The small river in the fault line

Posted by

We drive a short distance from the Thingvellir national park and then we arrive at a small bridge. The bridge is over a tiny river called Silfra – which at first glance is fairly insignificant hence if it had been anywhere else you would just pass this tiny river without taking notice. But the location of the river is unique. The river is running in the fault line where Europe and America is slowly moving away from each other.

The river running in the continental divide

The water in the river comes from the second largest glacier in Iceland – the Langjökull glacier. In the distant past the meltwater ran direct from the glacier to the river – but this is no longer the case. A couple of thousand years ago a volcanic eruption blocked the over ground river so the water. Instead the water is now seeping through the porous lava to become some ground water. The water remains underground for several decades and maybe up to a century before it finally comes above ground in a spring in a nearby lake which is the source of the river.

The river is considered a unique diving destination where you can dive in the continental divide. The water is extremely clear and also pretty cold with a usual temperature around 2-4 celcius. This is too cold for me so I am not considering a chance to dive at this special location.

Waterfall at the continental divide

We head out on the small bridge to have a look at this special geological location. Apparently you can throw a coin in the water and make a wish and it will come through. I am a bit doubtful about the validity of this legend since I am still waiting for my wish to come through.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.