Some facts about Iceland forum: Land of fire and ice

 
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Imagerannveig
Mar 7, 2010 6:44 PM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Iceland is a volcanic island in the middle of the North-Atlantic, between 63°N and 66°N. The arctic circle passes through the island Grímsey off the north coast.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=...


The island sits on the mid-Atlantic ridge, formed as magma wells through the rifts where the American and Eurasian plates are moving apart. So in a sense, the western part of the island is in America, while the east is in Europe. Because the plates are moving apart, the country is slowly getting bigger, by about 1" per year.

The population of Iceland is around 317.000 people. About 2/3 of the population live in the Reykjavík area, there of about 118.000 in the capital Reykjavík.

Thumbnail by rannveig

Imagerannveig
Mar 10, 2010 4:34 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
The mid-Atlantic rift runs through the center of the country from SW to NE. The areas closest to the rift are the most active. The Westfjords in the NW and Eastfjords in the east are the oldest parts of the country and therefore the least active.

In most areas geothermal water is used to heat up houses. It's transported in pipes like the cold water and runs through radiators to heat the houses. The runoff is still quite warm and is often used to heat drive ways and walk ways to melt off snow. Hot water from the tap is extremely hot, about 176°F and has a strong smell of sulphur. The geothermal water is also used in swimmingpools and hot tubs, so heated pools are abundant all over the country. Where there's a school, there's also a heated pool since swimming is part of the curriculum in all elementary schools.

You can even find swimming pools in the middle of no-where. This pool is in a desolate fjord in the West Fjords of Iceland, Reykjafjörður. There's nothing there except this pool and one or two summer cabins. People can swim in it (at their own risk of course since it's unsupervised), but the locker rooms weren't very inviting.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=65.626557,-23.411865&num=1&sll... The location of the pool is marked by the green arrow.

Thumbnail by rannveig

[Last edited Mar 16, 2010 4:40 PM CST]
Quote | Post #111943 (2)
Imagerannveig
Mar 10, 2010 4:45 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
The Krísuvík hot spring area is on the Reykjanes peninsula close to my hometown of Hafnarfjörður. This area is seismically very active, with numerous small tremors daily. Most of them are too small to detect though. I've only felt an earthquake about 5 times in my lifetime.

The hot spring area in Krísuvík with the lake Kleifarvatn in the distance.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=63.909604,-22.046814&num=1&sll...



Thumbnail by rannveig

Imagerannveig
Mar 10, 2010 4:51 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Boiling clay in the hot spring area Námaskarð in the north. Nearby is an active volcano, Krafla that last erupted in the 1970's. There is a geothermal electric plant close by.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=65.637889,-16.803589&num=1&t=p...

Thumbnail by rannveig

Imagerannveig
Mar 10, 2010 5:13 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Iceland's most active volcano Hekla is in the south. It's due to erupt any day now, in fact she's past her due date so she's closely watched.

http://images.google.is/imgres?imgurl=http://www.myndabanki....

A map that show the location of Hekla: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=64.00246,-19.682007&num=1&t=p&...

Another volcano in the south, Katla is also nearing her due date. She poses more of a threat because she's covered by a glacier. An eruption there causes a flash flood that poses a threat to a few towns on the south coast. It's closely monitored and an evacuation plan is in place. It was rehersed a few years ago. Katla last erupted in 1918. http://images.google.is/imgres?imgurl=http://www.heimaslod.i...

A map that shows the location of Katla in the glacier Mýrdalsjökull: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=63.636504,-19.061279&num=1&t=p...

Interesting that the names of both these volcanos (and Krafla in the north) are all feminine ......... hmmmm........ Hilarious!



Here's a photo of Hekla. People are strongly adviced against hiking there now because there will only be about an hour's warning before she'll waken from her slumber. Hekla last erupted in 2000. She's erupted every ten years or so since 1970 (1980, 1991, 2000)



Thumbnail by rannveig

[Last edited Mar 10, 2010 7:40 AM CST]
Quote | Post #111962 (5)
Imagerannveig
Mar 10, 2010 8:45 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
The glacier Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe (Greenland is geographically in America, although it's politically a part of Denmark and therefore Europe - ofcourse that's the largest glacier in the world.)

There is an active volcano, Grímsvötn (Grím's lake), beneath the glacier that has erupted 3 times since 1996. It is one of the most powerful geothermal areas in the world. The crater is filled with water and covered by about 200 - 300 m (650 - 980 ft.) layer of ice. The melting ice causes the water level to rise up to a certain point, then the water from the lake taps off every few years causing floods in the glacial rivers. Those flash floods are the main reason why the main highway circling the country (highway 1) wasn't connected in the south until 1974. During the 1996 eruption there was a huge flood that took out the highway in several places.

http://www.vatnajokulsthjodgardur.is/vert-ad-sja/helstu-stad...

