NEWS

June 28 2012 - Iceland a Platform for UN Glacier Awareness Project

Iceland will become a platform for Vox Naturae, an international project intended to raise awareness of the important of ice and glaciers for humankind. The project will be launched with a light and audio show in Vatnajökull National Park in September 2013.

Vox Naturae was presented at a United Nations environmental congress in Rio de Janeiro last week. Some of the world’s leading environmentalists are on its steering committee, including Zafar Adeed, UN managing director for water, environment and health.

Light artists will design a show running for approximately half an hour, lighting up Svínafellsjökull glacier. Music by Bergljót Arnalds based on the sounds of glaciers will be played in the background. The event will be broadcast live around the world.

“The purpose is to raise awareness of glaciers, how magnificent and important they are. Glaciers are the source of water for more than one sixth of the world’s population,” stated Páll Ásgeir Davíðsson, the project’s managing director.

“But we are also highlighting that the world is changing,” he added. “We should use art to raise awareness of the fact that the glaciers are disappearing and we are in fact urging people to take action with this event.”

“The basic idea is that we’re lending a voice to the glacier and according to the response I got, the glacier’s voice is very strong,” Páll Ásgeir said of the reaction to the project at the UN conference. “It will be very exciting to work on it in the coming months.”

The basis of the project was laid by Páll Ásgeir, Bergljót and Northern Lights Energy. Other parties involved include various international institutions and world renowned environmentalists.

June 12 2012 - Grímsvötn Volcanic Eruption Causes Glacial Melt

Geophysics professor Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson said there are still consequences from the May 2011 eruption in Grímsvötn, a sub-glacial volcano in Vatnajökull in southeast Iceland, including more rapid melting of the icecap.

There is a 45°C (113°F) hot lagoon on the glacier’s surface, an uplifting by three centimeters has occurred as the icecap decreases and the water surface of glacial rivers continues to rise

“We assume that significant melt will occur in the western Vatnajökull this summer,” predicted Magnús Tumi, who recently returned from a research expedition to Grímsvötn on behalf of the Glacial Research Association.

During the expedition, researchers sailed on the lagoon in Grímsvötn. “It is remarkable because it’s very hot. In the crater there was a little stream with 45°C warm water. A few hundred meters wide part of the lagoon was at bathing temperature, 25-40°C.”

“The eastern part of the lagoon is considerably colder, yet lukewarm, which is noteworthy given that it is surrounded by a wall of ice,” Magnús Tumi continued. The high temperature is a leftover from the eruption last year.

And the ash fall continues. During dry and windy conditions, ash will blow across south Iceland this summer and even longer.

Large drifts of ash have accumulated by the Ring Road in south Iceland. Drivers are asked to be careful because the ash might blows across the road and block visibility.

March 19 2012 - Tourists Rescued from Glacier

Two Belgian tourists were rescued from Vatnajökull-glacier last Saturday night. Temperatures dropped to -20 C° and conditions on the glacier were windy. The wind chill factor meant that temperatures were closer to around -35 C°.

The Coast Guard received the first emergency signal after 10 pm Saturday night. A rescue team with two cars and four snowmobiles was sent from Hornafjörður and the Coast Guard’s helicopter was sent from Reykjavík. Due to the cold, all the rescue workers who drove the snowmobiles to the scene suffered from minor frostbite to their faces, despite being very well equipped.

Click here to view a video from the rescue scene, published by ruv.is.

Jan 14 2012 - Icelandic Photographer Charms Brits with Ice Caves

“It all started with an eruption,” said hobby photographer and mechanical engineer Skarphéðinn Þráinsson, whose photographs of ice caves have been published in the British media lately, followed by his series of the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull.

“The eruption series traveled widely,” Skarphéðinn told visir.is. They caught the attention of an agency in the UK and Skarphéðinn continued to send them his photographs, which have been published in The Daily Mail and The Sun, among other national newspapers.

Skarphéðinn, whose day job is at the engineering firm Verkís, said he enjoys taking trips to the country to shoot photos of nature.

His ice cave photos were taken in the Kverkfjöll mountain range and near the Vatnajökull sub-glaciers Svínafellsjökull and Breiðamerkurjökull.

He uses a Canon EOS 5D camera and takes the photos in ten to 20 seconds which enable the camera to soak up the light and create a “breathtaking” effect; the photos are hardly processed at all afterwards.

Icecave in Svinafellsjokull

Icecave news in Icelandic from visir.is

MailOnline - article and great pictures

Skarpi website

Jan 2 2012 - Jokulsarlon and my camera

Runólfur Hauksson or RonniHausk is photographer and captain on boats running on Jokulsarlon. Ronni has made photographic book at Blurb.com.

You are welcome to visit the website and look at the book with amazing pictures from the Glacial lagoon, Jokulsarlon.

See Ronni Hauks personal website at, www.blurb.com

December 24 2011 - 140.000 visit Jokulsarlon web cam every week
Mila, EarthCam, Glacier lagoon, Jokulsarlon EarthCam.com has named Jokulsarlon in Top 25 interesting webcams 2011. Every week, 140.000 visits are to the amazing Glacier lagoon.

Mila.is webcam.

December 10 2011 - Swiss Photographer’s Unique Aurora Images

Professional landscape photographer Stefan Forster from Switzerland said his dream came true in southeast Iceland in March 2011 when he witnessed how the northern lights lit up the icebergs from the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon on the black plains of Breiðamerkursandur—and was able to catch the magical moment on camera.

“I slept in the car for five days and all night long I set the alarm clock at an interval of ten minutes so that I wouldn’t fall asleep,” he wrote icelandreview.com. “In the last night there was awesome activity and this image was taken.”

See Stefan's Forsters website, www.stefanforster.com

More news on website: www.icelandreview.com

December 3 2011 - Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones, HBO, Ice and fire HBO's "Game of Thrones" television series, based on A Song of Ice and Fire. The TV series is filmed at Svinafellsjokull outlet In the Realm of Vatnajokull ice-cap. The interview starts in Icelandic but you can see great shoots and interview with producers.

Kings, queens, knights and renegades use schemes and swords to battle for the throne.

Game of Thrones - Interview.

December 1 2011 - ICE VISIONS - The Book About Ice

ICEVISIONS is a self-published large format book of ice photographs with text and selected literary quotations in English, French, German, and Icelandic. Klaus Kretzer, author, photographer, and publisher, has achieved a masterpiece of photographic art ranging from landscapes of Jökulsárlón, the famous rapidly enlarging glacier lake in southeast Iceland, and its mountain backdrop, together with exquisite, often abstract close-ups of ice in many forms.

Eis – ein Phänomen, dem seit Menschengedenken etwas Mysteriöses innewohnt, dessen Existenz die menschliche Fantasie beflügelt und dessen physikalische Eigenschaften uns bis heute in Staunen versetzen.

Situé dans le sud-est de l’Islande à la bordure sud du Vatnajökull, le lagon glaciaire de Jökulsárlón compte parmi les sites touristiques les plus visités. La langue glaciaire du Breiðamerkurjökull vêle dans la partie supérieure du lagon et un très court chenal le relie à la mer, témoins de changements incessants qui ont eu lieu depuis son apparition dans les années 30.

Website: ICEVISIONS

November 17 2011 - 512 Quakes Near Katla Volcano in October

A total of 512 earthquakes hit below the Mýrdalsjökull icecap in south Iceland in October underneath which the volcano Katla lies, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Approximately 380 thereof had their epicenter in the Katla caldera.

The other earthquakes either had their epicenter in the western part of the glacier or below the sub-glacier Hafursárjökull south of the Katla caldera

On October 5, a sharp series of earthquakes began in the northeastern part of the Katla caldera, just south of Austmannsbunga. The largest quake in the series, which hit shortly after 4 am was approximately four points on the Richter scale.

A total of seven earthquakes that measured three points or more on the Richter scale were picked up by sensors in the area last month. A few were just below three points and tens of quakes were stronger than two points on the Richter scale.

November 01 2011 - Game of Thrones Prepares for Shooting in Iceland
Filming of one of the most-talked-about series on American television these days, Game of Thrones, will take place in Realm of Vatnajokull, at the end of this month.

The HBO series, which is based on the stories of George R.R. Martin, has proven a big hit in the US and has also been aired on Icelandic television

Rumors have long been circling that shooting for the series would take place in Iceland. According to a fan page , the choice was between Iceland and Morocco but eventually Iceland was picked as a location for the show.

Iceland filming location revealed

Október 30 2011 - Best Trips 2012
National Geographic Traveler magazine has a recommendation for you, visit Iceland.

On National Geographic site they say, "A final relic from the world’s last ice age, this North Atlantic island nation is a world of knife-cut valleys, gargantuan fjords, monumental cliffs, black-sand beaches, thundering waterfalls, and silent white glaciers. Recent volcanic eruptions remind us that Iceland is still a country in the making, with changed landscapes that even Icelanders continue to discover."

National Geograpic Traveler

Október 29 2011 - Best In Travel - Iceland And the winner of the Best in Travel Readers’ Choice award 2012 is…Iceland

Every year, Lonely Planet publish Best in Travel, Lonely Planet’s picks for the top destinations of the coming year. It’s a long, involved process and, like laws and sausages, you probably don’t want to know what goes in to it.

And the winner of the Best in Travel Readers’ Choice award 2012 is…Iceland

Lonely Planet

Október 21 2011 - Midnight Sun in Iceland
Joe Capra is professional photographer. He travelled for 17 days in June in Iceland. You can see the result in Vimeo

Iceland is a landscape photographers paradise and playground, and should be number 1 on every photographers must visit list. Iceland during the Midnight Sun is in sort of a permanent state of sunset. The sun never full sets and travels horizontally across the horizon throughout the night

Joe Capra advice to everyone out there, photographer or not, is simple... You MUST visit Iceland sometime during your lifetime. You will never regret it.

Vimeo - SCIENTIFANTASTIC and Joe's Flickr website

Október 16 2011 - Photos from Jokulsarlon - Glacier lagoon
Runólfur Hauksson is captain on boats operating on Jokulsarlon and zodiac boats. He is also photograper and he has album on flickr with over 1.000 great pictures showing live on Glacier lagoon.

See slideshow of Ronni Hauks great pictures from Glacier Lagoon - Jokulsarlon!

See overview of Ronni Hauks great pictures from Glacier Lagoon - Jokulsarlon!

Ice cube on Jokulsarlon, Glacier Lagoon, Glacial Lagoon


September 22 2011 - Friends of Vatnajokull
FRIENDS of Vatnajökull is a nonprofit fund-raising association for Vatnajökull National Park. The role of the association is to raise funds to support research, as well as promotional and educational activities, to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy the natural and historical phenomena the National Park has to offer.

Everyone can become a FRIEND!

Become a friend - www.friendsofvatnajokull.is

September 12 2011 - Iceland’s Tallest Volcano Awakening?
A series of earthquakes which occurred in the sub-glacial volcano Öraefajökull in Vatnajökull, southeast Iceland, three weeks ago has caught the attention of scientists who have questioned whether it might be preparing to erupt.

Öraefajökull’s summit is Hvannadalshnjúkur, which at 2,110 meters above sea level is Iceland’s highest peak, and makes Öraefajökull the country’s tallest volcano.


Over a period of four days last month, August 21-24, eight minor earthquakes were picked up in the volcano’s top crater, the largest of which was 2.2 on the Richter scale.

Geophysicist Ari Trausti Gudmundsson said in an interview with Stöd 2 that no one is “crying wolf” but seismic activity is very rare in Öraefajökull. It isn’t certain how the incident should be interpreted but it is clear that Öraefajökull is an active volcano.

Öraefajökull has erupted twice since the settlement of Iceland in the 9th century AD, in 1362 and 1727. The former eruption destroyed an entire region. After the area became inhabited again, it was given the name Öraefi, which means “wasteland”.

July 28 2011 - Record on Jokulsarlon
Today, 1.138 passengers on boat excursion on Jokulsarlon. New record. Web camera from Jokulsarlon, view from the bridge.

