Crystal Geyser: An Unusual Cold Spring System, Grand County

  • Sally L. Potter-McIntyre Southern Illinois University Geology Department
Keywords: geyser, cold spring, crystal geyser, Little Grand Wash, Green River, tufa


Crystal Geyser is a cold carbon dioxide (CO2) geyser, part of a natural spring system along the Little Grand Wash fault south of Green River, Utah (figure 1). The spring system hosts a series of CO2-driven geysers and springs with active and fossil microbial mats and tufa deposits composed of carbonate and iron oxide and iron oxyhydroxide minerals (Potter-McIntyre and others, 2017; Knuth and Potter-McIntyre, 2018) (figure 2). Additionally, progressively older carbonate spring deposits crop out on some of the topographic highs in the area because these relatively erosion-resistant deposits armor the paleo-land surface and slow down erosion (Shipton and others, 2004; Burnside, 2010). Recent radiometric U-Th dating of carbonate terraces and embedded veins reveal that CO2-charged fluid has constantly leaked to the surface for over 400 thousand years during the Pleistocene (Burnside, 2010). Crystal Geyser is a popular place for tourists, and it is not uncommon to see children playing in the spring.

Crystal Geyser: An Unusual Cold Spring System, Grand County
How to Cite
Potter-McIntyre , S., 2019, Crystal Geyser: An Unusual Cold Spring System, Grand County: Utah Geological Association Publication, v. 1, no. 1, p. 1-6., doi: 10.31711/geosites.v1i1.63.