#geology

Hit Iceland specializes in quality tours to natural wonders. We take our clients to many of the better-known places and also to the much less known.  Highly exciting places out of the mainstream.  We explain the geology in addition to our fascinating history and how the mixture of both marked our culture. The GHC cocktail that has defined us from the time of settlement. Our tours are very local and personal with a texture that also gives a lot of elbow room to ask all kinds of questions about the country and its residents.  Designed for those who want to know the many different and odd things about this tiny island and its people north in the cold by the arctic circle. 

For anyone slightly interested in geology the Reykjanes peninsula is like a candy store or a wonderland.  This small area is packed with samples of how the planet behaves over time, i.e. over a period of tens of thousands of years.  Here you will find volcanoes, mountains and mountain rigs, a variety of lava, hot springs, craters, boiling clays, ravines, rhyolites, fissures, geothermal activity, high-temperature geothermal system and the list goes on.

A bridge where North America and Europe drift apart

The Reykjanes peninsula is not only a spectacular place to see and a great place to understand the ongoing, and everlasting struggle between surfacing magma and the many forces of nature, but also a home of a small part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  It is the only place where this longest mountain ridge on the planet that stretches from the Arctic to Antarctica is not under sea level. The ridge is where two tectonic plates meet and seem to be in agreement to drift apart.  And here you can walk between the two tectonic plates on a bridge where North America and Europe drift apart.

A place to remember if you visit the Geopark

The canyon was formed by this movement and this geological agreement and drifts two centimeters per. year. If you walk the 18 meters long bridge, you are practically walking from one tectonic plate to another. The drifting is so slow that you will probably not feel the drift unless of course the plates decided to take a fight and send us an earthquake.  In September of 2015, the Reykjanes Geopark became the 66th Geopark in the world and is a part of the UNESCO program. 

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
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Below is the location of Bridge between continents on the map of Iceland

A bridge where North America and Europe drift apart

 

Just a few kilometers south of the Geothermal area Seltún at Krísuvík is a small lake, Grænavatn (Greenlake). The lake is a volcanic crater that got its name from its unusual green color. The color is due to a high level of sulphur in the water and its depth.  The lake is only about few hundred meters in diameter and offers a perfect trail for a refreshing walk, as it only takes about 20 minutes to walk around the lake.  For a small lake it is quite deep, though, or 45 meters.  This is visible as you stand by the brim, and you can see how the color changes by the shoreline where the lake gets deeper. Grænavatn is considered by geologists to be one of the most noteworthy geological phenomena of its kind in Iceland.

A failed venture that almost destroyed the lake

Many visitors wonder what the deal is with the two silage towers and the decaying cowhouse right by the lake.  This is one of those unfortunate projects initiated at a time when understanding of nature was limited, and respect for natural wonders easily gave way for economic ventures. Although this was not such a long time ago, in the fifties, the whole project almost ruined the lake as some of its surroundings were altered in the process.  Needless to say, the whole venture failed, and the people and the Hafnarfjörður municipality behind it have not yet had the decency to remove this horrible building and heal the area around the lake.

Grænavatn and folklore

Due to its unusual nature and color, the lake has been a source of folklore stories throughout the centuries.  Only as recently as the middle of the 16th century an odd creature was spotted coming from the lake.  The lake is almost on the main road Krísuvíkurvegur (42) and can be seen as you pass by it only a few hundred meters from Seltún the geothermal area. 

 

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Grænavatn lake on the map of Iceland

Just a few kilometers south of the Geothermal area Seltún at Krísuvík is a small lake, Grænavatn (Greenlake).