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Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-08-05
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Nikon D90, AF Nikkor 70-210, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/11, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-12-23 6:38
Viewed: 2641
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
With this photo of the impressive Glacial Lake Jökulsárlón in Iceland I wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS. What you see here is only a small part of the lake.

Jökulsárlón; literally "glacial river lagoon" is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the borders of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of Breiđamerkurjökull, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the Icelandic glaciers. The lake now stands 1.5 kilometres away from the ocean's edge and covers an area of about 18 km2. It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland at over 248 metres depth as glacial retreat extended its boundaries. The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland.

The first settlers arrived in Iceland around 900 AD when the edge of the glacier tongue of Breiđamerkurjökull glacier was about 20 kilometres further north of the present location. During the Little Ice Age between 1600 and 1900 AD, with cooler temperatures prevailing in these latitudes, the glacier had grown up to about 1 kilometre from the coast at Jokulsa River, till about 1890. With temperatures rising between 1920 and 1965, changes started occurring in the Breiđamerkurjökull glacier tongue. It started retreating at a fast rate with the continuing process of calving and falling of icebergs of varying size, and thus creating a lagoon in its wake, around the years 1934–35. The lake is about 200 metres deep where the glacier snout originally existed. Glacial moraines got exposed on both sides of the lake.

The Jökulsárlón lake provides outstanding views of the Ice Cap, which is a vast dome of ice that rises to a height of 3,000 feet (910 m). It spills to the lagoon 12 miles (19 km) away from the jagged glacier hill to the edge of the water line. The lake developed only about 60 years ago (1948 is mentioned), when the entire area was less than 100 feet (30 m) of glacier, which was only 250 yards (230 m) from the Atlantic Ocean, and 2 miles (3.2 km) away from Vatnajökull. Vatnajökull was at the shore line of the ocean and dropped icebergs into the ocean. However, it started drifting in land rapidly every year leaving deep gorges en route, which got filled with melted water and large chunks of ice.

These icebergs gather at the mouth of the lake’s shallow exit, melt down into smaller ice cubes and roll out into the sea. The lake is the lowest point in Iceland with land at 200 metres below sea level. In summer, they melt and roll down the channel into the sea. In winter the lake freezes and locks the icebergs in place. Ice water and soil make a unique ecological phenomenon. Jökulsárlón lake, the Icelandic “glacier lake”, is now reported to have doubled in size in the recent 15-year period. The huge blocks of ice that calve from the edge of Vatnajökull are about 30 metres high which fills the lagoon stocked with icebergs. Some icebergs appear naturally sculpted on account volcanic ashes from ancient eruptions that partly cover them.

With the rate at which Vatnajökull is retreating, in the near future, it is anticipated that there is likely to be a deep fjord where Vatnajökull is now. This retreat is also posing a threat to the National Highway Route 1 of Iceland.

The icebergs that calve from the glacier edge move towards the river mouth and get entrenched at the bottom. While floating, only about one tenth mass of an iceberg is seen above the water surface. The movement of the icebergs fluctuates with the tide currents.

However, they start floating as icebergs when their size is small enough to drift to the sea. These icebergs are seen in two shades, one type in milky white, while the other type is in bright blue colour, which is an interplay of light and ice crystals.

Source: Parts of Wikipedia

marius-secan, Hotelcalifornia, kinglove, robertcolino, maaciejka, CeltickRanger, Chiza, Bass, nagraj, anel, imageme, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
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To marius-secan: landscapePeterZ 1 12-23 06:56
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Critiques [Translate]

An excellent landscape you've presented,remarkable details and beautiful colours.

Hi Peter
Fantastic shot of this ice bergs nice location...lovely cool colours.
great shot.


Hello Peter,
Wow, what a splendid landscape.....Remarkable photo with exceptional colors and depth of field. Perfect composition taken from a excellent POV. Fantastic landscape......Perfect for Christmas....
Thanks for sharing!

Hello Mr.Peter,
Merry Christmas to you too.Wish you good time.
Excellent picture.Very good light and details.I like its colour and POV too.Very good work.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice time,

Hi Peter
照的清晰 很漂亮的風景
銀白色的雪地 真是漂亮極了
構圖美麗 背景深遂

hallo Peter
super mooie kerstmis kaart
mooie compositie met dat ijs en sneeuw
prachtige kleuren en mooi licht

bedankt Peter en jij ook prettige kerstdagen
gr lou

Hello Peter. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you too.
An excellent landscape at Iceland. I want to go to Iceland, but is too far from me.
Have a nice day.

HI Peter,
Merry Christmas!
Beautiful photo. What a place. Really ice land. Excellent white balance.
Thanks for sharing,

Ciao Peter, great view of fantastic place, magic season atmosphere, wonderful clarity and splendid light, very well done, my friend, Merry Christmas Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-12-23 14:56]

Hi Peter,no snow in our countries this year,i like your choice of this Iceland memory for the Christmas postcard! Beautiful and incredible scenery,with a special atmopshere like of these magic days,i like it!I wish you all the best me too,and thanks for share,Luciano

Hello Peter

Merry Christmas also for you and your family, this photo can
easily be a winter / Christmas time postal card, a fine POV
with putting in evidence the foreground and the background,
with lovely cold color tones, beautiful light, TFS


  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2013-12-23 15:30]

Hola Peter, hermoso paisaje alusivo a esta época navideńa lejos del trópico; le deseo felices fiestas y lo mejor para el 2014...muchas gracias por compartir sus hermosas fotos y por comentar mi trabajo...saludos.

  • Great 
  • Bass Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 173 W: 0 N: 233] (974)
  • [2013-12-23 15:41]

Hi Peter,
I love glaciers... always love those paths of dirt that seems highways over them.The POV and the cold colours looks great. Very nice note also, very instructive.
Thanks for sharing this beuaty.
kind rgards

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-12-23 16:03]

Hello Peter,
A fitting image to bring in the Christmas Season. All of our snow melted yesterday as the temperature hit a high of almost 60 degrees F. Today it dropped down to 25 degrees F again.
Your photo of the ice covered lake is very beautiful, but I would imagine quite cold also. Thank you for sharing this wintery image with all your friends here on TN.
"Merry Christmas" Peter,

Hello Peter
My best wishes for a Merry Christmas too!
Beautiful photo! Excellent composition and wonderful lighting. Fantastic place!!

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2013-12-23 23:04]

Amazing landscape perfect for the season...thanks. tfs.

Hello Peter
"Merry Christmas"and "Happy New Year" to you and your family.
Wonderful picture for celebration.
Snow is favorite subject.
Best wishes.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-12-24 6:59]

Hello Peter,
Thanks a lot for your "cold" wishes. Merry Christmas to you and your family too.
Impressive Glacial lake, very nice to have had the opportunity to see this ice world.
Kind regards

Hi Peter, What a extraordinary icebergs scenery you demonstrated here with wonderful pure bluish and whitish colours well mixed. Merry Christmas

a great place,Peter
happy Christmas with your beloved ones

  • Great 
  • nanreh Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 12 N: 258] (2191)
  • [2013-12-25 19:33]

Thanks friend for the Christmas gift of this beautiful postcard from Iceland ...


From Argentina, Hernan Bortondello

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2014-01-13 11:31]

Hi Peter,

Such a fantastic landscape shot, and I thought you only good at animals :)

Beautiful and I love the texture and details of the ice. You manage the bright light very well with all the white of snow and ice.


Have never been here; now it's too late for me to travel there. Am far too old and frail.
EXCELLENT but COLD landscape.
Loved your notes.
For me ... I find it most difficult to photograph "WHITE". Perhaps, I should re-arrange the settings in my cameras.
Very detailed.
Best regards,

Calibration Check