Vatnajökull is the largest glacier of the Iceland and Europe. It is in the south-east of the island. With its surface of approximately 8 390 km ² (about the surface of Corsica), 8% of the surface of Iceland disappear under its cap. The ice has a maximum thickness of 1 000 meters. In Icelandic, Vatnajökull means “glacier of water” ( vatna for water and jökull for glacier).
Under the glacier, one finds a number impressing of active volcanos of which the Hvannadalshnjúkur, more the high mountain of Iceland, the subglacial lakes Grímsvötn and Bárðarbunga. In 1996, an eruption in Grímsvötn, under Vatnajökull, started the Jökulhlaup river Skeidará, the release of pockets of water enclosed under the ice, produced by the heat of the volcano. The last eruption of Grímsvötn goes back to 2004.
Formation and evolution of the size of the glacierAs much of Icelandic glaciers, Vatnajökull was made 2500 years ago.
About the 9th century, at the time of the colonization of Iceland, it was much smaller than today. The mountain of Esjufjöll was thus apart from the glacier while it is located in the middle of Vatnajökull today.
During the Small Ice Age, 13th century until the beginning of the 20th century, the glacier extends. It since lost part of its surface. The Greenhouse effect and the volcanic activity considerable of lately are the two leading causes of the recent evolution.
- Vatnajökull on GoogleMap
- Vatnajökull - Gallery
- cellar under glacier with Kverkfjöll
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