Blue Spring, Missouri

August 16, 2010

Blue spring

Photographer: Tommy Hornbeck 
Summary Author: Tommy Hornbeck

August 2010 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

It's estimated that there are more than three thousand springs in the state of Missouri, varying in size from barely a trickle, up to the largest, Big Spring, which can flow as much as 840 million gallons per day. Blue Spring is the seventh largest in the state, at 90 million gallons per day, but is noted more for its royal blue to indigo color and the beautiful surrounding bluffs. According to legend, Osage Indians who once lived in the area are said to have called it "Spring of the Summer Sky”. Its color comes from the high mineral content and its considerable depth. At 300 feet (91 m), Blue Spring is one of the deepest springs in Missouri. While the water looks quite milky and translucent in the deepest part of the spring, it seems to clear and become transparent as it flows into the shallower creek that travels only a couple of hundred yards before joining the Current River. Photo taken on June 7, 2010.

Photo details: Nikon D80 camera; F22, 0.5 second exposure; ISO 100; 20 mm lens; 2:00 p.m.