Harrison Spring

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For the town in British Columbia, see Harrison Hot Springs.
Harrison Spring
Harrison Spring IN.jpg
Harrison Spring
Harrison Spring is located in Indiana
Harrison Spring
Map of Indiana
Type waterbody
Location Harrison County, Indiana
Nearest city White Cloud
Coordinates 38°14′39″N 86°13′30″W / 38.2443°N 86.2251°W / 38.2443; -86.2251Coordinates: 38°14′39″N 86°13′30″W / 38.2443°N 86.2251°W / 38.2443; -86.2251
Area 7 acres (2.8 ha)
Designated 1980

Harrison Spring is the largest spring in the state of Indiana. It is located in west-central Harrison County, near the Blue River and just north of White Cloud.

The Spring[edit]

A portion of the water that feeds the spring originates from Indian Creek, and then goes underground until it reaches the spring area. The water percolates through a layer of Pleistocene alluvium cavern (Karst) beneath the surface of the ground and flows into a pool measuring 100 feet (30 m) by 80 feet (24 m), about 800 sq ft (74 m2) of surface area, and contains 86 million US gallons (330,000 m3) of water.[1] It is within an abandoned meander loop, and in the periphery a natural levee.[2] Divers have measured its depth to be between 35 and 40 feet (12 m). It produces at least 3 million US gallons (11,000 m3) of water a day at an average of 18,000 gpm,[3] enough to supply water to an average town of 12,000.[4] On rainy days the spring can produce as much as 30 million US gallons (110,000 m3) of water a day.[5] The water from the spring overflows into an outlet that travels about half a mile before merging with Blue River as a tributary.

The spring is similar to many other springs around the Lost River, a large underground river that flows through Indiana roughly parallel to the Ohio River, and may be one of its several outlets. The spring is located at the low point of a subterranean gradient that the Indian Creek flows over at a higher point. Dye tests have shown that water can percolate through the karst from Indian Creek to Harrison Spring, a four mile (6 km) distance, in as little as four hours.[3] The spring is also linked with the Wyandotte Caves, the largest cave system in the state, whose main entrance is about five miles (8 km) west of the spring.

History[edit]

The spring is owned by the Harrison Spring Conservation Club, but it was once part of a large 600-acre (2.4 km2) farm owned by United States President William Henry Harrison from whom it gains its name. The spring produced enough water to run a gristmill and sawmill downstream which began operating 1807, making it one of the first in the state.[1][6] The farm was known as Harrison Valley. Harrison had planned to make it a plantation similar to Grouseland, and a shipyard. However, the outlawing of slavery by the Indiana Constitution of 1816 made this impossible.

The spring was registered as a National Natural Landmark in 1980, but is not open to the public.

References[edit]