Geothermal waters

Lisa Roberts, Mound Spring. Acrylic on canvas

This is one of many paintings that I made when we were stuck (due to rain) at Maree, South Australia. Maree is at the southern end of the Oodnadatta Track. This track is well known through the good work of people who run The Pink Roadhouse.

Mound springs are fragile structures that allowed for the survival of Indigenous Australian desert dwellers. Water that springs from them takes around 2 million years to move through rock, from places that are thousands of kilometers north.

Water continues to be extracted to feed livestock and to service mining operations. This is causing many (possibly most) of the mound springs to dry up.

I am moved by the delicate, fragile appearance of the mound springs. They are also quite mysterious and beautiful.  Vegetation that once flourished at the tops of many mounds appears to have died off in recent years. One mound that remains, called ‘The Bubbler’, seems to have a life of its own. Random swells of sand are pushed up as the water bubbles from beneath. I felt the heat of the water on my hands – heat that comes from the Earth’s molten core.

Swimming in Coward Spring (South Australia) brought up memories of swimming in New Zealand geysers when I was four years old. I remembered the same sense wonder I felt then, of feeling heat from the centre of the earth.

I find more information about mound springs at The Mound Springs of South Australia.

Lisa Roberts, Trace form of gesture made by Rena Czaplinska, 2008
Lisa Roberts, Trace form of gesture made by Rena Czaplinska, 2008