Iceland or Geyserland?

Photographing around Iceland, I’m struck by the incredible number of geysers dotting the landscape. These miracles of geology just steam out of the ground in the midst of fields and mountains.

Iceland is a geologically active island, as we all know from one of the more recent eruptions two years ago that made worldwide news and grounded commercial air traffic for weeks. I can remember back in the seventies when the island of Surtsey suddenly emerged from the ocean off the Icelandic coast.

The Icelanders have ingeniously tapped into its proliferation of geysers and uses volcanic steam and heat to provide nearly all the island’s electricity needs.

In Seltun, there is a wonderful self-guided tourist park that winds through an active geyser field.

Here is an example of a typical geyser field (taken with my iPhone).

In some instances, due to constrictions in the gases’ ability to escape, pressure builds up and the geysers erupt in spectacular fashion. Of course Americans are familiar with this phenomenon in the form of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. In Iceland here is a geyser eruption I recorded.

In any event, it is a strange and exciting phenomenon to an east coast American, like me.

blog comments powered by Disqus