I’ve lately written a travel-blog about my favorite volcanic craters in Iceland. Now I need to present you an fascinating phenomenon; the pseudocraters, which could be present in only a few locations on the planet; Iceland, Hawaii, one within the Azore islands – and within the Athabasca Valles area of the planet Mars, so far as I do know.
I’ve typically heard that Iceland is a feast for geologists and the pseudocraters are for positive a superb addition to that feast. These rootless craters kind when piping scorching thin-flowing molten lava flows over a wetland or boggy areas. The recent lava boils the water of the wetlands and the steam strain causes explosions, creating clusters of pseudocraters.
High picture: Skútustaðagígar pseudocraters
The largest pseudocraters in Iceland are the Skútustaðagígar pseudocraters within the Mývatn space in North Iceland. They’re amongst the numerous extraordinary sights of the Mývatn space, and one of many most fascinating pure phenomena in Iceland.
These pseudocraters have been shaped some 2,300 years in the past within the eruption of Lúdentaborgir and Þrengslaborgir. The clusters of pseudocraters sit on a scoria mount, which is exclusive for such a crater.
Skútustaðagígar craters are in my view probably the most spectacular pseudocraters in Iceland, not less than of those I’ve visited. They’re very distinctive and appear to be large bowls.
Skútustaðagígar pseudocraters are actually simply visited as they’re proper by the highway. A path will take you on an fascinating stroll amongst these lovely rootless craters with a view of Lake Mývatn, Iceland’s 4th largest lake.
The pseudocraters are typically known as rootless craters or rootless cones, as they haven’t any finish to them, because it have been, i.e. they aren’t related to a direct magma conduit.
If a number of explosions happen they give the impression of being quite a bit like regular volcanic craters as they’ve crater bowls, and also you would possibly assume that they’re actual craters, which have erupted.
If only some explosions happen then these pseudo craters do not kind a volcanic bowl and look extra like hills.
Picture by Iurie Belegurschi
Whereas visiting these rootless craters you’ll discover the distinction between them. Some are grassy hills, whereas others have grassy volcanic bowls and different variations are lava cones with lava spatter and scoria which have been shot up in the course of the explosions.
Skútustaðagígar pseudocraters have been protected as a pure monument in 1973 and the protected space is a few 70 ha in dimension.
The picture above is the work of Iurie, who is among the co-founders of Information to Iceland and a tremendous photographer. I received his permission to submit a photograph of the Skútustaðagígar pseudocraters, which he shot with a drone.
Learn extra in my travel-blog: the superb Mývatn Space in North Iceland – Half I
In southwest Iceland, solely a stone’s throw away from Reykjavík, the capital metropolis of Iceland, it is possible for you to to go to one other cluster of pseudocraters – the Rauðhólar – Crimson Hills rootless craters. They’re very distinctive on account of their darkish maroon color.
Rauðhólar pseudocraters, that are round 5,000 years outdated, are situated within the Heiðmörk Nature Reserve. They’re part of the Leitahraun lava area, which originated in an eruption from the defend volcano Leitir.
The a part of the Leitahraun lava area the place Rauðhólar exploded known as Elliðaárhraun lava area, however the salmon river Elliðaár runs by elements of Reykjavík metropolis. I might be displaying you that stunning a part of Reykjavík in one other travel-blog.
Rauðhólar pseudocraters are simply accessible and could be seen from ring highway 1 on the japanese outskirts of Reykjavík. They have been preserved again in 1961 and guarded as a pure monument in 1974 after truckloads of gravel have been faraway from them to make use of in a landfill, f.ex. Reykjavík home airport.
It will need to have been a phenomenal sight when round 80 crimson pseudocraters lined this space.
I shot the picture above of a younger couple in love kissing on prime of the Rauðhólar pseudocraters – and requested for his or her permission after all to submit their picture. Afterward, they discovered my travel-blog and requested for the images for his or her assortment. I feel that is such a stunning picture 🙂
Learn extra in my travel-blog: the paranormal Rauðhólar Pseudocraters & Tröllabörn – the Troll Youngsters in SW-Iceland
In South Iceland within the Katla Unesco International Geopark, you can find Landbrotshólar pseudocraters, which is probably the most intensive space of this fascinating phenomenon in Iceland.
These pseudocraters, which cowl an space of round 50 sq. km, have been almost definitely shaped within the gigantic volcanic eruption in Eldgjá in the course of the years 934-938.
A few of these pseudocraters are hole craters, ideally suited to maintain “stuff” and act as a pure shelter. A few of them have been used to maintain sheep and I noticed one crater full of rusting iron and timber (hopefully simply saved there briefly).
My husband likes to look inside caves, so he crawled into one of many pseudocraters at Landbrot and had a go searching. Pseudocraters are delicate although and preserved so let’s tread very frivolously right here.
The pseudocraters are hidden from view from ring-road 1, however when you activate highway 204, Meðallandsvegur, they turn into seen. We discovered a gravel highway that took us right into a pseudocrater space. We drove in between them and hopped out once we discovered an interesting-looking pseudocrater.
