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Earth of fire

Actualité volcanique, Article de fond sur étude de volcan, tectonique, récits et photos de voyage

Publié par Bernard Duyck
Vík í Mýrdal, or more commonly Vik - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Vík í Mýrdal, or more commonly Vik - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Vik - the church on the hill - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Vik - the church on the hill - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Vík í Mýrdal (In Icelandic, the "Bay (Vik) of the valley (dal [ur]) of the swamp (MYR [i]) ", or more commonly Vik) on the south coast of Iceland, is a small isolated village with less than 300 inhabitants.

On the hill overlooking Vik, his church also serves as an evacuation center in case of eruption of Katla volcano and/or a jökulhlaup.

 

Dyrhólaey, its black sand beach and a rocky promontory - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Dyrhólaey, its black sand beach and a rocky promontory - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Nearby there, is the site of Dyrhólaey, a peninsula formed partially by a submarine eruption 80,000 years ago and made of tuff to the east and to the west of dolerite. The peninsula is named after a volcanic arc ... "the high island with the door hole."

Considered as one of the top ten beaches in the world, it houses various rocky headlands, Litlidrangur, Kambur (height 29 m), Mávadrangur (32 m), Lundadrangur (34 m), Háidrangur (43 m), Söðulsker, Stampur, Miðsker, Skershali.

It is a protected nature reserve, a paradise for birdwatchers, partially closed in May and June during the nesting period of puffins.

 

A promontory of Dyrhólaey, and Reynisfjall in the background with the needles of Reynisdrangar - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

A promontory of Dyrhólaey, and Reynisfjall in the background with the needles of Reynisdrangar - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Further east, Reynisfjall is a tuff promontory owes its origin to a subglacial eruption dated to the penultimate ice age.

A series of basalt peaks 66 meters high, called Reynisdrangar, eroded by the elements, adorn its tip. According to the legend, it would be trolls surprised by the first rays of the sun while trying to thwart a three-masted ship on the shore, and turned to stone.


 

Reynisfjall and Reynisdrangar seen from Dyrhólaey - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Reynisfjall and Reynisdrangar seen from Dyrhólaey - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Needles of Reynisdrangar, views from the beach of Reynisfjara the next day ... drizzle and high tide - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Needles of Reynisdrangar, views from the beach of Reynisfjara the next day ... drizzle and high tide - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Reynisdrangar: erosion work of the sea ... a new needle in formation- photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Reynisdrangar: erosion work of the sea ... a new needle in formation- photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

On the beach of Reynisfjara, beautiful basalt organs battered by the spray shelter in their upper part a colony of breeding seabirds, including many fulmars.
 

The organs of Reynisfjara - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

The organs of Reynisfjara - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

 The organs of Reynisfjara - organs and entablature - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

The organs of Reynisfjara - organs and entablature - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

On the same beach, Hálsanefshellir, an exceptional cave, sees his organs take an aspect of pyrite in the pale light of a day of equinox.

This place, a paradise for volcanophile, can be very dangerous: in November 2013, 100 tons of basalt collapsed in night or early morning, fortunately not forming casualties.

 

Hálsanefshellir - a cave covered with basalt organs - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Hálsanefshellir - a cave covered with basalt organs - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Hálsanefshellir - metallic appearance of the organs in the rain - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Hálsanefshellir - metallic appearance of the organs in the rain - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Hálsanefshellir - part of the rosette - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Hálsanefshellir - part of the rosette - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Hálsanefshellir - The Work of erosion and frost on organs makes them brittle and dangerous - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Hálsanefshellir - The Work of erosion and frost on organs makes them brittle and dangerous - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

To follow : other sites of the Katla Geopark

 

Sources:
- Katla Geopark
- Icelandic geosurvey

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