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Mountains of volcanic ash near the glacier, Snæfellsjökull

photo by Herman Beun on Flickr

Mountains of volcanic ash near the glacier, Snæfellsjökull — Fotopedia
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Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsjökull (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈstn̥aiːfɛlsˌjœːkʏtl̥], snow-fell glacier) is a 700,000-year-old stratovolcano with a glacier covering its summit in western Iceland. The name of the mountain is actually Snæfell, but it is normally called "Snæfellsjökull" to distinguish it from two other mountains with this name. It is situated on the most western part of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland. Sometimes it may be seen from the city of Reykjavík over the bay of Faxaflói, at a distance of 120 km.

The mountain is one of the most famous sites of Iceland, primarily due to the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) by Jules Verne, in which the protagonists find the entrance to a passage leading to the center of the earth on Snæfellsjökull.

The mountain is included in the Snæfellsjökull National Park (Icelandic: Þjóðgarðurinn Snæfellsjökull).

In August 2012 the summit was ice-free for the first time in recorded history.


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Iceland

Iceland i/ˈslənd/ (Icelandic: Ísland [ˈistlant]), sometimes referred to in full as the Republic of Iceland (Lýðveldið Ísland), is a Nordic island country marking the juncture between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The country has a population of 321,857 and a total area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), which makes it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with the surrounding areas in the southwestern region of the country being home to two-thirds of the country's population. Reykjavík is the most northern capital in the world. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists mainly of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.