Soborom geothermal field and Yerike hot spring

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The most interesting geothermal features of Sahara are seen in Soborom geothermal field. Here are located steam jets, boiling mud pots, solfataras and there are rumours about geysers here.

Tibesti

Tibesti mountains are the largest mountains in the central part of Sahara. These mountains contain numerous interesting natural and historical landmarks – but most are little investigated due to the nearly constant warfare in this region.

Magnificent are the volcanoes of Tibesti, rising up to 3.4 km high and having giant, up to 800 m deep calderas.

These volcanoes are dormant – there are no active eruptions on-going but the volcanic heat is not gone as is indicated by several groups of hot springs in the mountains.

Water which heals

The largest and most impressive manifestation of volcanic heat in Tibesti is Soborom geothermal field which is located close to the northwestern rim of Tarso Voôn volcano.

Few foreigners have visited this remote geological landmark – but local people know it very well. These springs are considered to have healing powers – the word Soborom means "water which heals".

Local Toubou people and other people from this part of Sahara come and stay for a few days in the natural resort to heal dermatitis or rheumatism. For the healing has been selected a less hot pool, where water is some 42°C warm. People have made some simple utilities – there are placed flat stones in the pools which serve as headrests. Earlier beside the springs the visitors hung their weapons in order to protect themselves in a case of sudden attack.

Yerike and coloured soil

The hottest spring pool is named Yerike – gas constantly is rising from it and the pool is bubbling as if boiling.

The temperature of springs in Soborom is between 22 and 88°C. Here is emanating also sulphur and iron, both have colored the soil in vivid colors.

The reports about Soborom are somewhat contradicting. It is known that here are located hot springs, boiling stream, boiling mud pots, solfataras, there are many spatter cones. Some reports though mention also geysers. But as there are no more detailed descriptions of this rare natural phenomenon, it is possible that here are no true geysers and word "geyser" just describes the fervent bubbling of Yerike spring.

Soborom geothermal field and Yerike hot spring are included in the following list:

Geysers of Africa
Geysers of Africa

References

  1. Gustav Nachtigal. Sahara und Sudan, 1879, Leipzig, F.A.Brockhaus

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Soborom geothermal field and Yerike hot spring 20.950759, 17.188091 Soborom geothermal field and Yerike hot spring

Coordinates: 20.9508 N 17.1881 E
Categories: Thermal springs, Geysers (extinct?)
Values: Geology, Visual
Rank: 6
Address: Africa, Chad, Tibesti, north-west from the caldera of Tarso Voon volcano

Wonders of Chad

Camels in Guelta d'Archei, Chad
Camels in Guelta d’Archei / , Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The landmarks of Chad are little known – most visitors are deterred by the prolonged warfare in this country. Country though has very interesting landmarks. Among the most interesting monuments of Chad are: prehistoric cliff art and fantastic geomorphological features.

Geysers

Lake Bogoria, geyser and flamingos
Lake Bogoria, geyser and flamingos / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Hasty hydrogeologist would say: geysers are thermodynamically and hydrodynamically unstable hot springs. “Normal” people would say – geysers are hot springs which at more or less regular intervals shoot up a fountain of boiling water and steam. Sometimes these fountains are even 100 m tall… or even 450 m!

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