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: Earthquakes occur in 4 parts of Alaska

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

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

18 hours ago

The seventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed and quickly ramped up to a tropical storm named "Genevieve." NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the newborn storm ...

NASA maps Typhoon Matmo's Taiwan deluge

20 hours ago

When Typhoon Matmo crossed over the island nation of Taiwan it left tremendous amounts of rainfall in its wake. NASA used data from the TRMM satellite to calculate just how much rain fell over the nation.

User comments : 0