What makes a hot spring, hot?

Author : Nurul Afiqah Rosli, Mohammad Noor Akmal Anuar, Muhammad Hasiib Mansor, Nur Syazwani Izzati Abdul Rahim, Mohd Hariri Arifin
Publication : Warta Geologi
Page : 30-35
Volume Number : 48
Year : 2022
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/wg481202204

Warta Geologi, Vol. 48, No. 1, April
2022, pp. 30–35


What makes a hot spring, hot?


Nurul Afiqah Rosli1, Mohammad
Noor Akmal Anuar2, Muhammad Hasiib Mansor2, Nur Syazwani
Izzati Abdul Rahim2, Mohd Hariri Arifin2,*

Geosciences Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Persiaran UTP, 32610
Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia

Department of Earth Sciences and Environment, Faculty of Science and
Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

*Corresponding author emil address:


Abstract: Hot springs naturally are
groundwater that emerges to the surface after being heated up by geothermal
activities. There are various classifications of hot springs according to the
surface temperature. Still, in Malaysia, it is referred to as the spring that
is higher than an average body temperature or 40 °C and above. Two types of hot
spring origin are volcanic and non-volcanic sources. The Quaternary magmatic
intrusion of Maria volcanic complex in Sabah is the only volcanic-related hot
spring. Meanwhile, Sungai Klah, Ulu Slim, Gadek, and other hot springs in
Malaysia originated from regional granite intrusion that slowly cooled down
since the Triassic period. In Peninsular Malaysia, there is a geological trend
of hot springs distribution based on three different intrusion and localities
of granite batholiths: Eastern, Central and Western belts of granite.
Tectonically, most of these hot springs are associated with fault zones related
to highly fractured and deep-seated fault areas with high permeability host
rock, such as Bok Bak Fault. Later it can conduit meteoric water to seep deep
beneath the subsurface and be subjected to a high geothermal gradient zone.
High dissolved minerals in the hot springs are beneficial for balneotherapy,
while the excess heat and brine can be harnessed into electrical energy. The
development of geothermal potential in Malaysia is still unhurried compared to
our neighbouring countries, for example, Thailand’s Fang Geothermal Power Plant
is a non-volcanic hot spring with a sound temperature of 130°C which can
generate 300 kW of electricity. Lastly, effort has been made by researchers in
gathering the data on hot spring distribution in Malaysia which can be viewed
with just a click. A new app is developed for Android user named Malaysia’s Hot
Springs that can be freely downloaded from the ‘Apps Store’ in hope that the
application can serve as hot springs tourism and publication reference


Keywords: Hot springs, Malaysia,



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Manuscript received 7 June 2021

Received in revised form 27 January 2022

Accepted 28 January 2022

Available online 26 April 2022


0126-5539; 2682-7549 / Published by the Geological Society of


© 2022 by the Author(s). This is an open access article distributed
under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License 4.0


DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/wg481202204