1. SPECIAL NOTE TO NEW REGISTRATIONS

    If you recently registered and have not received a confirmation email - please check your 'Spam or Junk' folders. Especially if your email is Hotmail. More help with confirmation issues

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice
  2. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Geothermal vent on the road between harretville & hotham

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by Adjum, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Adjum

    Adjum Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Brains trust,

    Wondering if anyone knows what the deal is with that hole in the rock that spews out hot air/steam on one of major corners near 'the meg' on the road between hotham and harrietville.

    Very peculiar thing indeed.
     
  2. Gregah

    Gregah Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    241
    Errr...never seen that. Got a photo?
     
  3. Luken

    Luken One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1970
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    664
    Location:
    Melbourne,Vic,Aust
    Yes never seen or heard anything until now, but interested to hear more.
     
  4. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,230
    Likes Received:
    6,270
    Location:
    StKilda,VicBC,Prom,France
    Gold mine
     
  5. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,738
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Location:
    The pointy end, fully reclined
    This is rather interesting. I know lots about the road over the last 150 years and I've never heard of anything like this. I might even have written a history of the road, but Ian Stapleton beat me to it.

    Of course, the steaming may have been caused by someone throwing hot liquid out of their car window just before the original poster went past, but there's a good chance we have a new geological development here and there are a few fault lines in the area.
     
  6. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,537
    Likes Received:
    13,142
    Location:
    Canberra, ACT
    Bus driver had a ripper ghost story about that stretch of road.
     
  7. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,230
    Likes Received:
    6,270
    Location:
    StKilda,VicBC,Prom,France
    You’ll probably find it’s cold air/mist
     
    cold wombat likes this.
  8. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    7,922
    Likes Received:
    3,869
    My Precious.
     
    seak likes this.
  9. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,230
    Likes Received:
    6,270
    Location:
    StKilda,VicBC,Prom,France
    Have been in the active mine below the Meg, that guy still pulling out a lot of gold.
    Rabbit warren of old mines above him
     
    The Plowking, Majikthise and Bogong like this.
  10. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,537
    Likes Received:
    13,142
    Location:
    Canberra, ACT
    Next time you're on the Hotham - Harrietville bus, ask if the driver will go up there alone after dark :rolleyes:
     
    skifree likes this.
  11. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,523
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Well, I've never heard of this but it doesn't surprise me. A friend of mine was investigating heat pump heating of our club lodge at Mt. Hotham, and told me that Mt Hotham was a volcano!!!!!
    I didn't believe him at first. He did a detailed study, and figured out that if you dug a shaft about 40m deep (iirc), you could use the shaft to heat the lodge all winter!!!
    I asked how long ago, and he mentioned something like only 10,000years ago. I was thinking that this just couldn't be true, but that's what he said. This must be a hydro-thermal / geothermal vent, and proof that the volcano is not that old!!!

    Have a look half way down the second list. Mt. Hotham IS a volcano.
    https://austhrutime.com/timeline_australian_volcanoes.htm

    Can you pinpoint the location of the vent on google maps?
     
    piolet, skifree and SnowBound like this.
  12. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,738
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Location:
    The pointy end, fully reclined
    Yes, but...

    If Hotham was a volcano, it didn't erupt as recently as 6,000 years ago like Mt Gambier and the volcanoes in the Western District of Victoria. Rather it would have been much earlier, probably millions of years ago. For those Western District and south east of SA volcanoes, the theory is that a subterranean hot spot slowly moved west, which is why the dates on Sandy's link for volcanic eruptions in the Ballarat and Gisbourne areas are much older than for the more recent eruption at Mt Gambier.

    However the big north-south fault line that links the far eastern Victorian goldfields: Beechworth - Harrietville - Dargo & Crooked River goes right through the steamy area that Adjum saw. Essentially it's a big crack in the earths crust which is why stuff like gold is there. That area has been geologically dormant since forever, but it's still a weakness which could possibly be heated if things got moody far below the surface.
     
  13. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,523
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Be that as it may, I didn't believe the date either. However, that's what he said.
    If there's a geothermal vent, it's not millions of years. He did an extensive geological investigation, so I'll take his word on it for now.
     
    Bogong likes this.
  14. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,523
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    BTW, my friend was a geologist.
     
  15. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    47,152
    Likes Received:
    15,221
    Location:
    Perth
    When I studied geology many years ago, my lecturer claimed there was a "hot spot" in Victoria (but not under the Alpine area). It was a pretty marginal hotspot & apparently not of any startling geological significance (at least in terms of potential to "do anything").
     
