A new fissure starts to form in Thingvellir National Park (Almannagjá)

According to a news on Rúv. A new fissure has opened in south part of Almannagjá. It is not clear when this fissure started to form, but it looks to have formed in rather recent time (years?). But this fissure was discovered after a snow and frost started to thaw out of the ground in the last few weeks. This new fissure is about 10 to 14 meters deep and is under the middle of the walking path that is in this area. It has now been closed for safety reasons. Tourists and people how are travelling this area of Thingvellir are asked to respect the travel ban in this area. But this is a deep fissure and it is unmarked and dangerous.

This area is in part of the Hengill volcano fissure swarm. But it on the north-east edge of the end of that fissure swarm that extends from Hengill volcano.

News about this fissure formation. With picture. Use Google Translate with care. After all, it doesn’t understand Icelandic.

Djúp sprunga fannst undir göngustíg (Rúv, Icelandic)
Djúp sprunga myndast í Almannagjá (DV, Icelandic)

Updated at 15:57 CEST on the 31. March 2011. New newslink added.

9 Replies to “A new fissure starts to form in Thingvellir National Park (Almannagjá)”

  1. Interesting event … could be hydrothermally or even ice-wedging related (along with the usual magmatic/deformation suspects). It will be interesting to see if they can detect any anomalous heat/gases from the fissure areas in the coming days/weeks/months.

    1. I believe these fissures are only caused by tectonic rifting, there is no magmatic process involved. (except of course for the mantle-convections which drives these systems)

    2. They don’t mention any hydrothermal activity in the news. It also doesn’t look like there is any extra activity currently in that area at the moment.

      But this is a really interesting event anyway even if there isn’t any other activity connected to it at the moment.

  2. Jón,
    You are right. Google translator doesn’t speak Icelandic.
    Weren’t for your explanation, both articles left me in the total ignorance of the extent of the event, and the pictures do not show much.
    I’ve seen similar holes in Rio, caused by underwater erosion (from hidden rivers), but nothing comparable to this.
    Do you think it could have been formed by the recent earthquake activity in the area?

    1. In the evening news they where speaking about the idea that the earthquakes in the year 2000 and the year 2008 might have created this new fissure. But I am not sure that is the reason. As the SISZ movement is in a different direction then the movement of the rift zone in that area.

  3. Like many geological stories, they don’t give you much in the way of data.

    You happen to know the link, or a link, or some link to a map that shows this trail? Is there any source as to the orientation or trend of the crack/fissure/sprungur?

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