Volcanic Springs: Pictures, Names, Locations, and Virtual Tours

After great trips to Yellowstone in 2011 and to Iceland in 2012 we returned with tons of pictures showing geysers, hot springs, or other very colorful hydrothermal features. Unfortunately, we often had missed to photograph or note down the names on the signs, if there were any at all. Back home, we noticed to our surprise that the web did only provide a minor part of the information we were looking for in order to label the photos properly. The identification of the large number of remaining "nameless" features by other sources, such as scientific papers or books, took us additional effort in no small measure. But it was also an exciting experience because besides the names we found all the amazing facts and some desperately sad human destinies around geysers and hot springs. Eventually, in autumn 2012, we have made our photos, observations and search results available on this website in form of virtual tours, hoping to facilitate the first steps for everybody who wants to become acquainted with this fascinating subject. From time to time we are still adding content from more recent visits and from exchange with experts on location or by e-mail.

Stóri Geysir Haukadalur Iceland
Stóri Geysir at Haukadalur in Iceland (2012)

Preferred source for geyser names for Yellowstone National Park is the book The Geysers of Yellowstone by T. Scott Bryan. If applicable, also his notation for unnamed geysers (for example UNNG-NPR-5, UNNamed Geyser - Norris Porcelain Basin - number 5) is used. Regarding informal names for geysers in the book (UNNG-NPR-5 is unofficially called "Lambchop Geyser"), only the informal name is choosen on this website. For unnamed non-geyser features such as hot pools, fumaroles, and mud pots we took over the notation from the Research Coordination Network (RCN) of the Montana State University in collaboration with Yellowstone National Park. Designations based on this notation are consisting of a one to four character abbreviation of the group, the "NN" term for "unnamed", and the individual number of the feature (e.g. NPBNN036 meaning Norris Porcelain Basin unnamed feature number 036). Via the RCN website these codes give access to the (more or less) precise location and to some basic physical and chemical data of the feature.

Concerning hydrothermal features on Iceland things are a little bit more tricky. If no information about names or designations has been available on location, there's nothing else for it but to search for scientific papers or reports from companies in geothermal energy business. The drawback is that these publications usually are written in Icelandic language. In lack of a widely accepted notation for unnamed hydrothermal features on Iceland, we use an own informal system.

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