Three Day Tour in the South of Iceland

August 26-28, 2000

This trip was in connection with the Second International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration.

Day 1

The sourthern lowlands experienced 2 magnitude 6.5 earthquakes in June, and a large gash opened up on the property of a small summer home.
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An ancient farm house at Stöng has been excavated, and this modern reconstruction shows what it might have been like.
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We later drove up to Stöng itself and had lunch on the banks of a little stream.
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There, in the Þórsárdalur valley there was a great field of rootless cones (which I got a picture of from the plane later), and a large alterd rhyolite massif.
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Another picture of Hekla.
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We stopped at the Seljalandfoss waterfall that I only got a picture of from the bus before. I managed to capture a little rainbow in one. There were also some great cooling joints up and to the right of the waterfall.
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Right before dinner in Skógar, we visited Skógafoss.
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Day 2

We visited the Sólheimajökull outlet glacier of the Mýrdalsjökull.
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From the glacier we went to Dyrhólaey on the coast, and saw some great outcrops.
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There were also some sandstone outcrops that represent ancient dunes that have been eroded out.
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Thr ring road goes through a portion of the Laki lavas from 1783.
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We also stopped at this gorgeous canyon carved by glacial rivers.
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This is a picture of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, and the two sisters waterfall.
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We stopped at Dverghamrar (dwarven cliffs) which were an excellent display of columnar jointing.
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We stopped on the Skeiðarársandar and got a view of the Skeiðarárjökull.
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This is a shot from the bus of Svínafellsjökull, which is an outlet glacier from Öræfajökull (which is a part of Vatnajökull).
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Later on, I hiked out from the hotel at Freysnes to get a closer look. The first and third shots are of Svínafellsjökull, the second shot is looking southwest out over Skeiðarársandar. The forth shot is one of Skaftafellsjökull. And the last photo is an image looking back southwards at the very narrow ridge that I came out along to get the above pictures.
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Day 3

This is a shot of Öræfajökull up past the mountains from the hotel parking lot.
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Then we headed to Skaftafell national park. We saw the Svartifoss waterfall and hiked up tot he Sjónarsker viewpoint.
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I can't remember the names of these two glaciers along the road from Skaftafell to Kvíárjökull.
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We stopped and dug into some soil layers. There are several layers of tephra from the same eruption here.
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After lunch we went near the Kvíárjökull. You can see the prominent end moraines and a landslide scar up in the glacier.
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Then we visited Jökulsárlón which is a lagoon that is reached by the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, and the glacier calves off into icebergs in this lagoon. We also went on a duckboat tour that was amazing. We got to troll around in the lagoon among the icebergs.
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Just before we had to rush to the airport, we stopped at a farm near this gigantic dike. You could actually see cooling joints that were horizontal in the dike.
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-Ross Beyer


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