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Gígjökull Photos

Mt. Eyjafjallajökull is an active stratovolcanoe, and one of the largest volcanoes in Iceland. The mountain reaches 1660 m a.s.l., and above 900-100 m it is covered by the ice cap that gives the mountain its name. At the top of the volcano there is a small caldera, 2-2.5 km in diameter. There is a break in the caldera rim to the north through which the outlet glacier Gígjökull drains. Its name means "Crater Glacier". Only two eruptions are known in Eyjafjallajökull in historical times, both rather small. The first eruption occurred in 1612 AD, and the latter in 1821. During that eruption, a jökulhlaup came down the Gígjökull channel. Gígjökull descends very rapidly down the steep mountain slope towardfs its terminus, and can be classified as an ice fall. Icelanders sometimes call it Falljökull, which means just "Ice Fall". It is a popular spot for ice climbers in winter. Gígjökull is retreating slowly, and the ice lake/lagoon in front of the glacier is slowly getting larger. It had its maximum extention during the Little Ice Age, prior to 1900 AD, and its former position is marked by spectacularly high end moraines. Although it has not been proven, the moraines are probably ice cored. Younger lateral moraines, inside the LIA maximum moraines, are ice cored, and this is a good site to observe various processes of ice disintegration, such as fall sorting, sinkhole formation, debris flows ets.

Gígjökull, a small outlet glacier from Eyjafjallajökull, southern Iceland. Photo: Ó. Ingólfsson 2004.

The photos below are from 2004. Feel free to use them for educational purposes, but please refer to my home page as the source.

Gígjökull and the frontal lagoon.

Ice cored lateral moraines, inside the high Little Ice Age moraines.

Dead ice at the Gígjökull margin.

Dead ice in the Gígjökull lagoon.

Dirty icebergs in the Gígjökull lagoon.

Dead ice pond/kettle hole in the Gígjökull lateral moraines.

Reversed dead ice landscape: Coarse fall sorted gravels, originally at base of slope, now on top of ridge.

Ice cored lateral moraines.

Ice cored lateral moraine.

Ice cored mound.

The ice cored lateral moraines.

Large sinkhole in the dead ice landscape.

Small debris flow on dead ice.

Lateral moraines. LIA maximum moraines to the right, 20th century moraines left.

The most distal LIA maximum moraines.