Icelandic Glaciers

By far the largest of the glacier caps is Vatnajokull in Southeast Iceland with an area of 8,086 square km, equal in size to all the glaciers on the European mainland put together. Vatnjokull glacier is up to about 800m thick and it covers an area of about 8086 km2. This is an area bigger than the state of Rhode Island, USA. The Icelandic glaciers are the so-called thaw-glaciers with temperatures around 0°C. Another characteristics of Icelandic glaciers is the great number of constantly moving glacier tongues. Sometimes they advance fast and then retreat gradually again until the balance between the advance and the melting has been reached. The glaciers are an important source of water for the electrical production in the country. Therefore they have been and are still being researched and monitored thoroughly.

As a visitor of Iceland you should definitely make a trip to see Jökulsárlón (literally "glacial river lagoon") which is a large glacial lagoon in south-east Iceland, on the borders of Vatnajökull National Park. Jokulsarlon is situated at the head of Breiðamerkurjökull, it evolved into a lagoon after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the Icelandic glaciers. The lagoon now stands 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away from the ocean's edge and covers an area of about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi). It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland at over 248 metres (814 ft) depth as glacial retreat extended its boundaries. The size of the lagoon has increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland and one of the must see natural phenomenons of Iceland. The lagoon can be seen along Route 1 between the town of Höfn and Skaftafell national park.

Here you can find further information about the Icelandic glaciers and if you are feeling adventurous you may want to book a glacier tour too or a boat trip on jokulsarlon lagoon.


Hotels in Iceland


Breidamerkurjokull

Breidamerkurjokullis an outlet glacier of the larger glacier of Vatnajokull in southeastern Iceland. Emerging as a tongue of the Vatnajokull, it ends in a small lagoon, known as Jokulsarlon...

Drangajokull

Drangajokull is the northernmost glacier of Iceland. It is situated southwest of the peninsula Hornstrandir in the Vestfirdir region. The glacier covers an area of 160–200 km2 (62–77 sq. mi) at an altitude...

Eyjabakkajokull

The glacier snout Eyjabakkajokull is the easternmost of the other much larger, northern tongues. It flows through the so-called Devil’s Pass to the east of Breidabunga and down to the mud-flats Eyjabakkar...

Eyjafjallajokull

Eyjafjallajokullis one of the smaller ice caps of Iceland, situated to the north of Skogar and to the west of Myrdalsjokull. The ice cap covers the caldera of a volcano with a summit elevation...

Hofsjokull Glacier in Iceland

Glacier Hofsjokull  (1069m) is located east of Glacier Vatnajokull, between Valley Vididalur in the Lon Area and Valley Hofsdalur of the Alftafjordur Area. It counts among the smaller glaciers...

Myrdalsjokull

The Myrdalsjokull (1480m) is the fourth largest glacier with an area of about 590 km². It rests on a very volcanically active mountain ridge, which erupted in 1918. Its volcano is called Katla...