Qu'Appelle Valley Geolog Stop 12 - Spring
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Stop 12 is another stop along the original Geolog Tour that has changed a lot over the years. Before Echo Lake Provincial Park was developed, the area of Stop 12 was a place where groundwater discharged from the many layers of sand and till of the surrounding hills. When the parking lot in the Provincial Park was built, a large area of the spring and lagoon were covered over and are now lost forever.
Another change that Stop 12 has undergone is the growth of tremendous amounts of Sandbar willow and other low bushes surrounding the springs. When the tour was developed in the 1970s, the Spring at Stop 12 was easily accessible and highly visible from the parking lot. What was once visible is now hidden behind the Sandbar willow that has grown to about 7 feet tall. Except for a small hole through the brush right next to the sign, it is virtually impossible to see the spring any more.
As mentioned before, the spring at Stop 12 receives its water from groundwater discharge coming from the sand in the hills nearby. This groundwater emerges at Stop 12 in the form of a springhead, and flows into a lagoon. In the lagoon, reddish iron oxide stains the ground and forms an iridescent film on the water surface. The groundwater picks up iron deposits as it travels through till and carries it into the lagoon water, where it mixes with the oxygen in the air and water and forms iron oxide.
Click here to see an aerial photograph of stop 12.
Plant species found at stop 12:
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