Tufa Springs

Tufa Springs There are a number of tufa springs on the Mendip Hills but the one emerging below Whitehole Hill is one of the best example. The water from the spring sinks beside the road in Pitton Street about 800 metres to the south and then travels underground through the limestone before resurging. Whilst underground the water becomes saturated with calcium carbonate (limestone). After emerging from the spring the water flow over pebbles rich in iron and other minerals. After running for about 200 metres enough of these minerals are dissolved to cause the calcium carbonate to be precipitated as a soft creamy coloured spongy rock which covers the moss etc to form a series of dams (gours). This deposition occurs in quite a short section of the stream and produces a series of small cascades.

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