Most Amazing Hot Springs Around the World

Thursday, November 27, 2008
A hot spring is a spring that is produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater from the earth’s crust.

There are hot springs all over the earth, on every continent and even under the oceans and seas.

Many were created between 20 and 45 million years ago as a result of violent volcanic activity.
Silex Spring at Fountain Paint Pot
spring silex

Silex Spring is located in Yellowstone National Park. Hot water is a better solvent than cooler water, dissolving large amounts of silica — the major element of these volcanic rocks in the form of sinter lines the bottom of Silex Spring. It forms terraces along the runoff channels and gives the spring its name.
The spring overflows most of the year, creating a hot environment where thermophiles thrive which become food for several kinds of flies that live in and on the hot water. The flies then become food for mites, spiders, various insects, and birds.

Emerald Spring
Emerald Spring

Emerald Spring is a boiling hot spring located in Norris Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park.
Emerald Spring is 27 feet (8 m) deep. The water temperature in the spring is around 172°F (78°C). The spring gets its name the emerald green color of the water created by sunlight filtering through the water, giving the light a blue color, and reflecting off the yellow sulphur creating the green hue
While Emerald Spring is a mostly calm pool, which usually only has a few bubbles rising to the surface, it does experience periods of turbidity and small 3-foot (1 m) high eruptions. In 1931, Emerald experienced a period of extremely vigorous activity with eruptions measuing 60 to 75 feet (18.2–22.9 m) in height

Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs

Terrace Mountain at Mammoth Hot Springs is the largest known carbonate-depositing spring in the world. The most famous feature at the springs is the Minerva Terrace — a series of travertine terraces which have been created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate. Over 2 tons flows into Mammoth each day in a solution.

Due to recent minor earthquake activity, the spring vent has shifted, rendering the terraces dry.

A system of small fissures carries water upward to create approximately 50 hot springs in the Mammoth Hot Springs area. Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, their energy has been attributed to the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone geothermal areas.

Another major component for terrace growth is the mineral calcium carbonate. Thick layers of sedimentary limestone deposited millions of years ago by vast seas lie beneath the Mammoth area. As ground water seeps slowly downward, it comes in contact with hot gases charged with carbon dioxide rising from the magma chamber. Some carbon dioxide is readily dissolved in the hot water to form a weak carbonic acid solution.

This hot, acidic solution dissolves great quantities of limestone as it works up through the rock layers to the surface hot springs. Once exposed to the open air, some of the carbon dioxide escapes from the solution. A solid mineral reforms and is deposited as the traversal that forms the terraces.

Blood Pond Hot Spring

Blood Pond Hot Spring is one of the “hells” (jigoku) of Beppu, Japan — nine spectacular natural hot springs that are more for viewing rather than bathing. The “blood pond hell” features a pond of hot, red water, colored as such by iron in the waters. It’s allegedly the most photogenic of the nine hells.

Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
Deildartunguhver Hot Spring

Deildartunguhver is the largest hot spring in Iceland, located in Reykholtsdalur. It’s characterized by a very high flow rate for a hot spring at 180 liters/second of boiling water and emerges at 206°F (97°C). It’s the highest-flow hot spring in all of Europe. Some of the water is used for heating, being piped 21 miles (34 kilometers) to Borgarnes and 40 miles (64 kilometers) to Akranes.

Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring

The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the US and third largest in the world next to those in New Zealand, about 250 by 300 feet (75 by 91 meters) in size and 160 feet (49 meters) deep, discharging an estimated 560 gallons (2000 liters) of 160°F (71°C) water/minute.
The vivid colors in the spring ranging from green to brilliant red and orange are the result of algae and pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water, the amount of color dependant on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids produced by the organisms. The center of the pool is sterile due to extreme heat.

During summer the chlorophyll content of the organisms is low and thus the mats appear orange, red, or yellow. But in winter, the mats are usually dark green because sunlight is more scarce and the microbes produce more chlorophyll to compensate, thereby masking the carotenoid colors.

The deep azure blue color of the water in the center of the pool results from a light-absorbing overtone of the hydroxy stretch of water. While this effect is responsible for making all large bodies of water blue, it’s particularly intense in Grand Prismatic Spring due to the high purity and depth of the water in its center.

Jigokudani Hot Springs<br />

Jigokudani Hot Springs

Jigokudani Hot Springs<br />

Jigokudani Hot Springs in Nagano Prefecture, Japan is most famous for its so called “snow monkeys” — wild Japanese monkeys enjoying the naturally hot waters alongside the human visitors

The monkeys enjoy bathing especially during the cold winter months when temperatures drop below freezing, and the valley is covered by a thick layer of snow. But even in the summer they take occasional baths, sometimes allured by food thrown into the pool by park wardens.

Jigokudani Yaen Koen or “Jigokudani Monkey Park” is the chosen home of more than 100 Japanese Macaques, Japan’s indigenous monkeys. The park is located in “Hell Valley,” named for the volcanic activities in the area.

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the largest attractions in Iceland. The steamy waters are part of a lava formation, and a large swimming pool is heated with the run-off water from a nearby geothermal power plant
Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After passing through the turbines the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal hot water heating system. The water is then fed into the lagoon for users to bathe in.

The warm waters are rich in minerals such as silica and sulfur. Bathing in the Blue Lagoon for therapeutic purposes is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis. The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 40°C (104°F).

The spa is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwestern Iceland. It’s situated about 24 miles (39 kilometers) from the capital city of Reykjavík.

The Blue Lagoon spa and geothermal complex is clearly visible from any of the usual satellite imagery. It was used for the thermal spa scenes in the filming of Hostel: Part II.


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