Earth from Space: A smoke-free Iceland

Jun 04, 2010
Credits: ESA

(PhysOrg.com) -- This Envisat image features a smoke-free Iceland. Although the island has received a lot of attention in the past months for its volcanic activity, it is also home to numerous glaciers, lakes, lava and hot springs.

Volcanoes dominate the landscape, with more than 100, of which a large number are still active, rising on the island. The Eyjafjallajokull , which had a series of eruptions in April and May, is visible in the dark area on the southern coast.
Sitting in the North Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and immediately south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland has more land covered by (11%) than the whole of continental Europe.

At 8000 sq km, the Vatnajokull glacier (visible in white northeast of Eyjafjallajokull) is the largest in Iceland and in Europe. The white circular patch in the centre of the country is Hofsjokull, the country’s third largest glacier and its largest active volcano. The elongated white area west of Hofsjokull is Langjokull, Iceland’s second largest glacier.

The front of Langjokull feeds into Hagavatn, a glacial lake with an elevation of 435 m and an area of 5 sq km.

The country’s largest lake, Lake Pingvallavatn, is in the lower left of the image. The capital city Reykjavik is slightly southwest of Lake Pingvallavatn on the western coast.

Iceland also boasts some 800 hot springs with an average of 75ºC. Reykjavik, Icelandic for 'Smoky Bay', was named for steam rising from hot springs in a southwestern bay. Geothermal water reserves provide Iceland’s population with most of its electricity and heating.

The various shades of green in the sea along the coasts are due to sediments being transported in the water.

This image was acquired by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging on 24 May 2010 at a resolution of 300 m.

Explore further: Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New satellite image of volcanic ash cloud

Apr 15, 2010

This image, acquired today by ESA's Envisat satellite, shows the vast cloud of volcanic ash sweeping across the UK from the eruption in Iceland, more than 1000 km away.

Iceland fears 2nd, even larger volcanic eruption

Mar 21, 2010

(AP) -- A volcano in southern Iceland has erupted for the first time in almost 200 years, raising concerns that it could trigger a larger and potentially more dangerous eruption at a volatile volcano nearby.

Hundreds evacuated after Iceland volcano erupts

Mar 21, 2010

A volcano in the area of the Eyjafallajoekull glacier in southern Iceland erupted early Sunday, forcing more than 500 people in its vicinity to evacuate their homes, authorities said.

Recommended for you

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

Apr 18, 2014

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.