Myvatan ... Midge Lake !
Myvatan Travel Blog› entry 17 of 27 › view all entries
Mývatn is a shallow volcanic lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland ... not far from Krafla and the power station we had visited earlier in the trip.
The lake and its surrounding wetlands are well known and have an exceptionally rich fauna of water birds.
The lake was created by a large lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic forms, including lava pillars and these special pseudo craters. The river Laxá is known for its rich fishing and its Arctic Char (quite delicious smoked!)
The name Mývatn is sometimes used not only for the lake but the whole surrounding inhabited area. The River Laxá, Lake Mývatn and the surrounding wetlands are protected as a nature reserve (The Mývatn-Laxá Nature Conservation Area).A main feature is the wonderful hot springs just outside the town ..... and i mean hot!
This area is very active and the Mývatnseldar eruptions in 1724 which commenced with an explosion that formed the Víti crater.
Later lava flowed from Leirhnjúkur down to the north end of Lake Mývatn. The Mývatnseldar eruptions are quite similar to the eruptions in the early 80s The source of both is a central volcano lying between Krafla and Gæsafjöll. Inside the volcano a magma chamber from which molten rock periodically bursts into a swarm of fissures that cut through the volcano from north to south.
This leads to the hot springs today and steam can be seen like a giant genies lamp for a long way out of the town!