Posts Tagged ‘Iceland’

Askja Caldera

Askja Caldera

Still and calm lies lake Öskjuvatn (de) in Askja (de) Caldera. Being 220m deep it was formed only recently, 1875, in a large eruption. In the following 32 years it slowly filled with water, until it reached todays levels.

Öskjuvatn is cold, but on the shores close to Viti (de) you can dig your feet into the ground and sense some fleeting warmth. Viti with its warm, milky blue water is a popular tourist attraction.

The caldera is often visited by scientists measuring the rise and fall of the ground as magma flows in and out of the magma chamber underneath.
Other measurements include micro gravity measurements (example) to calculating the mass of moving magma based on changes in gravity. Metering devices are calibrated in the kitchen at Herdubreid (de) hut where a small pin shows the point where gravity is “normal”.
Updates April 2012: The Iceland Volcano and Earthquake blog reports that Öskjuvatn was ice free during winter, even though Myvatn (de) was frozen over. This might signal changes in geothermal activity. (more Updates: 1 and 2)
Island Blog reports likewise.

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Shard

Shard

Once the chunks of ice produced by the calving of Breiðamerkurjökull are small enough to float towards the sea, the surf washes them up on the beach.

They decay slowly on the black sand, producing unique shapes that only last for a couple of minutes.

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Icefish 2

Icefish 2

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halflife in iceland

halflife in iceland

This bridge leads over the outlet of Jökulsárlón. Here one of the largest glaciers, Vatnajökull extends a glacier tongue called Breiðamerkurjökull. Gradually ice is breaking off and floats towards the sea.

The bridge is part of the ring road which leads around Iceland. Bridges usually are “einbreid bru”, meaning only one lane for both directions.

We had to rise early to catch the sunrise awakening the glacier and the lake. At noon the place is crowded with tourists, and even at five in the morning we were not alone. Some tourists had slept beside the lake in their van and where doing yoga exercises – not exactly an icelandish tradition, but with the magical atmosphere it didn’t appear to be out of place.

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Whale

Whale

Small icebergs have broken of the glacier tongue Breiðamerkurjökull, extending from the south end of Vatnajökull. Slowly melting the ice floats in Jökulsárlón towards the sea.

Tourists can enjoy a boat ride across the lagoon in old amphibious vehicles. To move icebergs out of the way a dinghy accompanies the tourists, pushing clear a waterway.

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Almost Irish

Almost Irish

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Coastline

Coastline

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Shell

Shell

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Cold Azure

Cold Azure

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Rembrandt

Rembrandt

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