My husband inside Landbrotshólar pseudocraters
There are millions of pseudocraters on this space, a few of which appear to be cones and pyramids and others that are spherical and appear to be bosoms.
A tour information as soon as advised me that he received very distracted typically driving with all these bosoms round 😉 And you may see why if in case you have a have a look at my picture beneath.
The pseudocraters aren’t marked on Google maps, however we turned on a gravel highway near the Efri-Vík farm and Resort Laki, the place we have been staying for the night time.
An aerial view on Google maps exhibits the pseudocraters very clearly – I’m amazed at what number of there are. Within the close to neighborhood lies Kirkjubæjarklaustur with its many wonders of nature.
On this space, additionally, you will discover an elf metropolis and an elf church, an Eleventh-century wall known as Bjarnagarður, and an ash bunker, the place you possibly can see ash layers from totally different volcanic eruptions, even way back to earlier than 12 months 900.
You may learn extra about this very fascinating space in my travel-blog: Resort Laki and its Wonderful Environment in South Iceland.
After driving by the huge lava sand plains of Mýrdalssandur in South Iceland you’ll discover a change within the panorama. Right here Álftaversgígar, a cluster of pseudocraters, begin popping up out of the flat panorama.
I feel they make the panorama look very distinctive and so they additionally conveniently act as a barrier for the huge glacial floods in the course of the Katla eruptions.
Right here the pseudocraters appear to be spatter cones, which implies that the facility of the explosions, which created them, was not huge as was the case in a few of the pseudocraters in North Iceland.
Álftaversgígar pseudocraters – útsýnisskífa means a view-dial
These pseudocraters, like Landbrotshólar pseudocraters, have been almost definitely created in the course of the huge Eldgjá eruption in 934.
They have been protected as a pure monument in 1975, however lots of the pseudocraters in Iceland at the moment are protected.
I’m grateful for that as a few of these pseudocraters may need been destroyed utterly and used for highway building or airport building like Rauðhólar pseudocraters.
By the view-dial on prime of Álftaversgígar pseudocraters
On prime of one of many pseudocraters, you can find steps main as much as a view-dial. My father-in-law has designed lots of the view-dials in Iceland, and I seek for them on my travels round Iceland.
There are over 90+ view-dials throughout Iceland, a few of them simply accessible like this one, however others on prime of mountains. These view-dials present the names and heights of the mountains within the surrounding space.
I’ve managed to take images of just about all of them, other than those on mountain tops, as I’m removed from being a superb hiker.
The view-dial on prime of Álftaversgígar (considered one of them)
I’ve added images and details about the view-dials in a lot of my travel-blogs, however one travel-blog I devoted to the view-dials within the Westfjords of Iceland:
The Álftaversgígar pseudocraters are proper by ring-road 1 and my images are taken by the intersection of ring-road 1 and highway 211.
Different pseudocraters I’ve seen on my travels
Rauðhólar pseudocraters in Laxárdalur valley in North-Iceland
I discovered a cluster of maroon pseudocraters in Laxárdalur valley in North Iceland. They’re additionally known as Rauðhólar – Crimson Hills, just like the maroon pseudocraters in South Iceland, which I discussed earlier.
You may cease by the pseudocraters and take a look round. I’ve ties to this valley and have many instances walked round surrounded by crimson pseudocraters.
A little bit bit additional up in Laxárdalur valley the majestic-looking Þverá turf home is to be discovered. And the well-known river Laxá runs by this lovely valley.
There are different pseudocraters within the Aðalhraun lava area shut by. This space is actually superb, you drive by what appears to be like like one other world for some time in your approach from Mývatn to Húsavík.
The pseudocraters in my picture beneath are a cluster of pseudocraters near the intersection of roads 85 and 845 resulting in Húsavík. They’re clearly seen on Google maps.
Pseudocraters in Aðalhraun
A few of these pseudocraters appear to be the extra regular hilly pseudocraters whereas others appear to be spatter cones and hornitos – and perhaps a few of them are – I’m no geologist, simply making an attempt to make sense of this unusual phenomenon in my nation 😉
You may see weirder lava formations on this space in my travel-blog on the Peculiar Knútsstaðaborg.
Pseudocraters in Þjórsárdalur valley upcountry in South-Iceland
Different locations in Iceland the place pseudocraters could be discovered are in Þjórsárdalur valley upcountry in South Iceland. I’ve written a number of travel-blogs about Þjórsárdalur, however have solely pushed by a few of the pseudocraters on my strategy to Stöng and Gjáin. I appeared them up on Google maps and they’re clearly seen when you zoom in.
I discovered the map beneath of the places of the pseudocraters in Iceland on the web site of Umhverfisstofnun – the Environmental Company and on the webpage of the Pure Analysis Station of Mývatn. I hope they do not thoughts me utilizing it for my travel-blog.
A map of pseudocraters in Iceland
Now, these are the pseudocraters that I’ve seen on my travels in Iceland, and I hope you discover this topic as fascinating as I do. This is just one of my 280 travel-blogs, so there’s loads of different fascinating sights in Iceland to learn up on and go to.
To go to these pseudocraters it’s best to hire a automobile and drive round Iceland by yourself.
Have a stunning time in Iceland 🙂