Frozen glacial lakes

Hoffellsjökull
Hoffellsjökull

This winter, it has occasionally been quite cold in southeast Iceland. Therefore, the surface of many of the glacial lakes in the area has frozen over, tempting visitors to walk closer to the glacier than usually possible.

Vatnajökull National Park never recommends walking on frozen glacial lakes. In southeast Iceland, where many such lakes can be found, air temperature is very often around 0°C during winter, although colder periods happen. Because of that, it is quite common that such ice is not thick enough to walk on. It must also be noted that outlet glaciers calve into these lakes, and whether or not the top of the lake is frozen has no effect on the outlet glacier to move forward, making it able to break the ice at any given moment. Icebergs can also flip over at any time, even if the lake is frozen.

Vatnajökull National Park therefore never recommends walking on frozen glacial lakes, specially not when the temperature goes above 0°C and when the days become longer.


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