    Bogong likes this.
  16. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,738
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Location:
    The pointy end, fully reclined
    Oh there are plenty of areas of hot rocks under Victoria. Just south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula there are warm rocks which can heat water to slightly above comfortable bathing temperature and there's now some sort of new age health spa down there to exploit the rich and gullible who believe that "water naturally heated by the earth mother" will somehow heal their aches and pains. I think it was Portland (or some other town in the Western District?) that used to heat the towns swimming pool and council chambers with geothermal bore water. They may still be doing that?

    But having hot spots that can heat bore water is a very long way short of any danger of volcanic eruption. Rather they'e just fun but safe locations to visit. People should only be worried if molten rock starts bubbling through the ground to the east of Mt Gambier which is the only place in south eastern Australia where there is a very remote possibility of it happening.
     
    cold wombat likes this.
  17. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    47,152
    Likes Received:
    15,221
    Location:
    Perth
    That My Gambier one sounds like what he was referring to.
     
    Bogong likes this.
  18. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,523
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Mt Gambier last erupted about 5000 years ago, and is apparently on a roughly 10,000year cycle.
     
  19. Adjum

    Adjum Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Melbourne
    piolet and Bogong like this.
  20. Adjum

    Adjum Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Photo attached
     

    Attached Files:

  21. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    47,152
    Likes Received:
    15,221
    Location:
    Perth
  22. FlatLander

    FlatLander Addicted

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    180
    Yes its a old mine air vent, and you see steam coming out when its particularly cold, eg snowing at that level or not much above. It looks very cool when it "erupts"
     
    cold wombat, Adjum, Chaeron and 2 others like this.
  23. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    38,982
    Likes Received:
    4,100
    Location:
    An airport
    Interesting! I too have never noticed it before!
     
  24. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,738
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Location:
    The pointy end, fully reclined
    As Boodwah said, the place is riddled with old mine workings, so warm damp air escaping from an old ventilation shaft does sound more likely than a geothermal vent in an area where there are no known hot springs. Although that would be far more interesting and exciting.
     
  25. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 1995
    Messages:
    45,786
    Likes Received:
    6,940
    Location:
    Newcastle
  26. Neddy

    Neddy Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    52
    The volcanic rocks your friend was referring to would be the remnants of early Tertiary age (~30-40Ma) basalt. The basalt was part of a series of widespread lava flows that covered most of the east part of the state and has since been mostly eroded away. At Hotham, the basalt is only present as caps on the ridges near the village and the dominant geology across the mountain is Ordovician age sandstone. The basalt is thicker down towards Dinner Plain and the geology gets more interesting as you go further east but there aren't any geothermal vents in the area
     
    Bogong, Snow Blowey, piolet and 2 others like this.
  27. Pink

    Pink One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    550
    I read that B’Rush ski lodge installed a heat pump. There maybe others.
     
  28. stansi

    stansi One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,539
    Likes Received:
    605
    Location:
    Shepparton Vic.
    Bogong and Pink like this.
  29. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Messages:
    24,306
    Likes Received:
    7,955
    Location:
    Gippsland
    Dunno whether it's relevent, but there used to be a natural hot springs near Metung some years ago
    The council closed it down!
     
    Bogong likes this.
  30. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1970
    Messages:
    29,865
    Likes Received:
    12,927
    Location:
    Blue Mts
    No probably Tower Hill or Mount Warnambool...can't remember which is more recent. Hot spot now off the coast as i understand it.

    One thing i now wonder after the confirmation of the downwarp, due to subsumed micro continent ,that forms the Kati Thanda depression is whether any of the recent volcanism of the SE could be attributed to that ?
     
  31. Adjum

    Adjum Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I remember swiming in those as a kid. Was ace!
     
    Charlie likes this.
  32. 2ESki

    2ESki Addicted

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    185
    I remember that, it was on a bend in the road/ with 2 or 3 pools, different temps, apparently they closed it as it was to close to the road and di_kheads were trashing it at night :(
     
  33. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    47,152
    Likes Received:
    15,221
    Location:
    Perth
    I confess I didn't understand a word of that!

    I'll take your word for it.

    ;)
     
  34. Adjum

    Adjum Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Melbourne
    So the question, if it is a mine shaft vent, what warms the air?
     
