 11-18-2004   #1
Snowmass ski patrol
Join Date: Oct 2003
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glenwood white water park???

i heard on the radio this morning that the town of glenwood was going to proceed with the plans for the play park despite the opposition from the hot springs pool. just wondering if any one out there might have some details, like when the actual construction might begin.

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Old 11-18-2004   #2
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I am not sure on that however, there was a meeting last night with city council members and the pool represenitives. And tonight I will find out more as here is a WWP task force meeting to discuss what is going on. If that is true, that would be awesome, however, I uunderstand the pools concerns as the aquifer might be under there, but at the same time I feel there should be some fact behind there sayings!

I will post what I know asap

Ben Guska

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Old 11-18-2004   #3
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hey Ben, if the task force could use some help in any way from the up valley population just let me know.
thanks man....
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Old 11-18-2004   #4
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Salida, Colorado
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Heres an article from today.
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 11-20-2004   #5
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So, the city is going forward with the wwp, but seem to be that the pool will file a law suit against the city if they do any construction, or TESTS!

This to me is fishy, I would hate, and would totally not support any construction that would effect the pools water supply. However, all there accuzations of busting a aquifer are still not quite backed with proof, they even quoted in the paper a few weeks ago, that they (the Pool) don't know exactly where the aquifer is. As for me, I would feel that the next step is to find the truth, and the bottom line is, if there is an aquifer 10ft under the river bed, then no construction should happen, and we will just have to find a new location. But the pool seems to be against any engineering, and or tests that could possible meet a mutual agreement. I feel that we need to find out where the aquifer is. In my opinion, the city must know something we don't, because they are siding on our side to move forward with it, as apposed to the main income in tourism dollars which is a TON of money that the pool brings in to the community. So if anyone has education, or knows of ways to figure out where the aquifer is, or any usable input, being against the park construction, or for it, please email me @ Again, I would love to see a park in GWS, however, I would hate to see the pool lose all there water.

My Two Cents
Ben Guska
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Old 11-20-2004   #6
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Snowmass, Colorado
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Ben, has the pool given any justification for not even wanting any studies done to determine the true state and location of the aquifer? It seems rather rediculous and childish not to allow any studies, unless they are trying to hide something (doubtfull). I know there are several different ways to look at the composition of the Earth below us, and not all of them require digging or drilling. But, alas, I'm no geologist, so I can offer no specifics. I can, however, suggest you contact the geology department here at the Colorado School of Mines. If you're lucky, you might be able to round up some students to do a case/field study. Just be sure they know not to do any digging! You can find their homepage HERE. Good luck.
"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
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Old 11-21-2004   #7
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No the pool hasnt really given any reason to do studies....thats whats soo weird, I mean, the seem to support the idea, but to not even give a chance to see what is under the river is weird. Beyond that, wouldnt you want to know where your water investment is? I mean, there are two bridges, one being the main one that has to have its concrete stands go at least 10ft under the river. But again, there isnt any justification, they are just playing the roll of, dont know, dont care, its not happening.....They said that they would throw some money down if we moved it, but the proposed site it soo good to host it.....So who knows!

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Old 11-22-2004   #8
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how the springs work--

From USGS WRI report 1987 there is some accessible information. Probably some more recent studies as well. Also some geothermal studies by private contactors:

Conceptual model for hot springs discharge goes as follows:

Groundwater originates from high topography to south (Lookout Mt and Grand Hogback) with melt and storm infiltration into thick sequence made up of upper lavas, Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. Water percolates down to Leadville Limestone and Dyer Dolomite, below the lavas and sediments, through fractures, faults in overlying aquifers and confining layers. As water descends thru Eagle evaporites (above leadville limestone and Dyer dolomite) it dissolves bedded halite and gypsum and water becomes very saline. After reaching the leadville limestone and Dyer below the water is heated due to the geothermal gradient of about 1.8 degrees F/100' as the water travels to depths of about 5200' below the tops of these high areas. After reaching the Leadville and Dyer limestone and dolomite "aquifers" the hot and saline water flows thru pores, bedding planes, joints, faults and solutions channels (i.e. caves) toward discharge at Glenwood Springs (the real springs and other springs in the vicinity). At Glenwood Springs, this water may mix with cooler and fresher groundwater from the White River Plateau. The hot water (still hot after some mixing) seeps into the overlying alluvium (i.e. the stuff that the stream moves around all the time) and also discharges along faults (many spring and seeps aligned along these faults). The springs discharge on the NE and NW edges of the city. I have no idea what this shallow capped aquifer is. Certainly studies have shown that artesian wells in the vicinity that have been drilled can affect discharge in the alluvial aquifers.

There has been a lot of scientific studies done on the groundwater and geothermal potential of this area. It is interesting that no sound reasons have be given for wanting to scrap the park project. Perhaps there is some odd dynamic going on in the alluvial aquifers--but if so, there should be sound evidence to support that.
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Old 11-23-2004   #9
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Danab, Thanks for summarizing the geology like you did. Here's a bit I'll add based on an email I sent Ben the other night:

What's described above is a groundwater flow system associated with "Karst Terrane" (not spelled "terrain"). That's the geologic term for the kind of setting that Glenwood Springs hot springs aquifer is in.

In the spectrum of aquifer environments, ranging from simple to highly complex, Karst terrane is among the most complex, least predictable, and least understood. If you’ve ever been caving near Glenwood in limestone caves, imagine the same type of cave system below water level, with groundwater flowing through caves that feed the hot springs in the area. The caves are fractures that have been enlarged by dissolution of the limestone. Sometimes there is a discernable pattern to the fractures and crevices that control where the cavities that convey the water, but the pattern isn’t always very well defined and mother nature likes to throw curveballs. The aquifer at Glenwood come to the surface at the river, as evidenced by the river left hotspring about a half mile above town and the hotspring deposits in the middle of the river where there are trickles of hot water coming out above the river level.

When hydrogeologists talk about Karst aquifers, we use the phrase "plumbing" to describe the system. Typically aquifers are made of more uniform materials – a bed of porous material through which water moves as if through a sponge. In a karst aquifer the water travels through caves that take it up, down, over this way and that. The fact that there are deposits in the river where hot water comes out at a level 3 feet above the river level means that the channels are pressurized and are isolated from the river. Imagine a piping system with random valves, forks, pipes going all different ways and whatnot. The system is pressurized and if you knock a hole in one pipe or turn a valve, it may relieve the pressure somewhere else in the system. If construction causes a fracture in a section of the "piping" and results in water flowing out of the system directly to the river in a new location, it may short-circuit the "piping" that carries water to the hot spring source. This is the worst-case scenario that the folks with the Springs are concerned about.

I'd expect that a geologic engineering study needed to prove that construction won't alter the hot springs could be a significant undertaking, especially it there's someone ready to pick it apart with their own experts. There will need to be mapping done, possibly geochemical studies to help determine whether the hot springs source is connected to the same springs that come to the surface in the river bed, and it may be possible to do geophysical studies to determine where the caves are beneath the riverbed.

I'd be interested in seeing the reports that are available.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 11-23-2004   #10
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Hey Thanks for all the feedback,
Andy, Thanks for the email, It really put it in understandable english! Like I said earlier, I am more open minded to this. I dont want to be responsible or a part of a commitee that could possibly hurt the pool by puncturing a hole in the aquifer. I would rather research it by facts, and or possibly find a new location. Id hate to see thousands of dollars wasted in a law suit from the pool against the city, when all the money could actually be directed towards the park! This in turn might be our only option! However, we are sticking with it! Even if we need to find a new location!

Thanks again

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