The purpose of this website is to disseminate information on natural hazards in Iceland related to glaciers.
The site is maintained by the Geophysics Division of the Science Institute.
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Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe and covers approx. 8100 km2. It is situated close to the southeast coast of Iceland, extending about 150 km from W to E and about 100 km from N to S. The ice cap reaches a maximum elevation of about 2000m, where the ice dome Bardabunga rises up in the northwest sector of the ice cap.  Several other ice domes lie between 1400 and 2000m .

Outlet glaciers along the western, northern and northeastern margin reach altitudes of 600 to 800 m above sea level and the ice thickness is 400 m on average and 900 m at the thickest point. The deepest point under Vatnajökull lies 300 m below sea level, beneath the outlet glacier Skeidarajökull. Annual precipation varies from 0.4 m to 7 m, with no less than 4 m per year  in the south and very little in the north.

Beneath Öræfajökull, a small ice cap with its own ice flow directly south east of Vatnajökull, lies one of Icelands most dangerous central Volcanous. Iceland´s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur (2219 m) is part of Öræfajökull.


Have a look at


A satellite image from the Icelandic Land Survey (Landmælinga Íslands)

This satellite image shows the depression above the subglacial lake Grímsvötn, an excellent example of the effects of subglacial geothermal heat.