Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ice: black and blue

This is Skaftafell in Vatnajokull National Park. We really wanted to see the Vatnajokull glacier which covers about a tenth of Iceland and is one of the largest glaciers in Iceland. There are tongues of the glacier that flow out between the mountain ridges. This one is Skftafellsjokull: the glacier ends in a lagoon and pieces of ice break off and float around in the lagoon:

The guide explained to us that there are sometimes holes in the ice that fill with black sand. The black sand insulates the ice so that it doesn't melt underneath, while all the ice around it melts. This causes the black sand to become cone shaped. So there are all these weird black sand cones covering the glaciers. Here's one that has partially melted as it moved into the lagoon:

We later went to the Svinafellsjokull glacier. Leo had the time of his life jumping on floating glaciers: 

We walked to the edge of the lagoon, jumped from a sand/mudpile to a glacier and hiked about, but it was really dicey. At one point, I thought I was stepping over a little bit of mud but it ended up being a quicksand type mud that dragged me in a bit:

Here's some nice blue ice. The blue ice is super dense. All the air bubbles have been pushed out. It takes 12 meters of snow to make 1 cm of blue ice.

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