A Creek Springs Eternal: Spring Creeks


Poet Alexander Pope  wrote “Hope springs eternal in the human breast, man never is, but always to be blest. The soul, uneasy, and confin’d from home. Rests and expatiates in a life to come”.

This can be applied to a particular geographic feature. And to paraphrase Alexander Pope: A creek springs eternal from a rocky source. The creek never is, but always to flow. The course, easy and never confined to its source. Flows and runs to a destination to come.

A spring creek is a type of stream (or creek) that is named as such due to its source. It is derived from a spring, specifically an underground spring. In the case of the video below, this particular spring creek gets its source from a karst spring known as Cold Spring.

A spring will push water from underground to feed a river or a stream. While a spring creek can also get water from rain or snow, most of, or nearly all of its water supply will come from an underground spring, or in many cases, an aquifer.



Unlike other types of watercourses, a spring creek is not reliant on gravity for its flow. It can flow in relatively level land surfaces. There are spring creeks that do flow down hill. However, it isn’t necessary for a spring creek to have a down hill course to keep flowing. With the constant flow of water coming from a spring, water doesn’t flow due to gravity. It flows because of pressure from underground. The flow will continue with low gradient.

Spring creeks are also known for having cold water, particularly from its source. It isn’t like getting water from snow melt, where the headwaters are cold due to elevation and snow melt. The headwaters of a spring creek are often cold due to coming from underground. The waters come to the surface at somewhat cool temperatures and remain such for much of its course. This can foster species of fish such as trout, which do well in cold water.

Springing up from underground, to be pushed onward to another destination. That is a spring creek. It doesn’t need to go downhill to flow (although some spring creeks do flow down hill). It can flow through flat areas. It springs up and keeps going because of the springs that feed it. And that, is why a spring creek can spring eternal.


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