Glaciers in Iceland

The glaciers in Iceland are one of the country’s most distinctive features. They cover approximately 11 260 square km- 4 328 square miles or put it differently 10,9% of the entire area of the country. In Iceland you can find almost all types of glaciers from the tiny cirque glaciers to large glacier caps similar to the inland ice of Greenland . Bigger glaciers have been drained by lobe-shaped outlets or even by valley glaciers. Glaciers in Iceland form in places where there is too much snow falling during winter and does not melt during the summer. Through the process of evaporation and condensation of water the crystallisation forms smaller, thicker and spherical grains of ice. When melting occurs in the zone of snow accumulation, snow is transformed into ice quite quickly. Because of the plastic behavior of ice crystals the ice in the glacier slowly moves under the G force.

The largest glaciers in Iceland

The largest glacier in Iceland is by far Vatnajokull situated in the Southeast part of the country. It covers an area of 8 300 square km and this is approximately equal with the area of all the Glaciers in Europe put together, except Iceland of course. The thickness of this glacier reaches approximately 1 000 meters. Other large glaciers in Iceland are Langjokull of 935 sq km, Hofsjokull of 925 sq km both situated in the central area of the country. In the southern part of Iceland there is the Myrdalsjokull glacier of 596 sq km and in the northwest you can admire the 160 sq km large Drangajokull glacier. Across the bay from Reykjavik you can see one of the smallest glaciers in Iceland sitting on the Snaefellsnes peak.