Thanks to its location on the mid-Atlantic ridge the place tectonic plates diverge, Iceland is legendary for its geothermal vitality and is dwelling to not solely volcanoes, but additionally geysers. The most well-known geothermal space in Iceland is Haukadalur Valley, which is one in every of solely a handful of locations on this planet the place you’ll be able to see geysers. Not solely that, however there are additionally sizzling springs, fumaroles and dust pots. And for these of you not acquainted with all of those phrases…
- A sizzling spring, also referred to as a geothermal spring or typically even a hydrothermal spring, is solely a pure spring that emits sizzling water on account of geothermal vitality generated from beneath.
- A geyser is a form of sizzling spring by which the water reaches boiling level and periodically erupts withn a extra violent discharge of water and steam.
- A fumarole is a gap on the earth’s floor (or any planet for that matter) the place steam or volcanic gases are emitted.
- A mud pot is a sizzling spring or fumarole the place water is in brief provide
The Haukadalur Valley is straightforward to get to and is barely a 1.5 hour drive east-northeast of Reykjavik, positioned on route 35 on the Golden Circle route, with parking simply throughout the street.
Of course, it’s geysers that are inclined to ‘steal the show’ and there are two of observe within the Haukadalur Valley. These are Geysir and Strokkur.
Geysir – additionally typically generally known as Great Geysir – is the a lot bigger of the 2, and arguably probably the most well-known geyser on this planet, however hardly ever energetic. And by that, I imply it may be years between eruptions – the final time Geysir erupted was in February 2016 however this was its first eruption because the 12 months 2000. It does, nonetheless, imply that technically-speaking it stays energetic, albeit rare.
Just 100 metres away is Strokkur which is way more energetic of the 2 and one of the vital persistent geysers on this planet. It is claimed to erupt each 6-10 minutes. Whilst this was largely true, we discovered that the time between eruptions might truly be fairly irregular and at one level noticed round three eruptions (of various dimension) in round a 1-2 minute interval.
An eruption begins when a pulse of steam rising from beneath pushes up the water within the pool forming a big dome of water via which the steam bursts, forcing the water within the pool skywards. Here you’ll be able to see the dome beginning to kind…
…earlier than the ‘bubble’ bursts…
…and steam blasts upwards…
…with some drive!
As you’ll be able to see, it’s fairly a spectacle!
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Once you have got admired each Geysir and Strokkur from floor degree, you’ll be able to wander alongside the marked paths exploring different marked sizzling springs earlier than heading up a hill to admire the location from above.
Eruptions often attain a top of round 15-20 metres, however will be something as much as 40 metres. Back within the early nineteenth Century, eruptions had been estimated as being as excessive as 60 metres.
Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. You will see footage from Strokkur and the Haukadalur Valley between 2m 12s and 2m 22s:
Disclosure: Our journey to Iceland was sponsored by Helly Hansen.