Walking on Vatnajökull glacier can be deadly dangerous but at the same time unbelievable beautiful.
You never know what you will witness or what you will see. The landscape architecture is so far out that you forget you are on this earth. The color textures you can watch for hours without moving a limp. All the daily stress goes out through the window; instead you have to watch where you put down your feet if you want to come back.
The sound of the cracks and the slow moving Ice is like your favorite rock band playing privately for you in Quadraphonic. It’s only water I’m standing on, what if it starts to melt. Many people have died trying to get the emotion I’m witnessing and not yet been found. I wake up from my symphony of thoughts and start moving back to the reality.
I’m full of life again.
Vatnajökull also known as the Water Glacier in English, is the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland, and one of the largest in area in Europe. It is the second largest glacier in area after Austfonna on Svalbard in Norway but, nevertheless, larger by volume. It is located in the south-east of the island, covering more than 9% of the country
The average thickness of the ice is 400 m (1,300 ft), with a maximum thickness of 1,000 m (3,300 ft). Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur (2,109.6 m (6,921 ft)), is located in the southern periphery of Vatnajökull, near Skaftafell National Park.
Under the ice cap, as under many of the glaciers of Iceland, there are several volcanoes. Eruptions from these volcanoes have led to the development of large pockets of water beneath the ice, which may burst the weakened ice and cause a jökulhlaup (glacial lake outburst flood). During the last ice age, numerous volcanic eruptions occurred under Vatnajökull, creating many subglacial eruptions.
In more modern times, the volcanoes continue to erupt beneath the glaciers, resulting in many documented floods. One jökulhlaup in 1934 caused the release of 15 km3 (3.6 cu mi) of water over the course of several days. The volcanic lake Grímsvötn was the source of a large jökulhlaup in 1996. There was also a considerable but short-lived eruption of the volcano under these lakes at the beginning of November 2004. In May 21, 2011 a volcanic eruption started in Grímsvötn in Vatnajökull National Park at around 7 p.m. The plume reached as high as 20 kilometres (12 mi).