Iceland: Volcanoes in “The Land of Fire and Ice”

Kerid’s Volcanic Caldera

Kerid’s Volcanic Caldera

Blesi Hot Spring

Blesi Hot Spring

Strokkur Geyser’s Blue Bubble (nicknamed “The Churn”)

Strokkur Geyser’s Blue Bubble (nicknamed “The Churn”)

Strokkur Geyser Erupting

Strokkur Geyser Erupting

Seltun Volcanic Basin

Seltun Volcanic Basin

Graenavatn Explosion Crater Lake

Graenavatn Explosion Crater Lake

View from Bridge Between the Continents – Rift Between the North American Plate (left) and Eurasian Plate (right)

View from Bridge Between the Continents – Rift Between the North American Plate (left) and Eurasian Plate (right)

Iceland sits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the intersection of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.  This “Land of Fire and Ice” has 30-40 active volcanoes and a major eruption about every 5 years.  A new island named Surtsey formed after an eruption in 1963-1967.  Homes on the offshore island of Heimaey were suddenly covered up by lava and ash in 1973 (thus giving it the nickname “Iceland’s Pompeii”).  A new volcano museum named Eldheimar opened there in May 2014 (http://eldheimar.is/en/).  Worldwide air travel was disrupted for days by the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010.

All of this volcanic activity means that there are numerous places to see geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, and volcanic calderas in Iceland.  Our favorite geyser was Strokkur outside of Reykjavik.  It makes an unbelievable blue bubble for a split second before the water gushes up.   The English word “geyser” comes from Iceland’s original “Geysir” (which means gusher).  All of the places pictured are within an easy day trip from Reykjavik.  An Icelandic web page with links at the top to current earthquakes and earthquakes in 3-D is at:  http://en.vedur.is/   A live webcam at the Bardarbunga Volcano, which became active in August 2014, is at:  http://www.livefromiceland.is/webcams/bardarbunga-2/   A great fly-by video of the Bardarbunga Volcano is at:  http://www.ruv.is/frett/eldstodvarnar-i-holuhrauni-myndband  An incredible video of the Bardarbunga Volcano at night on September 4, 2014, is at:  http://vimeo.com/105365343

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

14 Responses to Iceland: Volcanoes in “The Land of Fire and Ice”

  1. Kongo says:

    Very nice images, Pam. Are you guys there now?

    • Pam says:

      We recently got back. Now going through lots of pictures. It was spectacular!

      • Kongo says:

        I drove by your city on Friday on the way to Tampa to have a political dinner. Sometime I’m going to have to stop and say hi.

        • Pam says:

          Oh, please do!!! We are 15 minutes from the interstate exit. Would love to show you our 5 acres and take you out for a meal at our favorite restaurant on the Indian River.

  2. jbw0123 says:

    That’s a stunning blue at the hot springs. It looks like it should be cold.

  3. anitsirk says:

    I have always wanted to go to Iceland!

  4. Fabulous photos Pam! Those beautiful shades of blue are out of this world. And I had no idea about the origin of the word geyser. I was wondering, you said this is an easy day trip from Reykjavik – how do you recommend visiting the area? ~Terri

    • Pam says:

      Hi, Terri. When we were there, we thought that you just have to go! There are wonderful all-inclusive bus tours for tourists. We love photography and like to pull off when we want for as long as we wish, so we rented a car. Send me a private e-mail, and I can give you some very helpful details and tips (pgwinegar@aol.com).

      • Thanks so much Pam. When we were there it was a short trip and we just saw Reykjavik. Next time we’ll be there longer. I’ll send you an email. Thanks in advance. ~Terri

  5. Pingback: Iceland: Charming Glaumbaer Sod Farmhouses/Folk Museum | naturetime

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