North Port's 'magic water'
Warm Mineral Springs is open again. Here's the Times' Leonora LaPeter Anton writing for Floridian not quite a year and a half ago:
The spring formed tens of thousands of years ago, a sinkhole collapse that left an hourglass fissure stretching 240 feet into Florida's limestone bedrock. At some point, half of it filled with water. When the glaciers receded, the melting ice topped it off.
More than 1,000 springs dot Florida, but none quite like Warm Mineral Springs, says Harley Means, assistant state geologist. Its name says it all. At about 87 degrees, Warm Mineral Springs is the warmest and southernmost spring in the state. It also boasts the largest number of different minerals — calcium, magnesium, strontium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, silica, sulphur, nitrogen, fluoride and chlorides — at least 51 in all.
Ancient hot seawater rushes from a vent several thousand feet below ground and then mixes with cooler freshwater in the overlying aquifer, geologists believe, creating the spring's unique brew. Every day, as much as 9 million gallons pushes to the surface. Every two hours, the water replaces itself entirely.