Saratoga is not faultless


The springs at High Rock Park.

By Mike Hare

The carbonated mineral water that bubbles up from the springs in Saratoga is what put the city on the map some 200 years ago. And it's still a big attraction today. But why is it here? There's a fault behind it -- but no one is to blame.

Disclaimer: Mike Hare is an author and tour guide. For a more detailed or scientific explanation, please see your earth science teacher.

There's a fault line that runs across eastern New York. It developed in ancient eras, and created subsidiary fault lines in haphazard patterns from the Adirondacks south through the Saratoga region.

We're not talking San Andreas here, but these small fault lines are enough to let the spring water bubble through. A layer of shale along the surface keeps rainwater from mixing with the spring water so it stays pure. The limestone beneath the earth forms channels where the water mixes with carbon dioxide gas. The gas propels the water up to breaks in the surface and gives it its fizz.

No two mineral springs in Saratoga taste alike because the concentration of minerals is different at each spring.

Occasionally the fault line does shake things up a bit in Saratoga, but not often. The most recent quake in the Spa City was on the morning of April 20 back in 2002.

Mike Hare is the author of Saratoga Lives and a Spa City tour guide.

The Scoop

For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine