Family Kiwidutch are continuing their sightseeing journey around the southern tip of Iceland.
From Gullfoss we head southwards to another one of the “must see” scenic things in the so nicknamed ” Golden Triangle” in Iceland; the Strokkur geyser.
I find two webpages that give me further information, one is a Wikipedia page and the other, the other from a site called ” Extreme Iceland, About Iceland” (links to both sites, as usual at the bottom of this post).
“Strokkur” (Icelandic for “churn”) is a fountain geyser in the geothermal area beside the Hvítá River in Iceland in the southwest part of the country, east of Reykjavík.
It is one of Iceland’s most famous geysers, erupting about every 8-10 minutes 15 – 20 m high, sometimes up to 40 m high.
Strokkur is part of Haukadalur geothermal area, where are located various other geothermal features: mud pools, fumaroles, algal deposits, and other geysers beside and around it, such as “Geysir”.
Strokkur was first mentioned in 1789, after an earthquake unblocked the conduit of the geyser. Its activity fluctuated in the 19th century; in 1815 its height was estimated to be as much as 60 metres.”
My camera was struggling with the biting wind that threatened to blow me off my feet. I had to lean a lot on the crutches to make headway and stop frequently. The upside to my slow progress was that I was able to see the geyser erupt several times from different distances and angles. Whilst I walked I tried to keep the camera inside my jacket, but as soon as it was out and exposed to the cold and wind it started to faulter, the shutter taking longer and longer to close, even getting completely stuck several times. I am therefore rather pleased with these photos because I expected almost nothing to come out at all. The video was taken with my pocket point and shoot that spent as much time as possible in an inner jacket pocket to protect it from the cold. The information continues…
” It continued to erupt until the turn of the 20th century, when another earthquake blocked the conduit again.
In 1963, upon the advice of the Geysir Committee, locals cleaned out the blocked conduit through the bottom of the basin, and the geyser has been regularly erupting ever since.
Strokkur and its surrounding areas regularly attracts tourists to view the geyser, as it is one of very few natural geysers to erupt frequently and reliably.
The Geysir field is situated at the northern edge of the southern lowlands, at an altitude of 105-120 m above sea level. Until recently, the area was called Hverasandar. The hot springs are located to the east of a little mountain called Laugafell.
The geothermal field is believed to have a total surface area of approximately 3 km². Most of the springs are aligned along a 100 m wide strip of land running in the same direction as the tectonic lines in the area, from south to southwest.
The strip is 500 m long and culminates near what once was the seat of the lords of Haukadalur. Today we find a church there. Here and there, at a considerably shorter distance from the ancient seat than from the hot springs, we find a 20-150 cm thick layer of siliceous sinter, mostly covered by earth, or in some cases even out in the open as the mound at Hvitamelur.
Hvitamelur was once a spouting spring, but it is now absolutely dry. We can still discern the rims of the ancient basin, and the singer safeguards quite a few plant fossils.
In other words, hot spring water must have covered large areas from which the geothermal field seems virtually to have moved. The heart of the geothermal area is now 2 km to the south of the Haukadalur seat, but two little springs have been left behind, Marteinslaug and Gufubadshver. As for the centre of the field, the northernmost springs, such as “Geysir” itself, are believed to be the oldest.”