Thursday, July 30, 2009


You can drive off the main road a few kilometers east of the service area in Skaftafell national park and take a short gravel road up to where the tongue of the Svínafellsjökull glacier comes down into a small glacial lagoon.

Judging from the spots of sunlight falling on the glacier, a dogsledding or snowcat tour on the glacier might have been better than driving in the foggy rain down in the lowlands.

To judge the size of the glacier, take a look at the man standing at the edge of the lagoon.

If you thought glaciers were all pure driven snow and bluish ice, you were wrong. Sandstorms and volcanic eruptions deposit sand and ash on the glaciers, and as they crawl across the landscape they churn up sand and gravel that gets pushed up through cracks in the ice. It then gets left behind when the top layers of ice/snow melt off.

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