Iceland Geography and Climate

Iceland is located in the North Atlantic. The northernmost point of the country lies on the Arctic Circle, but the climate here is quite mild due to the warm current flowing near the island. Iceland is translated as “land of ice”, and indeed, approximately a tenth of the island is covered with glaciers. The world-famous Hekla volcano and hundreds of other volcanoes are located on the island, because this region is located at the junction of moving lithospheric plates. Hot springs gush near volcanoes, the ancient name of one of them – Geyser – has spread throughout the world and has become a household name. Along the coastline of Iceland, fjords stretch, which are inhabited by colonies of birds, and whales live in coastal waters. Iceland is a great place for hiking in the National Parks and in the areas of volcanoes and glaciers,

The most comfortable time for recreation and hiking in Iceland is the summer months (the peak of the tourist season is from early July to mid-August). After August 31, many establishments simply close. Whale watching is best from April to October, bird watching is from mid-May to mid-August. The ski season lasts from mid-November to May. During the winter months, the weather here is unpredictable and strong winds constantly blow.

The official language is Icelandic. This is a dialect of the Old Norse language, which was formed by the 12th century. Since then, the language has remained virtually unchanged.

Geography in Iceland

According to top-engineering-schools, Iceland is an island country. It is located on the island of the same name in the North Atlantic. This is the second largest island in Europe, its area, together with nearby islets, is 103 thousand square meters. km. In the north, the country is washed by the Greenland Sea, in the east by the Norwegian Sea, and in the west by the Denmark Strait separates Iceland from Greenland. The northernmost point of Iceland is located on the Arctic Circle, the length of the island from north to south is 306 km, from west to east – 480 km. In summer you can observe white nights here, and in December the sun appears only for 3-4 hours.

Iceland – This is part of the North Atlantic Oceanic Ridge, which was formed at the junction of lithospheric plates. The surface of the island is a volcanic plateau with an average height of 500m above sea level. Due to the frequent movements of the earth’s crust, many active volcanoes have formed here and, as a result of such geological processes, there are geysers and hot springs. Iceland ‘s volcanoes are of various types, but most of them are fissure type (chains of craters along fissures and faults). The Laki volcano belongs to this type. This is a giant crack in the earth’s crust, filled with solidified lava. Or, for example, the extinct Esya volcano looks like a long ridge with a flat top. Iceland ‘s most famous volcano- Hekla – has a conical shape. It is considered the national symbol of the country. Hot springs are found throughout the country, except in the eastern part, where they are rare. The most famous geothermal area in Iceland is the area, which is located 60 km from Reykjavik – Valley of Geysers. The word “geyser” was once a proper name, it was used in Iceland to refer to a spouting hot spring, which is located in the Valley of Geysers. Later this name spread throughout the world. Now the same Geyser is not very active, it gushing about once a day, throwing out a column of water to a height of 55 meters. in Iceland energy from such sources is widely used, and some of them heat entire houses.

The name of the country is translated as “ice country”. And in fact, the local ice sheet is one of the largest in the world. Their total area is 11.8 thousand square meters. km. The largest sheet glacier – Vatnajökull is located in the southeast of the island. This is a vast ice plateau, where the highest point of the country, Hvannadalshnukur, is located, the height of which is 2119 meters above sea level.

The western, northern and eastern shores of Iceland are rocky, heavily dissected by fjords, the southwestern and southern shores are mostly sandy and leveled.

There are many rivers on the island, but they are not navigable. The longest rivers are the Tjörsar, Jokulsa a Fjodlüm, Ölvyusaa and Skjalvandafljot. The largest lakes Iceland – Thingvadlavatn and Tourisvatn.

Climate in Iceland

In Iceland, the subarctic type of climate prevails, which is softened on the coast by the warm North Atlantic current (a branch of the current runs along the southern and western coasts of the island). The weather in this country changes dramatically and is sometimes simply unpredictable. Strong winds are observed in winter.

The warmest month in Iceland is July, daytime temperatures in coastal areas at this time rise to + 13..+15 degrees, and nighttime temperatures drop to 8..10 degrees Celsius. The coldest month is January. During the day on the coast in January, about 0..+2 degrees of frost is observed, and at night – 2..4 degrees of frost. It should be noted that the temperature regime on the entire coast is almost the same, in the northern and eastern coastal regions it is only 1-2 degrees lower than in the southern and western ones. The central elevated parts of the island have a more continental climate. Here, in the winter months, the minimum temperatures can reach -20 degrees Celsius, and in the summer months, the maximum temperatures rise to only 7 degrees Celsius.

The average annual precipitation on the western coast can reach 1000-1300 mm, on the southern coast – 2000 mm, on the northern and eastern coasts – about 750 mm, on the southern slopes of the central hills up to 4000 mm of precipitation falls. The main precipitation falls in autumn and winter, the wettest month is October. The least precipitation falls in May.

Best time to visit:
The most comfortable time for recreation and hiking in Iceland is the summer months (the peak tourist season is from early July to mid-August). After August 31, many establishments simply close. Whale watching is best from April to October, bird watching is from mid-May to mid-August. The ski season lasts from mid-November to May. During the winter months, the weather here is unpredictable and strong winds constantly blow.

Iceland Geography

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