Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon is thickly dotted with floating and grounded icebergs of varying sizes and shapes. And a mammoth glacial ice cap backdrops the scene.
You sail between and close to the icebergs on a 40-minute amphibian boat tour. Be aware that the boat tour doesn’t operate from late fall and to early spring because the lagoon freezes over.
A sizeable outlet glacier of the mighty Vatnajokull Glacier has receded in the last 100 years due to climate warming. The melted glacial water filled the space left behind – and Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon was born.
Some climatologists predict that the tip of the outlet glacier will completely melt away within 100 years and the lagoon will become a fjord open to the ocean.
A relatively short natural channel connects the lagoon to the ocean. During low tide, the water current flows to the sea and small icebergs float out. During low tide, the current reverses and seawater flows partially into the freshwater lagoon.
The expanding lagoon currently covers nearly 19 square kilometers (8 square miles). The maximum depth is more than 200 meters (660 feet).
Jokulsarlon means “glacial lake” in Icelandic.
The locale is a scenic film location for major films, including the James Bond thriller A View to a Kill (1985). It’s also used for TV shows and commercials.
Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon is about 380 kilometers (240 miles) by road from Reykjavik. Bus day trip tours from Reykjavik are available.
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