One of the outlets of the southern Icelandic icecap of Vatnajökull is the glacier of Breiðamerkurjökull which ends in the proglacial lake of Jökulsárlón. The lake extends underneath the eastern part of the glacier for about 20 km (12.4mi). Jökulsárlón is filled with icebergs that calve from the broad glacier snout. The glacier lagoon is located at sea-level height and connects to the open ocean of the North Atlantic through a 500 m (1600 ft) long river called Jökulsá that cut through the glacial end moraine which dams the lake. This channel developed during sporadic torrential meltwater outbreaks, called Jökulhlaups, as a consequence of volcanic eruptions under the ice of Vatnajökull. At high tide, the saltwater drains into the lagoon at high speed by raising the lake level significantly. When the low tide sets in the water is discharging through the channel carrying icebergs up to 5 m (16 ft) in size into the ocean. These icebergs are immediately exposed to the surf and wave action breaks them apart into smaller pieces at impressive sounds. At low tide the remains of the icebergs can be found beached on the pitch black lava sand resembling a bone yard of crystal debris. This iceberg features a spectacular hole caused by wave breaking action and is one of the larger remains with 1.5 m (5 ft) height.

July 2010
Canon 5D MkII, Canon L 16-35 mm, f/16, 10 sec, ISO 50, tripod

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