Kaspars Dzenis's picture

Ice Saga

Ice caves are one of the most fascinating spectacles you can find in Iceland. Unlike in many other places in the world Icelandic glacier ice caves are rapidly changing, from season to season, from their appearance to the location.

Most glacier caves are started by water running through or under the glacier. This water often originates on the glacier's surface through melting, entering the ice at a moulin and exiting at the glacier's snout at base level. Heat transfer from the water can cause sufficient melting to create an air-filled cavity, sometimes aided by solifluction. Air movement can then assist enlargement through melting in summer and sublimation in winter. Every year, guides scout the glaciers in order to observe the changes of the older ice caves, or to find new ones.

Some glacier caves are formed by geothermal heat from volcanic vents or hotsprings beneath the ice. One example is the Kverkfjöll glacier cave in the Vatnajökull glacier.
Glacier caves may be used by glaciologists to gain access to the interior of glaciers. The study of glacier caves themselves is sometimes called "glaciospeleology".

This image was taken as the first light was hitting an ice cave wall, revealing it´s majestic structure and color.

Vatnajökull, Iceland
Nikon D810, Irix 11mm


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