Síðujökull Glacier: Size, Ice Caves, Cap and Volcanoes

The Síðujökull Glacier is a surge-type glacier of Vatnajökull located in the southern part of Iceland. It is surrounded by different land and water forms such as streams, lakes, valleys, peaks, slopes, mountains, and volcanoes.  It has a hill-type land on the east and a flat land on the west. Síðujökull is the neighboring outlet glacier of Tungnaárjökull and Skaftárjökull glacier which is the nearest. These three surge-type glaciers are found on the west part of the Vatnajökull ice cap.

The coordinates of Síðujökull Glacier are 64.11765 and 17.86255, with a distance of approximately 198 kilometers to Reykjavik and a measured height of around 811 meters. The landmarks located near the glacier are Skaftárjökull (5.5 km north), Hágöngur (9 km northeast), Rauðhólar (7 km southwest), Langasker (10 km east), and a volcano landmark of Laki which is located 16.4 km to the west of the Síðujökull Glacier . 

The village closest to Síðujökull Glacier is the Kirkjubæjarklaustur village. It is a village in the southern part of Iceland, which is usually called Klaustur. It is 39.3 km away from the Síðujökull Glacier. Kirkjubæjarklaustur is the best place for tourists to stop by when visiting southern destinations of Iceland. It consists of many natural landscapes which are refreshing and wondrous. There are other places near the Síðujökull Glacier such as Síða which is located 6 km to the north, Kirkjugólf which is located 39 km to the south, and Skaftafell which is located 45 km to the east of the glacier. 

The tours of Síðujökull Glacier include glacier tours as well as water and landform tours, and other overview scenery. The tour is taken by road starting from the Skaftafell Terminal – Tour Center. Before arriving at the Síðujökull Glacier, the tour will pass and stop by any other glaciers. There will be various destinations and locations to visit to make sure that the guests will have an amazing and worth it experience. After visiting the Grænalón glacial lake, the next stop will be the Síðujökull Glacier and afterwards is the Laki volcano. 

What is the Size of Síðujökull Glacier?

The Síðujökull Glacier’s height is measured at around 811 meters. However, the length and width of Síðujökull has not yet been determined. It is shorter than Svínafellsjökull, Tungnaárjökull, Dyngjujökull, and Skaftárjökull glaciers, but a lot taller than the Heinabergsjokull and Kvíárjökull glaciers. Even though it is smaller or shorter compared to other glaciers, it is more attractive due to its various destinations that tourists never get tired of. It has a magnificent history which contributes to the present beauty and resources of the Síðujökull Glacier. 

What are the Volcanoes in Síðujökull Glacier?

There are no volcanoes in Síðujökull Glacier, however, there are volcanoes near Síðujökull Glacier, such as the Laki-Krater and Eldgjá volcanoes. These two volcanoes hold their own history. The Laki-Krater volcano or also known as Lakigigar is the landmark volcano of Síðujökull Glacier. It is located in the western area of Vatnajökull National Park at a height of 1,725 m above sea level, and a distance of 16.4 km from the Síðujökull Glacier. It is a dormant volcano nowadays, but it left an astronomical destruction as it poured out over 42 billion tons of basalt lava starting from June 1783 until February 1784. 

Eldgjá volcano is known to be the largest volcano canyon in the whole world, which is 270 m above sea level, 600 m wide, and about 40 km long. It has a distance of 40.4 km from Síðujökull Glacier and 40 km away from Katla volcano towards the north east of Vatnajökull ice cap. Eldgjá erupted last 939 AD with 800 square kilometers of magma recorded, but it is now considered inactive. Due to the catastrophic volcanic eruption, a volcanic split was formed which is represented by Eldgjá. 

What is the prominence of Síðujökull Glacier in Icelandic Culture?

The cultural prominence of Síðujökull Glacier is having different water forms and landforms where tourists can enjoy various activities. Different formation scenery was formed in Síðujökull due to the glacial surge that happened decades ago, which contributes to the beautiful landscape of the Síðujökull glacier. Due to the surge, it affected the area which split the land and created a water flow that made various formations of water and landforms such as lakes, streams, valleys, mountains, and volcanoes. These formations are one of the reasons why many tourists visit Síðujökull Glacier. Moreover, water and landforms in Síðujökull Glacier are essential to Iceland culture because these serve as one of the resources of the country.

What are the Similar Glaciers in Iceland to Síðujökull Glacier?

Similar glaciers in Iceland to Síðujökull Glacier are listed below:

  • Svínafellsjökull Glacier: Svínafellsjökull is an outlet glacier that is part of the Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap of Iceland. The Svínafellsjökull has a length of 10 kilometers and a width around 2 kilometers. In terms of hiking glaciers, it competes with Sólheimajökull glacier as the most popular glaciers in Iceland. It is also famous for photography purposes as it consists of a unique appearance on its own. It has many sharp ridges that hikers find it hard to climb. Hence, it is only for sightseeing to appreciate the beauty. It will only take a self drive tour to reach Svínafellsjökull.
  • Tungnaárjökull Glacier: Tungnaárjökull is a surge-type glacier that can be found on the west part of Vatnajökull ice cap with a height of 1,095 meters and a width of 300 to 600 m. It has an average distance of 23.8 km away from the Síðujökull Glacier. There is a part of Tungnaárjökull mislabelled as the Skaftárjökull glacier. The Tungnaárjökull has been surging for around 50 years from the year 1946 around the year 1990s up until the year 2000s. Tungnaárjökull surges independently, but in the early 1990s, it combined with the Síðujökull’s surge, which affected a 200 square km area and resulted in an ice migration and water division in the ice cap. Furthermore, Tungnaárjökull is known for its glacier tours, ice scenery, and overview sightseeing. 
  • Skaftárjökull Glacier: Skaftárjökull is also known as Skaptárjökull, a surge-type glacier that can also be found on the west part of the Vatnajökull glacier. Its length is 115 km and the height is 962 m, which is quite shorter than the Tungnaárjökull glacier and taller than the Síðujökull glacier. Skaftárjökull is named after the Skaftá river. It is popular for travelers to hike, climb, and walk. However, guests are warned not to stay on the edge of the glacier as it is known to have a frequent outburst of flood due to geothermal activity underneath the Vatnajökull ice cap.
author avatar
Staff Writer