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The Strange Hydrodynamics of Periodic Spring, Salt River Range, Wyoming
Periodic Spring discharges from a solution cave in the Madison Limestone along the axis of the Periodic anticline in the Absaroka thrust sheet of the Salt River Range of western Wyoming. The spring turns on and off with variable cyclicity during low discharge stages. The intermittent yield is not the result of the hydrothermal activity, rather it is caused by the mechanical operation of a siphon in the cave behind the spring. The cold, good quality water discharged from the spring serves as the Afton municipal water supply. The major component of recharge to the spring originates on elevated outcrops of the Madison Limestone four miles east of the spring on the eastern side of the topographic divide of the Salt River Range. Smaller amounts of water are derived from infiltration through fractures along the axis of the Periodic anticline between Swift and Cry Creek canyons.
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