Kaspars Dzenis's picture

Pastel Memories

Fellsfjara is one of the most visited places in Iceland. People may know it by a different name - Diamond Beach, however this is not a historical name, but rather a successful marketing attempt to popularize the site. It's clear to see why it worked, as icebergs from the nearby Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon shimmer like pieces of diamonds against the volcanic black sand of the Atlantic ocean.

The lagoon itself is relatively new. Jökulsárlón began forming when Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier started retreating about 90 years ago. Before 1934 the outlet glacier reached the highway but then began to retreat. The lagoon is now only about 250 meters away from the Atlantic Ocean and around 30km² in size. Jökulsárlón is also the deepest lake in Iceland with a maximum depth of around 260 meters.There are dozens of glacier lagoons around Vatnajökull, but only one where so much ice is deposited alongside the beach.

As the tide rises, warmer ocean waters enter the lagoon, mixing with glacier water and uplifting the glacial outlet. When it retreats, the tips of the glacial outlet break off and drift out to the sea and get washed up on the nearby shore. This is a year around process, so barring very specific conditions (Strong south eastern winds that blow ice chunks away from the mouth of the river, or extreme cold freezing the lagoon) it can be observed any time of the year.

Fellsfjara, Iceland
Nikon D810, Tamron 15-30mm


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