July 15 2011 - Magma Intrusion, Possible Minor Eruption in Vatnajökull
Geophysicist Helgi Björnsson said a magma intrusion caused the glacial flood from Köldukvíslarjökull, a part of Vatnajökull in southeast Iceland, on Tuesday night. It is possible that a minor eruption occurred underneath the icecap.

The Köldukvíslarjökull flood originated in a previously unknown high-temperature geothermal area in the western part of Vatnajökull.

Björnsson explained that the magma intrusion occurred near the bottom of the glacier, possibly extending into the ice, and thus furthering glacial melt.

He reasoned that it is possible that a minor sub-glacial volcanic eruption occurred, even though it didn’t penetrate the icecap, which is 300 meters thick in this area.

Björnsson added it is fairly likely that further seismic activity will occur in the area in the near future—the glacial flood was preceded by tremors—and therefore it should be monitored closely.

Earth scientists say both recent glacial floods, from Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull, can be explained by volcanic activity and therefore a close eye must be kept on the volcanoes that lie underneath these glaciers, even though there are no indications of imminent eruptions.

July 12 2011 - Ring Road 1 closed for next days
Highland Roads Only Passable on 4x4 Vehicles.

The two main highland roads that can be used to circumvent the Ring Road after it was torn apart in a glacial flood in Múlakvísl between Kirkjubaejarklaustur and Vík in south Iceland are called Fjallabaksleid nyrdri and sydri (“North and South Mountain Back Roads”) and are only passable on 4x4 vehicles.

For more informations.

July 1 2011 - Iceland’s Tallest Waterfall in Vatnajokull national park
Glymur in Hvalfjördur, west Iceland, which is the country’s highest waterfall with a drop of 198 meters, might now lose its status.

One of the new waterfalls which was created at the edge of Morsárjökull glacier in Vatnajökull national park might be 228 meters high, as informal measuring by geologist Jón Vidar Sigurdsson.

If this is correct, the national park will not only boast the country’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, and the country’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, but also the country’s highest waterfall.

June 23 2011 - Eyjafjallajokull popular on Google
For one year ago, vulcano Eyjafjallajokull stopped erupting. In May this year Grimsvotn in Vatnajokull ice-cap erupted. Google is useful to measure how popular people or events are. Here are the results from Goolge about Icelands thirteen biggest Icelandic glaciers.
Grimsvotn was not world famous, when the eruption started, Grimsvotn had 137.000 results, but when the flight stopped because of ash clouds they reached 6.130.000 million Google results. Today results are 3.320.000 search results. It is 24 times more today material about Grimsvotn.

Glacier name
Icelandic
km²
Google results
Vatnajokull
Vatnajökull
8300
1.280.000
Langjokull
Langjökull
953
237.000
Hofsjokull
Hofsjökull
925
74.300
Myrdalsjokull
Mýrdalsjökull
596
283.000
Drangajokull
Drangajökull
160
277.000
Eyjafjallajokull
Eyjafjallajökull
78
5.730.000
Tungnafellsjokull
Tungnafellsjökull
48
19.100
Thorisjokull
Þórisjökull
32
48.300
Eiriksjokull
Eiríksjökull
22
18.400
Thrandarjokull
Þrándarjökull
22
4.960
Tindfjallajokull
Tindfjallajökull
19
25.300
Torfajokull
Torfajökull
15
34.100
Snaefellsjokull
Snæfellsjökull
11
400.000

Source: Sigurpall Ingibergsson, Google

May 21 2011 - Eruption in Grimsvotn
Grimsvotn, covered by Vatnajokull ice-cap, Iceland's most active volcano has erupted, sending a plume of ash 54,000 feet into the air.

The subglacial eruption is the biggest since 1873 and ten times bigger than 2004, 1998 and 1996.

Grimsvotn's eruption, which was accompanied by small earthquakes, comes just one year after the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted.

The ash in Eyjafjallajokull was persistent or unremitting and fine-grained.

