Mysterious Mývatn

27 06 2013

The name of the lake (Icelandic mý (“midge”) and vatn (“lake”); the lake of midges) comes from the huge numbers of flies (midges) to be found there in the summer. Mývatn is a shallow eutrophic lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland, not far from Krafla volcano. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of waterbirds, especially ducks. The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms, including lava pillars and rootless vents (pseudocraters).

One of the most bizarre attractions in the region are the mud pits of  "Hverarond", which are so hot that they actually boil. The hot spring area named Hverarond are one of the largest sulfur spring areas in Iceland.

One of the most bizarre attractions in the region are the mud pits of “Hverarond”, which are so hot that they actually boil. The hot spring area is one of the largest sulfur spring areas in Iceland.

2500 years ago eruptions started in the Myvatnssveit area and mountain Hverfjall formed in a major explosive eruption that only lasted for few days. A lot of material came from the crater that mounted the opening and formed what is now a 150 meter high volcanic cone. Only 500 years later a massive eruption started once again in the area. The countryside literally was ripped apart by the giant convulsions of the eruption. The molten lava streamed all over the area and in one place it formed a molten lava lake. The lava lake was partially hardened when the rest of the molten magma was flushed out and out of it were the magnificent formed, but Dimmuborgir are virtually a one giant city of hardened lava formations, arches, spines and cathedrals. The lava flow also created all of the pseudo-craters of the area and also most of the small islands in lake Mývatn.

The unique Dimmuborgir formations.

The unique Dimmuborgir formations.

 

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