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HYDRO GEOLOGY: SPRING, Classification of Springs, How Spring Forms

Spring Water fall
Spring, Water fall [Credit: {Pixabay]

Last Updated on February 13, 2023 by Okoro Daniel O.


A spring is a concentrated discharge of groundwater appearing at the ground surface as a current of flowing water.
All springs emanates from ground. Springs are the most conspicuous forms of natural return of groundwater to the surface. They have played many roles in the settlement pattern of villages and towns.


  • Springs mostly occur when a down gradient parts of an aquifer or other water bearing formations are exposed to the surface.
  • Springs can also be formed when discontinuity like faults or dykes present hydraulic barriers to groundwater flow, thereby forcing water to flow upward.
  • Springs can also be formed where faults causes weak spots in the confining layer.


There are so many ways in which springs can be classified, some of them are;

1. Based on geologic work structure.
2. Magnitude of discharge.
3. Based on the type of aquifers that are found in them.
4. Water characteristics.
5. Chemical characteristics.
6. Based on direction of magnitude.
7. Respect to their topography.
8. Temperature.

Ikogosi Warm Thermal Spring
The Ikogosi Warm Springs is a tourist attraction located at Ikogosi, a town in Ekiti State, southwestern Nigeria. [Image Credit:]


  • Depression springs.
  • Contact springs.
  • Fault springs.
  • Artesian springs.
  • Solution springs.
  • Thermal springs.

DEPRESSION SPRINGS: Are springs which are formed where the ground surface intercept the water table. They are sometimes called TOPOGRAPHIC SPRINGS, this because they are controlled by TOPOGRAPHY.

CONTACT SPRINGS: Are springs which are formed where a permeable rock layer is underlying by a rock with lower permeability.

FAULT SPRINGS: Are springs that are formed when groundwater is being inhibited by a fault line. This is as a result of the fact that the fault block unit forms a regional boundary where groundwater can flow through the surface.

ARTESIAN SPRINGS: Are springs which results from the release of water under pressure from confined aquifers.

SOLUTION SPRINGS: Are springs that are formed by the dissolution of soluble mineral components of rocks, e.g. dolomite, limestone.

Ezeagu Waterfall Springs
Ezeagu Tourist Complex is located southern central pan of Enugu State. The complex is known for being a premium destination for tourists and travellers. It is graced with a beautiful atmosphere as a result of its natural state. Measuring about 22 hectares, it is made up of a combination of a waterfall, a lake, and a three kilometres cave full with tunnels and chambers with natural spring.
The waterfall locally named Ezeagu Waterfall or Heneke Waterfall is a site that receives many pilgrims, as a result of the belief of it having a curative power. Ezeagu Waterfall’s height is about 23meters high, and therefore the waters rush from a cliff with a thunderous sound that can be heard from a distance.
One marvellous wonder of Ezeagu Waterfall is its ability to signal the beginning of the harmattan season through an extraordinary thunderous sound from the fall. Its brilliance is expressed in its about 5-kilometer long Obinofia Cave whose sheer size, compartments and tunnels branching out into several directions is naturally a beauty to behold. Be sure to walk deep in the cave into utter darkness; as scary and creepy as this may seem, its sure to be a lot of fun. [Image Credit:]
THERMAL SPRINGS: Are springs that have unusual temperature. They mostly originate from volcanic/mathematic sources, some can be cold. Examples; Nigeria Ikogosi thermal/warm springs, Ezeagu springs.

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