Hot and Warm SpringsLast updated: July 2012
Hot and warm springs often have unique ecosystems and are important to many different species. At a hot or warm spring, water temperature, air temperature, humidity, and water chemistry all differ from the surrounding area. As a result, the area around a hot or warm spring sometimes supports species or communities that are uniquely adapted to these environments, such as calcium-tolerant plants or warm-water bacteria. They can also support species that are endemic to only those environments. For example, some hot springs in the Nahanni National Park Reserve support the Nahanni Aster (Symphyotrichum nahanniense), an endemic globally rare plant that is found nowhere else in the world. Hot or warm springs can sometimes support populations of plants and animals that are disjunct from the rest of that species distribution further south. Furthermore, their salty spring deposits are often used by wildlife as mineral licks.
The PAS Biologist with the Government of the Northwest Territories' Department of Environment and Natural Resources has compliled known locations of warm and hot springs in the NWT.* Springs described as 'hot' or 'warm' or where water temperature was at least 10oC are included on this map. Latitudes and longitudes of spring locations have varying degrees of precision (including some that were digitized based on descriptions); therefore, all locations should be considered approximate. Where two springs appear to be duplicates of each other (i.e. same name and/or very close together), one was removed. It is possible that some springs were removed in error or that two separate points on the map could represent the same spring. Other hot or warm springs may exist that were not known of at the time of this mapping effort.
Researchers and residents are encouraged to contact the PAS Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org with their records.* Sources: