Fláajökull Glacier

Clear signs of Glacial geomorhology.

We start this day by driving for about 30 minutes to one of Vatnajökull’s outlet glaciers, called Fláajökull, where you can see clear signs of the receding of the glacier and build up of land in front of it.

Fláajökull, a non-surging outlet glacier, was mostly stationary between 1966 and 1995, forming a prominent end moraine. Since then, glacial retreat has revealed a cluster of 15 drumlins. The drumlins are 100-600 m long with cores of glaciofluvial sediment or till. The with ranges from 40-130 m. This small drumlin field in Fláajökull fore-field is very specific to this glacier here in Iceland.

Analyses of birch logs found on one of the drumlins surface indicate that the valley was forested some 2100 years before the calendar year 1950, when the glacier started to reform, most likely because of climate change.  Fláajökull is like all Icelandic outlet glaciers, considered to be a temperate glacier, and also a non-surging glacier.

Characterized by a number of arcuate and saw-tooth terminal and recessional moraine ridges, the glacier fore-field has also overridden moraines with fluted surfaces, and glaciofluvial outwash.

Next we will make a short drive on the main road, but then try out our typical Icelandic Super Jeep with some off road driving.

#1 Fláajökull

A stop by Fláajökull where we can stand on the recently deglaciated foreland and see the details of cross-cutting and merging of crevasse squeeze ridges.

#2 Kálfafellsdalur

Next we drive into the 10 km long valley of Kálfafellsdalur, which is an example of how the landscape forms where the glaciers have disappeared.

#3 Skeiðarársandur

The largest sandur plain in Iceland with one of the most complex braided river system from the glacier rivers coming from the outlet glacier Skeiðarárjökull.

#4 Klaustur & Skaftá

Our last stop is at our end destination today. The 115 km long river Skaftá runs by, a river Icelanders have learned to respect and pay attention to.