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Crystal Beach

One of the outlets of the southern Icelandic icecap of Vatnajökull is the glacier of Breiðamerkurjökull which ends in the glacial lake of Jökulsárlón. The lake extends underneath the glacier for about 20 km. Jökulsárlón is filled with icebergs that calve from the wide glacier snout. The glacier lagoon is located at sea-level height and connects to the open ocean of the North Atlantic through a 500 m long river called Jökulsa. At high tide, the saltwater drains into the lagoon at high speed by raising the lake level significantly. When the low tide sets in the water is torrentially discharging through the channel carrying icebergs up to 5 m in size into the ocean. These icebergs are immediately exposed to the surf and the wave action breaks them apart into smaller pieces at impressive sounds. At low tide the remains of the icebergs can be found beached on the pitch black lava sand resembling a bone yard of crystal debris. This iceberg features a spectacular hole caused by wave breaking action and is one of the larger remains with 1.5 m height. It is photographed in the last light of the day shortly before midnight.


July 2010

Canon 5D MkII, Canon L 16-35 mm, f/16, 10 sec, ISO 50, tripod


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Taken on August 4, 2010