  35. Adjum

    Adjum Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Melbourne
    https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/node/65681
     
  36. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    30,144
    Likes Received:
    13,316
    Location:
    Kiewa Valley
    i think the are saying that undeground the air just won't get as cold as the outside air on a very cold day. so the warm underground air rises out through the vent
     
  37. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    21,353
    Likes Received:
    13,479
    Location:
    Dubbo NSW

    Its just thermal mass of the ground. I do lots of work with groundwater. Last week i was working on a site where the water was 20 degrees. That water will be 20 degrees all year. In winter 20 degrees is warm when ambient is freezing and you will have steam coming off the water as it comes out of the ground - just like you get steam from human wee (37 degrees) on a cold morning. Any air blowing through the 20degree rock will exit the ground feeling very warm compared to ambient - at Hotham this is likely to be less than freezing. Stand in the same spot on a warm day in summer and that 20 degree air will feel cold.

    This is the basis of most geothermal heating / cooling. The ground temperature is virtually constant all year around which makes it relatively warm compared to winter air temperature and cold compared to summer air temperature. You only need to raise or lower the temperature of your floor slab by a few degrees in either season to reduce the energy required to add extra heat or extra cooling.
     
    Ziggy, piolet, cold wombat and 4 others like this.
  38. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Melbourne
    If it's geothermal, can someone connect a pipe and rocky bath japan stylzze? I'm not paying $45 for a tepid chlorinated bath at the DP "Onsen". :crap:
     
  39. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    38,982
    Likes Received:
    4,100
    Location:
    An airport
    Interesting map:
    [​IMG]
    We often deal with depths 3-4000 m for work and we typically assume a geothermal gradient of 0.025 to 0.05 C / m of depth below the seafloor, but I was not aware of such variation across Australia - look at Kangaroo Island!
     
  40. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,738
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Location:
    The pointy end, fully reclined
    There's a very incomplete list of hot springs on Wikipedia. Someone with more energy than me should update it to include Metung and Portland in Victoria. It amuses me that 25 degrees is listed as a hot spring in Tassie, whereas if it were in Queensland it would probably be listed as a cool spring.

    Australia
     
    cold wombat likes this.
  41. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    20,537
    Likes Received:
    10,115
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    But is this not based on what look like 1 sample?
     
    Rabid K9 likes this.
  42. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    20,537
    Likes Received:
    10,115
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    My understanding is this is the only hot spring in the world where the heat source is the radioactivity of the geology.
     
    Snow Blowey and Bogong like this.
  43. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    21,353
    Likes Received:
    13,479
    Location:
    Dubbo NSW

    Drill a hole anywhere in the Great Artesian Basin for hot "springs".
     
    Bogong likes this.
  44. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,738
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Location:
    The pointy end, fully reclined
    In the early years of this century there was a company that was aiming to generate over a Gigawatt of electricity from hot rocks. Origin Energy invested a lot of money in them, so they weren't just a bunch of clueless hippies with no idea about geology or business in the real world.

    They had a location in the far north east of South Australia, not far from the Simpson Desert. The idea was to bore two very deep shafts. Water would be poured down one shaft where it would turn into steam and rush up the other shaft to spin turbines located on the surface. The steam would condense back into water and be poured back down the first hole, creating a closed system. Apparently the concept was completely viable and it would have produced as much power as a coal power station, but the project was scuppered by the cost of ultra high voltage transmission to get the power to markets near Brisbane or Adelaide where it could be used.

    I forget the name of the project, but perhaps it would be more viable these days with all the subsidies being thrown at renewable energy?
     
    skifree, cold wombat and trappers like this.
  45. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    38,982
    Likes Received:
    4,100
    Location:
    An airport
    ... and newer transmission technologies like HVDC - or (heaven forbid) Compressed/Liquified H2 as an energy carrier.
     
    Majikthise, cold wombat and Bogong like this.
  46. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    20,537
    Likes Received:
    10,115
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    I seem to remember there were issues connecting the down & up pipes.

    And they were always constrained by r&d finance funding that expected a result without actually experiencing the r&d.
     
    Conners and Bogong like this.
  47. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1970
    Messages:
    29,865
    Likes Received:
    12,927
    Location:
    Blue Mts
  48. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1970
    Messages:
    29,865
    Likes Received:
    12,927
    Location:
    Blue Mts
    I daresay a lot of that ^ could well explained by my link above
     
    trappers likes this.
  49. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,082
    Likes Received:
    3,776
    Location:
    Melbourne base camp
    And there are natural 'mound springs'.
     
  50. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,082
    Likes Received:
    3,776
    Location:
    Melbourne base camp
    People used to bathe in it, for its health-giving effects.
    Woops.
     
    cold wombat and Chaeron like this.