Iceland: The Forces of Nature

Found just south of the Arctic Circle and with two tectonic plates running through its centre, the country of Iceland demonstrates some of the incredible forces of nature that are present on this planet. A few years ago I was lucky enough to witness some of them for myself and have put together a brief list of a few of the sights that you definitely need to see! So cue a post with lots of random facts and a sprinkling of a few photos!

Volcanoes

 

  1. Eyjafjallajokull

Despite seeing this volcano, I’m still not entirely sure how to pronounce its name!

This volcano is completely covered by an ice cap and fuelled by the magma chamber located deep below. It gained fame back in 2010 when its huge eruption sent out large volumes of ash, completely disrupting air travel, particularly in Europe.

 

  1. Hekla

Iceland’s second largest volcano was once believed to be the entrance to hell. A giant fissure runs through the area, making it extremely volcanic, with Hekla having gained the crown as Iceland’s most active.

 

Kerid- a volcanic crater lake located on the world famous tourist route ‘The Golden Circle’ which is filled with blue-green water, a complete contrast against the dramatic black landscape.

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Geysers

There are many of these incredible natural water features dotted throughout the country, however one in particular which caught my eye was Stokkur which sent huge jets of water shooting into the sky every 4-8 minutes. If you’re lucky these streams can sometimes reach a height of up to 40 metres.

 

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Waterfalls

It’s not hard to see why the breathtaking waterfalls of Iceland are so well photographed, you are spoiled for choice with the sheer volume of picture opportunities as the water impressively cascades over the dramatic landscape. And with the sun softly shining on the water rainbows appear in the soft spray. Iceland regularly receives large amounts of precipitation, both in the forms of rain and snow and due to its location close to the Arctic it has many large glaciers which melt during the summer months. Both of these factors make Iceland the perfect place to be home to several powerful waterfalls.

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The Haukadalur Geothermal Area is also worth mentioning as it contains a large variety of fumarols (a gas vent) and other geysers. The region is dotted with mud pools which consist of bubbling hot water mixed with the surrounding soil. All of these features produce large amounts of steam, painting a rather eerie looking picture.

 

Despite the fact that this was definitely a whistle stop tour of the area I felt that I still managed to gain an incredible insight into some of the geography and forces that have helped to shape the landscape in the south west region of Iceland.

 

 

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