Askja Volcano Reviews
Askja Volcano and the amazing F88! Jul 07, 2008
A trip to Icelands interior cannot be complete without a trip along the fantastic F88 and up to the volcano craters of Askja.
Askja is a stratovolcano situated in a remote part of the central highlands of Iceland called Dyngjufjöll mountains, which rise to 1,510m.
The region is only accessible for a few months of the year so choose your time carefully. Even in June we had snow!
The area was used during training for the Apollo program to prepare astronauts for potential lunar conditions. So you can imagine how wild this is!
Askja was virtually unknown until the tremendous eruption which started on March 29, 1875. Especially in the eastern fjords of Iceland, the ashfall was heavy enough to poison the land and kill livestock. Ash, or tephra from this eruption was wind-blown to Norway and Sweden. The eruption triggered a substantial wave of emigration from Iceland.
Another less well-known eruption occurred in the early Holocene, ca 11,000 years ago. Tephra from this eruption has been found in south-east Sweden, Northern Ireland and north Norway. The last eruption of the Askja was in 1961.
The outer caldera of Askja, representing a prehistoric eruption, is about 45 km², and there is evidence of other later caldera-forming events within it. The main crater floor lies at about 1,100m.
Öskjuvatn is a large lake that fills much of the smaller caldera resulting from the 1875 eruption. Its surface lies about 50m below the level of the main crater floor and covers about 12km². When the lake originally formed it was warm, but today it is frozen over for most of the year. Öskjuvatn is the deepest lake in Iceland at 220 m deep.
Viti is a smaller explosion crater on the north east shore of Öskjuvatn, approximately 100 metres diameter. It contains a geothermal lake of mineral-rich, sulphurous, opaque blue water, which is maintained at a comfortable temperature for swimming. Víti was formed in the eruption of 1875.
You should be careful climbing down into Viti its steep sides offer little footing and in wet weather are treacherous!
We didnt swim :) It was too damm cold and wet to get there!
But well worth seeing!
Part of the Nordic Expedition 2008 - Part 2 - Iceland travel blog
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