Volcanic phenomena

Previous Home Up Next

In Iceland is a lot of volcanic activity. For one, there is a volcano eruption every 5 years on average. There wasn't one when we were there, so no pictures of flowing lava.

All year round there is geothermal energy. Because of the volcanic activity in the area, the earth is a lot hotter than in most places, around 80-100 degrees. The heat inside the earth is used for electricity. The power-plant is shown on the picture on the right.

Geothermal energy
Mirjam on a bridge

The heat comes out of the earth by pumping hot water up. The warmth is transferred into electricity by cooling it down. When is it 'only' 50 degrees, it flows via this stream to the Blue Lagoon, where it is used as swimming water.

Strokkur erupting

Just before eruption

Splash Really impressive are the geysers. The biggest one, Geysir, which gave the phenomenon its name, doesn't work anymore. When it stopped to spout in the beginning of the 20th century, they managed to get it spouting again after adding soap. In 1928 it really got dormant, but in 1935 a channel was dig to let the water flow away. In then spouted regularly until in 1963 it really quit. Its neighbour, Strokkur, was then activated by some drilling.

Every 10 minutes the calm bubbling water forms a big blue bowl (picture above), which then gives way to a stream of boiling water, 20-30 meters high. The first time you see it from close, it feels like a rollercoaster, really impressive.


Geo-active landscape

At several places on Iceland you can see natural mud-pots and sulpher-pots. The ones on these pictures are near Mřvatn, at Nßmaskard. Close-by are also Krafla and Leirhnj˙kur, a volcano with a similar area but a lot bigger. And because it isn't right at the ring-road, there are less busses.

In the national park Vesturdalur you can find a lot of basalt-formations like the one on the right. Basalt is of course one of the rocks you get when lava cools down. Above is Raudhˇlar, red hill, a pseudo-crater. Although it looks like a crater, it is formed because water got trapped in hot lava. The water boiled very fast and the steam wanting to get away caused an explosion, which formed the pseudo-crater.

Natural patterns

Previous Home Up Next