Bath thermal waters: 400 years in the history of geochemistry and hydrogeology
The importance of the Bath thermal springs in the development of science over some 400 years is explored. Several references to the springs from Saxon times and the Middle Ages give qualitative information of interest for the present day. The springs have drawn some of the most famous philosophers and scientists to test new theories and develop hypotheses on the nature of matter and to develop early ideas in the chemical and geological sciences. Theories on the hydrological cycle and on hydrogeology were tested and the springs have a long history as a site for discoveries in chemistry and natural radioactivity. Interest in the springs continues to the present day. Whilst our knowledge of the origin of the water, the heat, the detailed chemistry and other properties has been resolved, some questions still remain for the attention of future generations and for the application of advancing scientific methods.
Figures & Tables
The collection of papers in this volume records the development of hydrogeology in Britain over the last 200 years. Following the application, by William smith, of stratigraphic principles to the sinking of wells, Victorian engineers and scientists established groundwater as a major contributor to public water supplies. In the twentieth century, the development of groundwater continued rapidly, controlled by an ever-changing regulatory regime. The 25 papers in this volume review the progrss which has been made, and the lives and work of some of those who were intimately involved.