This is the last in a 4 part blog about our Iceland trip. Click on the hyperlinked text to navigate to the other blogs.
4. Lake Mývatn Region
Goðafoss Falls (Waterfall of the Gods)
Godafoss Falls is located in northern Iceland between Akureyri and Lake Myvatn. As the story goes, in the year 1000 a local chieftain, Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði, decided that Icelanders should adopt Christianity. He threw all of his statues of Pagan gods into the waterfall and the waterfall was appropriately named Goðafoss, which translates to the 'waterfall of the gods'.
Over 2,300 years ago, the Lake Mývatn area was created following a lava eruption from a fissure and it continues to be a sight of active volcanism. In fact, the area surrounding Lake Myvatn is distinctively covered in lava pillars and pseudocraters. The lake region has been a common filming location. For example: Game of Thrones (2013); Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015); and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).
A great example of a pseudocrater formed by gas explosions when melting lava flowed over pockets of water in the wetlands.
Dimmuborgir Lava Formations
Dimmuborgir was formed by a lava-lake, flowing from an eruption about 2,300 years ago. The lava pooled over a small lake. As the lava flowed across the wet sod, the marsh water boiled with vapor rising through the lava, forming lava pillars. These lava/rock formations are completely unique. The only other similar land mass known to exist being beneath the sea, off the coast of Mexico.
Icelandic folklore maintains Dimmuborgir is where earth connects with Hell. It is the home of a homicidal troll Grýla, her 3rd husband and their sons, 'The Yule Lads'. The lads come to villages in the snow to give children either gifts or rotten potatoes depending on whether they were good or bad.
Namaskard Geothermal Area
Located a short distance from the Lake Mývatn, Námaskarðis an expanse of hot springs, fumaroles, mud pools and mud pots. Everything is at a boiling point in the stunning arctic desert. There is no vegetation in sight. The constant emission of fumes has made the ground completely sterile and acidic, thus unfit to sustain flora and fauna. But, the colorful minerals defy imagination.
A hot spring is a spring produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater that rises from the Earth's crust.
A fumarole is a vent in the Earth’s surface from which steam and volcanic gases are emitted. The major source of the water vapor emitted by fumaroles is groundwater heated by bodies of magma lying relatively close to the surface.
A mudpot or mud pool is a sort of acidic hot spring with limited water. It usually takes the form of a pool of bubbling mud. The acid water slowly corrodes into the rocks and dissolves them, forming fine particles of silica and clay.
Viti in Krafla
Víti is a huge explosion crater, about 300 meters in diameter. The crater was formed during a massive volcanic eruption at the start of the famous Mývatn Fires in 1724. The eruption continued almost non-stop for 5 years and Víti's bubbling cauldron of mud boiled for more than a century after that. Now the crater resembles an aqua blue lake.
Iceland was such an amazing destination.