Coming out of the Vikurskard Pass onto Eyjafjordur

September 20, 2013

Coming out of the Vikurskard Pass onto Eyjafjörður

Photographer: Stu Witmer
Summary Author: Stu Witmer

The photo above was taken from the top of Vikurskard Pass about 6 mi (10 km) northeast of Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city. The view looks west across Eyjafjordur (Island fjord). This was one of the earliest areas settled by Vikings, more than 1,100 years ago. The shore visible on the far side of the fjord was the location of the medieval trading post of Gasir, which was an important port for about 300 years and is mentioned in the Icelandic sagas. This pass connects the Eyjafjordur with the Fnjoska river valley to the east. Most of the rock in this area is part of the Tertiary Basalt Formation containing some of the oldest rocks in Iceland. During the last Ice Age the water of the Fnjoska was dammed by the glacier that created Eyjafjordur. By about 10,000 years ago, the glacier had retreated enough to allow the lake to empty. Water and ice erosion has shaped the valleys and passes. About 50 mi (80 km) south of the Arctic Circle, the pass is often blocked by winter snow and there has been some thought about replacing it with a tunnel. Photo taken September 11, 2011.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS; Focal Length: 5.0mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 80.