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Landmannalaugar
Pure Volcanism

 
       
  

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Modified: 05.11.2003

Landmannalaugar is one of the volcanic tourist attraction in Iceland. Here you can find a large spectrum of the appearances of volcanism, there are lava fields, solfatares and even a warm river. A must see, but a lot of tourist.

 

 
 

The name Landmannalaugar translates into "the warm springs of the country men" and already describes one of the attrations of this place. There is a small creek flowing along the hot lava field so that the water is heated. The river flows steaming into a pool which is also fed by a very cold river from the mountains. The pool provides the best opportunity to take a wonderful bath: You can choose the temperatur of your bath by changing the distance to the mouth of the hot river. The nearer you get there the hotter it is. The pool is 50 meters away from the campsite and early in the morning you can often enjoy this wonder all on your own. The campsite is well equipped for Icelandic xxxgegebenheitenxxx because some travel companies drive groups of tourists here with large busses. In the afternoons whole tent cities are growing out of nowhere. These tents vanish at the next morning when the groups travel on. If you are lucky you can see this area at mixed weather when dark clouds xxxverdeckenyyy the sun sometimes and in the twilight a rainbow shows up at the sky.

 

Besides the warm spring there is a lot more to see in Landmannalaugar. It is in the middle of the large nature reserve and is one of the most interesting areas of it. The mountains here are made of Rhyolith, a stone that is very colorful. Red, orange and yellow are mixed with the grey and black lava stone so the Icelanders call these the colored mountains. High over the campsite is the Brennisteinsalda, a mountain from which a huge stream of lava came down into the valley. It is worth the work to follow the marked bath up to the mountain. The trail follows a small river, crosses the lava field and then goes straight up to the peak. In the lava field you can examine all the different kinds of Lava. Besides the usual, porous, grey lava there is Obsidian, a glass-like material with very sharp, plain and dark black edges meets the surface here.

 

From the top of the mountain one can see the way the lava stream took on its way down into the valley. Below the peak there are some solfatares, sulfurous steams are coming out of little holes in the floor. Sulfour condenses on the cold stones and paints the earth in a green and yellow color. At the stones surface there are millions of sulfur crytals that are worth a very close look. The flora in this area is manifold, the plants adapt to the different conditions, some funghi grow directly in the hot steam, some wonderful rockery plants with wonderful blossoms grow in small, sheltered niches on the lava stone.

 

 
 
Literature:
 

Literature about this landscape:

Geology of Iceland. Rocks and Landscapes. Þorleifur Einarsson. Publisher: Mál og menning, Reykjavík, 1994. ISBN: 9979-3-0689-0.


 
 
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