Photograph by Blane Perun

Hofsjökull Glacier

Exploring the Hofsjökull Glacier and Its Hidden Dormant Volcano

Considered the third largest glacier in Iceland, the Hofsjökull Glacier measures more than 1760 meters at its summit, and it covers a massive area of about 925 square kilometers. The glacier is also a subglacial volcano that has been deemed as the largest volcano in Iceland. The dormant shield-type volcano is found in an area that connects the two major rift areas in Iceland – the Langjökull rift and the eastern zone – and a small Holocene shield volcano can also be found in the vicinity, southwest of the icecap.

The entire area of the glacier measures about 25 kilometers in diameter, and its massive meltwaters are responsible for feeding several rivers, including Thjórsá, Ölfusá and Héradhsvötn. Hofsjökull is located northeast of the Kerlingarfjöll mountains, a mountain range that is considered to be part of the Hofsjökull glacier system.

It is also worth mentioning that in the past two years the glacier was observed to actually increase in mass, a fact that has not been seen to occur for more than two decades.

Blane Perun

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