Jokulsarlon is also called the “glacial river lagoon” actually a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. It is located at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. It was established into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake size has grown since the glaciers are melting, and now it is 1.5KM away from the ocean edge and covers an area of almost 18 Kilometers.
In 1975, the lake was about 8 kilometers in area, and now it has reportedly stood at 18 km2 at the edge of the glacier tongue. It is a well-renowned lake in Iceland and one of the deepest lakes in the country. The depth of the lake is over 248 meters as glacial retreat extended its boundaries, and increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is regarded as one of the natural wonders of Iceland.
The Lake can easily be viewed from Highway 1 between Hofn and Skatafell, and appears as a ghostly procession of luminous blue icebergs. The lake has been featured in many Hollywood movies & reality TV series. However, Iceland has issued a postage stamp of this stunning lake in 1991.
However, the tongue of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier is a major attraction for tourists. The Jokulsarlon Landowners Association represents the owners of the land property that fell, which covers the Jökulsárlón, also known as the Glacier Lake. This property is leased out for filming or any other commercial activity as required. It is also famous as the “Tourist Conveyor belt”.
Though walking on the shore, isolated large blocks of icebergs can be seen on the black sand beach. It is a notable point of the current retreat rate of Vatnajökull, it is expected that there will possibly be a deep fjord where Jökulsárlón is now in the near future. This retreat is also posing a significant threat to the National Highway Route 1 of Iceland.
The lagoon is 75 kilometers to the west of Höfn town and 60 kilometers east of Skaftafell. It is accessible by the ring road, Route 1 that goes across the lake, and where parking facilities have been provided for visitors. Therefore, a cofferdam was constructed near the Glacial River Bridge in order to build a protective measure of stone boulders to prevent any erosion.
Well, this cofferdam enabled the Icelandic road administration to create workable access for the power shovel digger to place the row of stone protective measures, which would also divert the icebergs from hitting the bridge pillars and thus avoid damage to the structure features. The lake is filled with fish, and seals gather in winter to catch the fish.
A huge number of seabirds i.e. arctic terns, try to catch herring, trout, salmon, and other fish and krill. In summer, the dark color white skuas have their nests on the lake’s shores, which are naturally very aggressive “pirates of the seas”, and harass other birds as big as gannets.
Due to natural aggression, they’d like to kill and eat smaller birds such as puffins. Even gannets are not afraid of human beings and cannot tolerate human beings close to their nests. These birds migrate from their wintering grounds off the coasts of Spain and Africa.
In 1985, the premiere of the James Bond movie A View to a Kill marked the start of commercial boat tours on the lake. Guðbrandur Jóhannesson started the tours on Jokulsarlon. Jóhannesson, who today owns and operates the company Vatnajökull travel, operated the tours for the first two years.
The company has employed about 30 seasonal employees, and has carried 60,000 to 70,000 passengers annually; since the first commercial boat tour, about 900,000 tourists have taken the excursion. The popularity of the lake has been boosted day by day due to TV and Media coverage. If you’re visiting Iceland, then it’s a must-see place for you.
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Jokulsarlon is also called the "glacial river lagoon" actually a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park.
Jokulsarlon is also called the “glacial river lagoon” actually a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park.
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