Sulphur Springs


Sulphur Springs

Geothermal/Ground Heat SiteWater FeatureGeological Feature


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Sulphur Springs is the "world's only drive in volcano"; it is located in Saint Lucia towards the southwestern side of the island, near Soufrière. According to scientists, it is supposed to erupt in around 100 years and the impact of it can wipe out 3/4 of St Lucia. The water boils at 212 F but the super heated stem is hotter at 340 F. The black colour in the tar is caused by a chemical reaction between the sulfur and iron. Colourful mineral deposits decorate the volcano. In these deposits are sulfur, copper, iron oxide, alkaline lead, calcium oxide, and carbon. Sulfur springs, near soufriere (French for sulfur), got a weak spot in the crust of the enormous collapsed crater creating an upheaval of lava 410,000 years ago.
Up until the mid-1990s, tourists used to be able to walk right up to the end of the tar pits. Following an accident where a local tour guide called Gabriel fell through the crust into a pit and received third degree burns over most of his body, viewing is now restricted to a platform a few feet away.
A couple of hundred yards downstream from the springs, the water temperature is still hot (around 45 C), but cool enough for tourists to enter and give themselves a mud bath. Once the mud has dried, tourist can wash the mud off in the sulphur stream if they can bear the heat, or there are freshwater showers available instead.

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