Mission 1 - Wayward Water! – Explore the Hydrosphere

  • Overview
  • Resources

We follow the water as it exits the aquifer. The water still contains some of the calcium, carbon and oxygen from the limestone dissolved underground!  The water escapes as it flows out of the hillside, a feature known as a spring. Let's follow this water on its next journey through the hydrologic cycle!

Watch the Video above and learn more about Springs. 

We find ourselves on Honey Creek, a large stream which pours over the 77-foot tall Turner Falls, a popular landmark in southern Oklahoma's Arbuckle Mountains. These stream waters originate from the waters which flow out of the large "Arbuckle-Simpson" aquifer that we have been exploring below the Arbuckle Mountains.  Those waters, after some period of time below ground in rocks, eventually re-emerge at the surface as springs here along Honey Creek.

These springs occur where porous, fractured rock of the aquifer intersects with the hillside and stream valley! 

This image below is a typical spring you might find in the Arbuckles. Some of the most spectacular springs are located a few miles away at Chickasaw National Recreation Area


What do you see?

  • How would you describe the water here at the spring? 
  • Just looking at this image, does the water appear warm or cold? Clear or muddy? Is it hard to tell? Discuss.
  • How is the water moving? Do all the water ripples move the same direction, or radiate out in many directions? Discuss. What might this tell us about where the water is coming from?
  • Is something else happening here occasionally? Do we see anything moving up through the water that look like bubbles? Discuss. What might bubbles tell us about what is found in the water?

In the video, there was a well that flowed on its own. We call wells that flow naturally "artesian wells."  Can you think of why a well might flow on its own like this? What might force the water up and out like that?

Let's investigate this Honey Creek area further.  We hear the falls downstream.  Maybe the Falls themselves can give us a clue as to what is going on here.


Click "Next Lesson" to continue to the investigation.





Lesson Plan

The map below is provided to orient you on our journey. Feel free to click on, zoom in and investigate this area from above. Lets move down the stream to another spring and conduct a more detailed investigation. We want to understand where the water is coming from and how it is changing. What data or evidence could we collect to describe the spring and it's water?


Lesson Plan - Mission 1 Lesson 5 - Spring Fever