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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
Publié dans : #Excursions et voyages

On the road to Jökulsarlon, we meet the Hvannadalshnjúkur - 2119 meters, the highest point of Iceland and of Öræfajökull glacier/volcano, located on the rim of the caldera of a volcano sheltered under the Vatnajökull ice cap, in Icelandic " the glacier of lakes. "

Vatnajökull, with an area of ​​8.300km², covers 8% of the area of ​​Iceland and hides four active volcanoes, the Öræfajökull south, the Kverkfjöll to the north, the Grímsvötn and the Bárðarbunga, northwest.

 

Öræfajökull, and its highest point, Hvannadalshnjúkur - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Öræfajökull, and its highest point, Hvannadalshnjúkur - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

The Öræfajökull is a stratovolcano, with a basaltic to rhyolitic dominant, truncated by a summit caldera of 4 km x 5, occupied by the glacier of the same name (686 km² and volume 370km³) served by outlet glaciers, the Skaftafellsjokull and the Fjallsjökull.

Built mainly during the Pleistocene and the interglacial periods, his recent activity is dominated by a few summit explosions and flank effusions. From June to October 1362, an explosive eruption of VEI 5 ​​devastated the area, leaving it its name, which means "Wasteland, or abandoned land" ... it is the largest eruption since the settlement of Iceland. In 1727-28, an eruption of VEI 4 marked the caldera and the western flank.

 

Two outlet glaciers (outlet glaciers) of Öræfajökull : the Skaftafellsjokull and Fjallsjökull, to the left ofthe road - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Two outlet glaciers (outlet glaciers) of Öræfajökull : the Skaftafellsjokull and Fjallsjökull, to the left ofthe road - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Another outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull, the Breiðamerkurjökull ends with a glacial lagoon, known as Jökulsárlón, appeared around 1934 to 1935.

The ice tongue began to decline with the rising of temperatures, causing a calving process of  variable sized icebergs and increasing the size of the lagoon, which passed from 7.9 km² in 1975 to 18 km² today.



 

Breiðamerkurjökull declining between 1903 and 1980 - doc.Geodetic Danish Inst. & USAF

Breiðamerkurjökull declining between 1903 and 1980 - doc.Geodetic Danish Inst. & USAF

 Jökulsárlón - general view of the lagoon - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Jökulsárlón - general view of the lagoon - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Jökulsárlón - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Jökulsárlón - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Ice blocks are all different, very white, furrowed with black marks, or with a particular blue color ... for the oldest. An opening of the lagoon to the ocean lets the icebergs go out with the tides.
 

Jökulsárlón and his blue ice - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Jökulsárlón and his blue ice - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Jökulsárlón: the ice in all its forms - photo © Bernard Duyck 2015Jökulsárlón: the ice in all its forms - photo © Bernard Duyck 2015
Jökulsárlón: the ice in all its forms - photo © Bernard Duyck 2015

Jökulsárlón: the ice in all its forms - photo © Bernard Duyck 2015

Many seabirds, arctic terns, gulls, eider ducks, great skuas, gannets, puffins, nest nearby and are fishing in the lagoon.
 

Jökulsárlón - Couples of eider (Somateria mollissima) in formation - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Jökulsárlón - Couples of eider (Somateria mollissima) in formation - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

The action of the tides and the accelerated retreat of the glacier suggest the birth of a deep fjord.

 

To Jökulsárlón, the name of the island is not usurped ... Iceland, the land of ice. - Photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

To Jökulsárlón, the name of the island is not usurped ... Iceland, the land of ice. - Photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

A last look to the Jökulsárlón lagoon - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

A last look to the Jökulsárlón lagoon - photo © 2015 Bernard Duyck

Jökulsárlón has been part of several films: two James Bond: "Dangerously yours" and "Die Another Day," a Batman, "Batman Begins" and served as Siberian decor in "Tomb Raider".

Photos of the film "Die another day" / 007.Photos of the film "Die another day" / 007.

Photos of the film "Die another day" / 007.

Sources :

- Global Volcanism Program - Oraefajökull

-    "                  "                  - Grimsvotn - Bardarbunga - Kverkfjoll

- Oreonstate Univ. - Oraefajökull

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