Friday, April 16, 2010

Above: Cooler times on Eyjafjallajökull (in 2007). This is the southern Iceland glacier that covers the volcano that erupted in March and April 2010 after being dormant for nearly 190 years. The most recent eruption shut down air travel across much of Europe by sending volcanic ash, a danger to aircraft, into the atmosphere.

Above: An iceberg at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lake in southern Iceland. (A glacial lake has its origins in a melting glacier.) A number of films have had scenes shot at Jökulsárlón, including Tomb Raider, Batman Begins, and the James Bond films Die Another Day and A View to a Kill.

Above: A scene in southern Iceland.

Above: Traditional Icelandic turf houses at the Skógar museum in southern Iceland. Such houses offered better insulation than those made only of wood or stone.

Above: "Pseudo-craters" along Lake Mývatn in northern Iceland. Pseudo-craters were formed by steam explosions as flowing hot lava crossed over lakes or other wet surfaces. Explosive gases broke through the lava surface, leaving crater-like forms which look similar to real volcanic craters. Structures appearing to be pseudo-craters have also been discovered on Mars.

Above: Geothermal spa at the Bláa lónið ("Blue Lagoon") in Grindavík, which is on the south-western coast of Iceland. The waters are rich in silica, sulfur, and algae and have an average temperature of 38°C / 100°F. The lagoon is fed by the water output of a nearby geothermal power.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Above: The Gullfoss waterfall in southwest Iceland.

Above: Buildings overlooking lake Tjörnin in central Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland.

Above: Snæfellsjökull, a volcano with a glacier covering its summit in western Iceland. The mountain was made famous in the the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, in which the protagonists find the entrance to a passage leading to the center of the earth on Snæfellsjökull.

Above: Icelandic horses. This breed of horse has lived in Iceland since the mid-800s AD, having been brought to the island by Viking settlers.

Above: A road to Siglufjörður, one of the most northern towns in Iceland.
Above: The Goðafoss waterfall in the Mývatn district of north-central Iceland.

Above: Lava pillars at Höfði around Lake Mývatn.

Above: Icelandic sheep. The breed was brought to Iceland by the Vikings 1100-1200 years ago.

Above: Skaftafell National Park covered in clouds in southern Iceland.

Above: The Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell National Park. The waterfall is surrounded by hexagonal pillars of basalt created by cooling volcanic lava.
Above: Kerið, a volcanic crater lake in southern Iceland. Rainfall fills the depression to form a deepening lake.

Above: More Icelandic horses.

Above: The view from Þingvellir (pronounced thingvellir) in southwestern Iceland. Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural and geological importance.

Above: A view of the Faxaflói bay and the Esja volcanic mountain from the Reykjavík harbor.

Above: A puffin near Puffin Island off the coast of Reykjavík.
Above: Mjóifjörður, a fjord in eastern Iceland.

Above: A view of the town of Seyðisfjörður in eastern Iceland. The town is located at the end of a fjord with the same name.

Above: Another iceberg at Jökulsárlón. (See description earlier.)

Above: A view in Grindavík in south-west Iceland.
Above: A view from the road in northern Iceland.

Above: A path at the botanical gardens in Akureyri in northern Iceland.

Above: A Common Loon near Lake Mývatn. These birds swim underwater to catch fish.

Above: Appears to be a gull near Lake Mývatn.
Above: Climbing the glacier Skaftafellsjökull at the Skaftafell National Park in southern Iceland.

Above: Signs on a hiking path at the Skaftafell National Park.

Above: A crevasse in a glacier.

Above: A glacier in southern Iceland.

Above: The Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík. Note the resemblance to the basalt columns surrounding the Svartifoss waterfall shown earlier. The columns of Svartifoss provided inspiration for Icelandic architects, most visibly in the Hallgrímskirkja church.
Above: Djúpalónssandur, a volcanic sand beach, on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland.

Above: Another scene on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.