Friday, July 1, 2016

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Zodiac Tour

A big highlight in Iceland is the brilliant blue ice in the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. They have amphibian (duck boat) and zodiac tours that are very popular. We opted for the fast boats that can get up close to the glaciers quickly. Here's the boys in their fancy Icelandic water flotation suits:

The glaciers are made by snow deposited at the top of the mountain. The snow compresses  and moves downhill. Various eruptions layer ash and rocks on the glaciers. As the glaciers melt, the ash and rocks darken the bottom part of the glacier that hasn't melted. The blue ice is what everyone comes to see - the ice that has been incredibly compressed, like 1200-to-1 ratios.

The glacier had calved about an hour before we got out on the water. The boat driver said he had to throw the boat into reverse so they wouldn't be impacted by the icebergs falling into the water. You can see the fresh blue cleavage marks in the ice:

Here's some of the fresh calved glacier in the water. It's a really dark blue. With time, it'll turn white like the ice in front of it:

The ice is constantly turning and moving in the water. This piece has rolled over and is showing its blue underside:

The glaciers are huge. Here's a zodiac boat in front of one, for scale:

The layers of black are the various eruptions. The brown sand that we were slipping and sliding on yesterday was apparently from some big eruption in the 1700's. I guess you could take an ice core and date it with the eruptions.

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