The glacier tongue with all its cracks and spooky noises

  • Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue is a accessible place to view the magnificent ice
  • A glacier tongue is a fascinating phenomenon in the Icelandic landscape
Jan 8 2017

A glacier tongue is a fascinating phenomenon in the Icelandic landscape. Glacier tongues can be seen in a number of places when you drive the Ring Road in the southern region.   A glacier tongue is really an enormous part of a glacier falling from the top or the ice cap down a long slope, sometimes hundreds of meters high.  Due to the mass of ice involved, the speed of the ice is very slow as it moves down the slope. At some point part of the lower part of the glacier tongue starts to break and form deep cracks with incredible noise.

Near the lowest level ice starts to break away

A glacier tongue often ends in a lake or even in the ocean.  This is because water is an inseparable part of a glacier tongue as the ice starts to melt at the lower altitude of the ice tongue. Also because ground water surfaces in the mountains under the glacier and glacier tongue and finds its way down to the lowest level.  When the crushed ice hits the lake, sometimes after decades of travel from the top, it breaks away from the tongue and becomes an iceberg. The kind of Iceberg you can see at Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón.

Best places in Iceland to see a glacier tongue and floating icebergs

One of the best places to get a gripping view of a glacier tongue is in Skaftafell and the area east of Skaftafell all the way to Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon. Another view of a glacier tongue, a glacier lake and icebergs is Fjallsárlón.  All these places including Jökulsárlón are just by the Ring Road in the southern region in Iceland.

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