The ash in Grimsvotn is more coarse and not as likely to cause danger as it falls to the ground faster and doesn't stay as long in the air as in the Eyjafjallajokull eruption.

The ash in Eyjafjallajokull was persistent or unremitting and fine-grained.

Small glacier outburst flood is expected because of melting ice but it will not damage road or bridge over Gígjukvísl on black Skeidararsandur.

May 20 2011 - Photo of Northern Lights in Iceland Wins Contest
A photograph taken by Stephane Vetter of the northern lights display in the winter sky above the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in south Iceland on March 10 won first place in the “Beauty of the Night Sky” in the second International Earth and Sky Contest held by The World At Night (TWAN).

The picture is described as “a dazzling green aurora [that] frames the arc of the Milky Way over Jökulsárlón,” as stated on the National Geographic website.

Organized by astronomy-education projects TWAN and Global Astronomy Month, the contest honors pictures that meet one of two criteria: "either to impress people on how important and amazing the starry sky is, or to impress people on how bad the problem of light pollution has become."

In total, ten winners were announced May 9 in either the "Beauty of the Night Sky" or "Against the Lights" category.

"Beauty of the Night Sky" photo

April 13 2011 - Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Man vs. Wild’ on Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull
American actor Jake Gyllenhaal spent last weekend at the site of last year’s volcanic eruptions, Eyjafjallajökull glacier and Fimmvörduháls mountain range, in fierce weather to shoot an episode for the survival television series Man vs. Wild, hosted by English adventurer Bear Grylls on the Discovery Channel and Channel 4.

Gyllenhaal flew straight to Iceland from Rome where he was promoting his latest movie, Source Code. He is not the only film star who has starred in Man vs. Wild; it has also featured the survival strategies of US actors Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell, Fréttabladid reports.

“We can confirm that we were with Gyllenhaal and Grylls but I’d rather not comment any further on the story,” said Thór Kjartansson at the Icelandic production company True North which assisted the show’s crew on the glacier. “But they definitely got the wildest and best of Icelandic nature,” he added.

April 11 2011 - Paralyzed Hiker to Climb Iceland’s Highest Peak
Service representative Leifur Leifsson won’t let paralysis prevent him from conquering Hvannadalshnjúkur, Iceland’s highest peak, which lies on Öraefajökull, a sub-glacier of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, and stretches 2,110 meters above sea level.

Leifsson is having a specially-equipped wheelchair developed which is scheduled to be finished at the end of May or early June, which is when he will embark on his adventure, Fréttabladid reports.

““I will climb it myself with my arm strength,” Leifsson said. He will travel with the members of the search and rescue team Flugbjörgunarsveit Reykjavíkur, who have made the climb before.

They will move an anchor with a winch 250 meters ahead of Leifsson at a time and he will pull himself towards it.

Feb 7 2011 - Renewed Tremors in Iceland’s Vatnajökull
Seismic activity was detected in the northwestern part of Vatnajökull glacier over the past few days and there is full reason to be on the alert, according to geology professor Páll Einarsson. More earthquake sensors are needed, he said.

The series of earthquakes occurred close to Kistufell and Bárdarbunga, which are among the most geologically active areas in the country.

“A few systems come together there. The largest is the Bárdarbunga system, which includes Veidivötn and Vatnaöldur and stretches way north of Dyngjujáls and west of Askja. Then there is the Grímsvötn system which lies further to the east,” Einarsson explained.

He said Bárdarbunga itself and a fissure swarm to the northeast of it seem to be the most active right now. Seismic activity has in fact been ongoing in the area since sensors were first placed there, peaking before the volcanic eruption in Gjálp in 1996.

Feb 5 2011 - Record breaking month, Januar
In last January, 22.000 tourists visited Iceland. It is best January and 18,5% increasing between January 2010. In table numbers of visitors to Iceland is published.

Tourists
2010
494.769
2000
302.900
1990
141.718
1980
65.921
1970
52.908
1960
12.086
1950
4.383

Feb 4 2011 - “For the best burger west of Vatnajökull..."
The Reykjavík Grapevine is free alternative magazine.The magazine covers everything Iceland-related, with a special focus on news-related events, human interest stories, music, culture and events. In last issue American Food was criticied.

