Skaftárjökull Glacier: Size, Ice Caves, Cap and Volcanoes

Skaftárjökull glacier is a surge-type outlet glacier that is part of the southwestern margin of the Vatnajökull ice cap. Skaftárjökull location is 5,033.11 mi from the south of the largest ice cap Vatnajökull, Iceland. The recent measurement of the area of the glacier dates back to the 1990s, which is 279.62 miles. Up until now, there is no definite latest measurement of the area of the glacier because the glacier is moving and melting. Its elevation is 3,156.17 ft and its coordinates are 64.1667° N and 17.8333°W. The Skaftárjökull glacier covers a surface area of 93.21 miles; 21.75 miles in length, and 3.73 miles in width. 

The historic name of Skaftárjökull glacier is Skaptárjökull. Its name was formerly applied to the entire southwestern quadrant of the largest glacier, Klofajökull or Vatnajökull. Skaftárjökull is an outlet glacier because its river of ice flows down from the ice cap of the Vatnajökull National Park. The glacier is surrounded by the Skaftá river, which causes floods. This is usually due to glacial meltwater that  breaches it and drains catastrophically. Jökulhlaups are glacial outburst floods that leave dark and debris that form sediments in Skaftárjökull. 

There are around 24 cities around Skaftárjökull like Árnes, Ásahreppur, Borg, Brautarholt, Eyrarbakki, Flóahreppur, Flúđir, Hella, Hveragerđi, Hvolsvöllur, Höfn, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Laugarás, Laugarvatn, Ölfus. Skaftárjökull glacier is a remote area and has difficult terrain. The Skaftárjökull contains both lake and water pockets, mainly from the Skaftá river. 

Tourists can visit Skaftárjökull via Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland. The distance from Reykjavík to Skaftárjökull is about 198.84 miles. Vatnajökull going to the southwestern lake of Langisjór is 12.43 miles long. You can travel around Langisjór to access the Skaftárjökull glacier. Most of the time, tourists are warned to keep away from the edges of Skaftárjökull since it has experienced severe flooding.

What is the Size of Skaftárjökull Glacier? 

The current elevation from sea level is estimated to be about 962 meters. There is no definite latest measurement of the area of the glacier because the glacier is moving and is also melting. The most  recent measurement of the area of the glacier dates back to the 1990s, which is 1476.38 ft. Due to the effects of global warming it is melting faster than before. It is also experiencing surges and is moving forward at about 1.97 miles a day.

What are the Volcanoes in Skaftárjökull Glacier?

There are no volcanoes in Skaftárjökull Glacier. Most volcanoes are located in the northern, central and southern parts of the Vatna ice cap. Skaftarjokull Glacier is located in the western part of the Vatna ice cap. 

However, one such volcano, Grimsvotn, located at the central part of the Vatna ice cap, has an outlet of its eruption that led to Skaftarjokull on October 2, 1996. Grimsvotn is an active volcano that affects Skaftárjökull Glacier, since it is located under the Vatnajökull glacier. Skaftárjökull glacier forms part of the southwestern forefield of the Vatnajökull glacier. 

What is the prominence of Skaftárjökull Glacier in Icelandic Culture?

The prominence of Skaftárjökull Glacier in Icelandic culture is that it serves as one of the country’s prominent geographical features. Iceland is known for its large glaciers and captivating terrains that shape the country’s unique geological structure. Iceland Glaciers form part of the country’s identity to be protected and preserved by its people. Iceland has diverse customs and cultures that were mostly influenced by Viking settlers. Icelandic culture has a strong bonding connection to the Ancient Vikings that Icelanders are proud to represent. 

What are the Similar Glaciers in Iceland to Skaftárjökull Glaciers?

Similar outlet glaciers to the Skaftárjökull glacier are listed below:

  • Skeiðarárjökull: It is an outlet glacier flowing down from the south area of the Vatnajökull glacier. 
  • Dyngjujökul: Dyngjujökull is an outlet glacier located in Iceland that forms part of the Vatnajökull glacier. It is located between Bárðarbunga, Holuhraun, and Kverkfjöll. 
  • Tungnaárjökul: Tungnaárjökul is situated in the South of Iceland. It is a surging outlet glacier that is 3592.52 ft in elevation. 
  • Sylgjujökull: It is located in the South of Iceland. Sylgjujökull is a surging outlet glacier of Vatnajökull National Park. 
  • Síðujökull: Síðujökull is an outlet glacier in the South of Iceland that has an elevation of 2660.76 ft. Síðujökull forms part of the Glaciers in Iceland. 
  • Köldukvíslarjökull: Köldukvíslarjökull is an outlet glacier in the South of Iceland. It has an elevation of 4,127.30 ft that has enough ice thickness to flow away from its source area.