The glacier Mýrdalsjökull is a very strange beast in the flora of natural wonders in Iceland. As the fourth largest ice cap in Iceland, approximately 600 square kilometers in size, it puts its mark on all its neighbors in all directions. It is the ever- percent beauty seen from the south shore at Sólheimasandur. It is a dominating part of the landscape from at the east side at Mýrdalssandur. On the north side in the Highland, it is on your south side when driving on the Fjallabaksleið Syðri at Mælifellssandur. On the west site, it contributes to the magnificent landscape in the oasis Þórsmörk. It displays the stunning background of snowy white mountains for enjoyment and beauty of the landscape. But despite all the beauty and peace, the glacier throws at us from all directions it has a very dark side, it is the home of one of the most destructive forces in the Icelandic nature, the dangerous volcano Katla.
The beauty hiding the beast
With its 200-meter thick ice cap, the glacier has often, throughout the centuries and through Iceland’s geological history, transformed into a great force when Katla has erupted. When the glowing magma contacts the ice all hell breaks loose when the layer of ice starts to melt and glacial water loaded with ash, sand, rocks and lava goes out of control. This odd unity of contrasting forces has often transformed and changed the landscape on all sides of the glacier again and again. Sometimes forming vast canyons like Markarfljótsgljúfur on the west side or totally destroying the whole landscape for thousands of square kilometers on the east. The most horrible thing is the fact that this could occur at any time and is not necessarily part of a long gone accent history. Currently, it is even predicted by our leading geologists that Katla is about to erupt; it is actually overdue.
There are many interesting places around Mýrdalsjökull
Notwithstanding the danger, there are many captivating places to visit around the glacier Mýrdalsjökull. Sólheimajökull outlet glacier being one. It is even an interesting place to visit to take a tour on a snowmobile. Mind you that today the glacier and the terrifying volcano Katla are monitored by some of the most capable geologists on the plant with state of the art technology. Whatever the outcome might be when Katla starts to melt Mýrdalsjökull with its surfacing magma, we will know in time enough to run away under the supervision of Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management in Iceland.