Piedmont sulfur spring

A comment to one of my posts talked about the sulfur springs of Bushy Dell Creek, in Piedmont Park. I said I couldn’t detect any and the commenter said where to look. So a few weeks ago I looked and found this small example.

sulfurspring

It’s just a trickle, but it offers a whiff of sulfur gas. More tellingly, it supports gray filaments of sulfur bacteria, seen here in closeup.

sulfurspringclose

These look like pollution, and I guess in our context that’s what they are. But whole microbial ecosystems center on a molecular economy of sulfur, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen. They’re mostly hidden underground near sulfur-bearing minerals, but here and there they get flushed out into the light.

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3 Responses to “Piedmont sulfur spring”

  1. Jafafa Hots (@JafafaHots) Says:

    Any thoughts on whether or not these have a natural origin, or are the the result of past industry, chemical dumps upstream or what-have-you?

  2. Andrew Says:

    They’re perfectly natural.

  3. Oakland Daily Photo Says:

    Sulfur springs in Piedmont. Who knew?

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