"I enjoy a good burger, but I also value 45 minutes. And I already know that hands down, nothing can beat the reindeer burger at Hamborgarabúllan in Egilsstaðir. How close to Egilsstaðir would I be had I decided to drive there instead? Plus, my neighbourhood bodega already makes the best burger west of Vatnajökull, and it would be digested by now. So what is all of this buzz about? My name is called."

"For the best burger west of Vatnajokull, I know where to return. And like the savvy traveller."

November 5 2010 - Whale watching bomb!
The whale watching tours started in Höfn, In The Realm Of Vatnajokull, by Glacier Tours company. In following table you can see the growth in whale watching in Iceland. How will whaling affecting whale watching in the future?

Place
WWC
Pers.
1990
1
1
6
1991
1
1
100
1992
0
0
0
1993
1
1
150
1994
3
4
200
1995
6
8
2.200
1996
8
9
9.700
1997
10
13
20.540
1998
8
12
30.330
1999
7
10
35.250
2000
9
12
44.000
2001
10
12
60.550
2002
10
12
62.050
2003
10
12
72.220
2004
10
12
81.600
2005
10
12
81.600
2006
10
12
89.000
2007
9
10
100.000
2008
9
10
115.000
2009
9
10
125.000
Source: Björgvinsson, 1999, 2006; Hoyt, 1994b; Hoyt, 1995a; Data from SI and Icewhale

Nov 1 2010 - High Probability of Eruption, Scientist Says
Geophysicist Páll Einarsson says that all measurements indicate that the flood in Grímsvötn will be similar to the one in 2004. As the flood develops, the probability of an eruption will be high. Einarsson says that there is no reason to fear the flood or the eruption, ruv.is reports.

The flood was preceded by some earthquakes in Vatnajökull over past few days and scientists believe that water began flowing slowly from the crater on Thursday and has progressed since then. Einarsson says that the storm has rendered the equipment not as sensitive as it should have been when measuring the earthquakes. He says that this flood will not be among the biggest in history, but similar to the one in 2004.

In 2004 the flood peaked after five days and Einarsson says it is highly probable that an eruption will start then, just as happened in 2004. The conditions in Grímsvötn are exactly the same. The eruption in 2004 was small and harmless. This time should be no different.

July 1 2009 - Jökulsárlón now Iceland’s deepest Lake
Since the onrush of Breidamerkurjökull glacier, which resulted in up to 600-700 meters cracking and falling from it, Jökulsárlón has now become Iceland’s deepest lake.

Einar B. Einarsson, owner of excursion company Jökulsárlón recently sailed further towards the glacier than ever before, where he measured the depth of the water. It turned out to be 284 meters.

Until now, Öskjuvatn Lake has been considered to be Iceland’s deepest lake, at 217 meters. According to the Weather Bureau, measurements of the glacier had already suggested this depth, but after the onrush the lake has further deepened.

Feb 13 2008 - Iceland’s Glaciers Melting Faster than Expected
Every glacier in Iceland retreated last year except one, some by nearly 100 meters, according to new data from 47 National Energy Authority research stations located near glaciers across the country. The glaciers are retreating at an unusually high rate.

“We have never witnessed the glaciers retreating so quickly before,” National Energy Authority geologist Oddur Sigurdsson told Morgunbladid. Iceland’s glaciers have melted faster for the past ten years compared with the 1930s and 1940s when temperatures were also unusually high.

Sigurdsson said it is natural for glaciers to retreat or extend every year and the larger the glacier is, the further it jumps or slides back. Currently, land is being revealed which has been covered in ice since before 1550.

When the settlers arrived in Iceland in the 9th century AD, the climate was warmer than it is today. It then cooled gradually until the beginning of the 19th century, when the climate grew warmer again.

“It is safe to say that what the glaciers gained in volume [after the 16th century] has melted away during the past 100 years. In the 16th century the glaciers were similar in size to what they are now,” Sigurdsson said.

News archive from 2001 to 2007

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