Jökulsárlón

An iceberg "collection"

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2010-06-03

Jökulsárlón, the best known and most visited glacial lake in the country, situated at the Ring Road southeast of Breiðamerkurjökull, a branch of Vatnajökull. It appeared in 1935 and have since then been growing. It is now about 18 km², and about 200 meters deep. Chunks of more than thousand years old ice break loose from the glacier and remain in the lake till they have melted (the outlet to the ocean is shallow). Those chunks are large, only a tenth is above the surface. In this picture many of them have a black cover, maybe black volcanic sand, maybe ashes from the recent eruption out west. The literal translation of Jökul[s]-á[r]-lón is glacier-river-lagoon.

Jökulsárlón has been used for many movie scenes, for example the James Bond films A View to a Kill and Die Another Day.

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2010-06-03

Three amphibians carry tourist among the icebergs in Jökulsárlón, always guided by a rubber boat. (After our visit in 2010, reliable rubber boats seems to have been added for transporting tourists.)

2010-06-03

The Ring Road bridge across the outlet of the lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean.

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2010-06-03

A common eider (Somateria mollissima) couple swimming in Jökulsárlón. The eider breeds in the northern parts of the globe. It's quite large, feeds on mussels and other crisp seafood, and may be best known because of the eider down, also harvested many places in Iceland.

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2010-06-03

The Great Skua (Stercorarius skua) comes from all over the North Atlantic to Iceland's Breiðamerkursandur to breed. This is where Vatnajökull is closes to the coast and where you find Jökulsárlón. They are rather aggressive birds, particularly towards intruders at their nests, but also towards other birds that they steal food from. And they're big, maybe 60 cm beak to tail. This individual was wandering about at Jökulsárlón, showing itself to the tourists.

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uploaded 2014-01-01