Is there a list of warm and hot springs in Iceland, with latitude, longitude, and perhaps temperature (range)?

Íslenskar orkurannsóknir (Icelandig Geosurvey) publishes a geologic map (Jarðfræðikort / Berggrunnskort) including warm springs (laug; 25–50°C), hot springs (50–75°C), hot to boiling springs (laug eða hver; 75–98°C), and boiling springs (Suðuhver; 98–100°C). The paper map is published at 1:600,000, which is not really accurate enough to locate a spring in the wild. The springs are also shown in their online map, but that map allows coordinates to be retrieved only down to two decimal degree places, which translates to a 1.1 km × 0.5 km area. For a spring that may be less than 10 metre in diameter in a possibly rugged wilderness area, that is rather large. Google Search yields mainly tourist websites that all list the same "secret" hot springs, which just happen to be colocated with outfitters and other commercial exploitation. Openstreetmap does not have the remote springs, nor does this old topographic map series.

I am particularly interested in the ones near Hofsjökull. From the linked geologic map, I succeeded to derive the list: 18.74°W, 64.97°N; 64.98°N; 18.34°W, 65.03°N; 18.28°W, 64.92°N; 18.78°W, 64.65°N; 18.85°W, 64.66°N; 18.81°W, 64.62°N; 19.31°W, 64.68°N; but as stated, this is not precise enough.

Is there a list of all warm and hot springs in Iceland, such as collected by the Icelandic Geosurvey or otherwise, including the position to within at least 100 metre (preferably 10 metre), and possibly (as a bonus) the temperature (range) of the specific spring?

  • Not sure how it compares to the numbers you've found, but geonames.org/statistics/iceland.html notes 29 such springs are listed in geonames. Also, when you zoom in on jardfraedikort.is/index_enska.html the coordinate marker still moves in 0.01 degree increments, suggesting it's inaccurate at larger scales.
    – user3856
    Jul 1 '17 at 18:37
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    If you look at the source of the map you linked, you'll see arcgisserver.isor.is:6080/arcgis/rest/services is a GIS server that apparently has a lot more information (click on 'isor' for example). I don't read enough Icelandic to understand it, but you might. You've probably already seen things like myguidereykjavik.com/travel-articles/… and whatson.is/icelandic-hot-springs-arent-blue-lagoon
    – user3856
    Jul 1 '17 at 18:47
  • @BarryCarter Looking at the geologic map, it has a lot more than 29 hot springs nationally (perhaps 29 are named?). I will try your arc gis link once it's back up (seem to be down at the moment), thanks. I've seen those touristy links, that's still only a small subset, I was hoping to combine a wilderness trek with visiting some that aren't listed there at all (and therefore have an improved chance of being there on my own).
    – gerrit
    Jul 2 '17 at 21:33
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    In the geological map, what legend/key represents hot springs? I think you could read it directly off the map (ignoring the 2 decimal point coordinates in the tooltip which I think are inaccurate), or find and dl the source images or something. I'm hindered inability to read Icelandic, so I can't tell what's what.
    – user3856
    Jul 3 '17 at 0:31
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    Visit arcgisserver.isor.is:6443/arcgis/rest/services/isor/… and click "Query" to get to arcgisserver.isor.is:6443/arcgis/rest/services/isor/… then enter "OBJECTID>0" in the "Query:" field, click on either Query button at the bottom (use Format: JSON), and you'll get something... I believe some variant of this will get what you want. Feel free to contact me real time google hangouts carter.barry@gmail.com + I'm sure we can crack this.
    – user3856
    Jul 3 '17 at 1:09

This isn't really an answer, but may yield a path to one.

If you visit http://jardfraedikort.is/index_enska.html and zoom all the way in, you see something like:

enter image description here

In particular, the 2km scale bar run from x pixel 789 to x pixel 998 for a length of 210 pixels. This means each pixel represents about 9.5 meters. The map's scale is given as 1:600000 (I think the 1:100000 maps aren't free), but that doesn't make as much sense when you're viewing on a computer.

We note the purple triangle is centered at x=495.5,y=282 in the image and is at approximately +64.97 latitude and -18.74 longitude. If we now switch to satellite view (using the "basemaps" option), the map will look something like this:

enter image description here

(it won't look exactly like that because I accidentally moved the map center before switching to satellite mode).

The purple triangle would also be at x=495.5,y=282 on this map, although we can't see it.

Now, go to google maps, and try to find a satellite map that approximately matches this one (it doesn't have to be exact). In this case, we start by entering "64.97,-18.74" in google maps search and correct the zoom until it looks something (scalewise) like jardfraedikort.is map:

enter image description here

In theory, you could now find the x and y pixel differences between the two maps (by using a landmark as a reference), figure out where "64.97,-18.74" is on the jardfraedikort.is map, and then find how far north and west (in km, using the 9.5m/pixel scale) the purple triangle is from "64.97,-18.74", and then compute its actual latitude and longitude.

You'd have to do this one a time for each spring you're interested in, and it would be fairly tedious. Additionally, it assume the purple triangle is placed correctly down to the pixel and not just by estimated position.

Some possible shortcuts:

  • Contact the website directly. They seem have to have this information and don't seem to mind sharing it, so they may just give you what you need directly.

  • Look at the source code for the map, and ask on reverseengineering.stackexchange.com or gis.stackexchange.com. It's fairly clear they're using Leaflet and pulling the data from a GIS server that allows no-authentication-required queries: https://arcgisserver.isor.is:6443/arcgis/rest/services/isor/ahugaverdir_stadir/MapServer/0/query -- "OBJECTID>0" is a sample query, but I'm not quite sure how to interpret the results.

  • The data they're getting may be from a government land survey (the results appear to be in "eastings" and "northings", suggesting an older survey). You may try contacting the government of Iceland directly for this information.

I'm convinced my "solution" above is the wrong way to do this, but if you're absolutely desperate (and the maps are pixel accurate), it would work.

  • Thanks, I will try this. Regarding the 1:100.000 maps: those are available in some areas but not in the interior; on my copy of the 1:600.000 paper map it says those are in preparation for areas where they have not been published yet.
    – gerrit
    Jul 3 '17 at 10:13

OSM has a tag for hot springs

bath:type=* hot_spring


This won't give you temperature range, but perhaps you can do a fuzzy match of the OSM name to another list. (for example, Zürich has an API for outdoor water temperatures)

  • How I use that to map all of those?
    – gerrit
    Mar 12 '18 at 22:25

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