Imagerannveig
Mar 10, 2010 9:08 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
One of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world in historic times took place in Iceland, forming the craters Lakagígar. The eruption started on June 8th 1783 and did not end until February 1784. The lava flow covered 565 sq. km (218 sq. miles). Toxic fallout caused huge casualties in livestock (about 50% of cattle, 80% of sheep and 77% of horses) and as a result about 20% of the population died of hunger in the years 1783 - 1786. Iceland was under Danish rule at that time and the Danish parliament considered moving the remaining 40.000 people that survived to Denmark. Fortunately, that didn't happen. The effects of the eruption were also felt in Europe where ash particles in the air caused a significant lowering of temperature that caused crop failure.

http://images.google.is/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.fl...
Imagerannveig
Mar 16, 2010 5:24 PM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Iceland's second or third largest glacier is Langjökull in the west-central part of the country.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=64.642704,-20.170898&num=1&t=h...

Thumbnail by rannveig

Imagerannveig
Mar 21, 2010 8:07 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
A volcanic eruption started in the south of Iceland just before midnight last night. It is close to the volcano Katla I mentioned before where an eruption has been anticipated for a few years now. There are two glaciers in the area, Katla is in the glacier Mýrdalsjökull and west of it is another glacier, Eyjafjallajökull where there's also a volcanic crater that last erupted in the 1800's. Nearby farms were evacuated last night in case of flash floods, about 500-600 people had to leave their homes. Fortunately the fissure that opened last night is right between the two glaciers, if it stays in that area there won't be any danger of floods. The area is still closed though, but farmers were allowed in to tend to their animals this morning. It's a small eruption, the fissure is only about 1 km (slightly over half a mile) long, so let's just hope it'll stay that way. There is some lavaflow from it, but now ash has been reported yet. How long it will last is impossible to say according to scientists, it could end tomorrow or last 1-2 years. The area has been very seismically active for the past weeks so scientists have been keeping a close eye on it. They were anticipating an eruption but didn't know exactly where or when. There was little warning last night before the eruption started. Here's a link to some video clips: http://www.ruv.is/frett/eldgos-myndskeid You have to click the links on the bottom of the page that start with "Hér eru .... " The first clip is from last night, the other one early this morning.
And here's a link to some photos: http://mbl.is/mm/frettir/innlent/2010/03/21/ur_baendaferd_i_...

Rann
Imageadinamiti
Mar 21, 2010 3:03 PM CST
Name: Adina Dosan
Balotesti, Romania
Rann, great information about the volcano! Have to go and check on those links.
Adina
Please visit us at Carpe diem cubit!
http://cubits.org/cjr/
Imagerannveig
Mar 21, 2010 3:57 PM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Thanks Adina Smiling

What scientists worry about is how this could affect Katla. The three known eruptions in Eyjafjallajökull have all set off an eruption in Katla and when she blows that's no joke. Another thing that's kind of worrying is that despite all the fancy measuring equipment, there was no prior warning before the eruption. But the evacuation went smoothly, in fact there were meetings only last week with the residents in the area to go over the evacuation plans.
Imageweeds
Mar 26, 2010 3:17 PM CST
FL. Panhandle
Not all those who wander are lost.
I have been watching the webcam off and on all day!
Talk with people around the world.
Visit Carpe diem and seize the day!
Also, Jigsaw Puzzles, Excel forum and tutorials.
Imagerannveig
Mar 27, 2010 4:10 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
They said on the news last night, that a webcam was being installed even closer to it up on Fimmvörðuháls. It's not on the website yet, but I'll post a link when it appears :-)
Imageweeds
Mar 27, 2010 6:44 AM CST
FL. Panhandle
Not all those who wander are lost.
Great! I have a class at school that is interested in watching with me so let me know the link when it is ready!
Talk with people around the world.
Visit Carpe diem and seize the day!
Also, Jigsaw Puzzles, Excel forum and tutorials.
Imagerannveig
Mar 27, 2010 8:01 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
I will :-)
ImageLedgegardener
Mar 27, 2010 8:36 AM CST
Name: Ledgegardener
Maine, on the downeast coast
Will look forward to the link for the web cam too. Really interesting to follow the course of these eruptions. Do all the cities have evacuation plans if the is an eruption of monumental proportions? Where would everyone go?
Living and loving life on the coast of Maine.
Imagerannveig
Mar 27, 2010 8:46 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Hi Ledge! No, this is really the only area that's in danger of flooding in case of a volcanic eruption ...... if the big one, Katla, blows it could be as little as 30 -60 min. until the glacial burst washes over the area, so people have to get out in a hurry. There are safe zones on either side of the area where evacuation centers are set up in that case. There are mostly farms in this area, only one town is in danger if Katla blows, that's Vík. Other towns/regions don't have evacuation plans in case of volcanos. Many towns do have evacuations becaus of avalanche danger during the winter months. The other two volcanos that have been the most active in recent years, Hekla and Grímsvötn in the glacier Vatnajökull are in less populated areas.
Imageadinamiti
Mar 27, 2010 11:00 AM CST
Name: Adina Dosan
Balotesti, Romania
I'm anxious to watch the webcam too!
Adina
Please visit us at Carpe diem cubit!
http://cubits.org/cjr/
Imagerannveig
Mar 27, 2010 2:47 PM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Here's the link: http://mila.is/um-milu/vefmyndavelar/eyjafjallajokull-fra-fi...

Eruption updates here : http://cubits.org/icelandgardening/thread/view/15877/
ImageLedgegardener
Mar 28, 2010 10:25 AM CST
Name: Ledgegardener
Maine, on the downeast coast
Hi Rann - following the volcanao cam. Have it book marked.
Living and loving life on the coast of Maine.

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