The Jokulsarlon - Glacier lagoon

Print The Glacier Lagoon

A unique pearl of nature

The white cap of Breišamerkurjökull glacier dominates the lagoon and its icebergs.

The lagoon is steadily expanding and in 1998 it had a surface area of 14,8 km2 and a maximum depth equal to 190 m. From 1890 to 1998, the glacier retreated about 3,8 km and is still retreating.

The icebergs break free from the glacier edge and are carried by the current towards the river mouth, until they strand on the bottom.

Only one tenth of the icebergs mass is visible above the water-surface.

Tidal currents move the icebergs back and forth, causing them to scrape the bottom of the river.

Winds and tides erode the icebergs until they are small enough to float to the sea.

Most icebergs are milky white, but some have a a bright blue colour, caused by the interplay of light and ice cristals.

Seals are often seen swimming in the lagoon or lying on icebergs.

Shoals of herring or capelan are sometimes carried into the lagoon by the tide, making a feast for the birds.
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