Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lagoon, Iceland

September 07, 2012


Photographer: Stu Witmer
Summary Author: Stu Witmer

Clear-iceJokulsarlon (Icelandic for glacial river lagoon) on Iceland’s south coast has several claims to fame, not the least of which is the fact that it’s outlet to the ocean is spanned by one of only three suspension bridges (seen in the background) in the country. The south is the most difficult part of the country for road building and it was only in 1974 that this section of the Ring Road was completed. Probably, though, it’s known primarily as a corral for icebergs. The tongue of the glacier Breidamerkurjokull, on the north edge of the lagoon, is constantly calving the bergs into the lagoon. The lagoon came into existence sometime after 1930 and the glacier itself was formed during the relatively recent Little Ice Age. Icebergs appear blue/green because ice particles more effectively absorb the longer wavelengths of light (reds and yellows) than the shorter (blue and green) wavelengths. The ice of these bergs is exceptionally clear (inset) and a small chunk does not have the same color as the bergs and glaciers because it likely isn't thick enough to absorb the longer-color wavelength colors. Photo taken September 7, 2011.

Photo Details: Top - Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS; Focal Length: 15.0mm; Aperture: f/5.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 80. Inset - Same except Focal Length: 5.0mm; Aperture: f/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.0025 s (1/400).