Thermal water ascending in a hot-spring system may cool by conduction of heat to the surrounding rock, by boiling, by mixing with cooler water, or by a combination of these processes. Complete or partial chemical reequilibration may occur as a result of this cooling. In spite of these complexities, in many places chemical compositions of hot-spring waters may be used to estimate underground conditions. A plot of enthalpy versus chloride is particularly useful for determining underground temperatures, salinities, and boiling and mixing relations. The utility of this approach is illustrated using hot-spring composition data from Cerro Prieto, Mexico, Orakeikorako, New Zealand, and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. ?? 1979.