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Askja, Iceland

4.5
#45 of 84 in Nature in Iceland
Geologic Formation Nature / Park
Askja is a caldera situated in a remote part of the central highlands of Iceland. The name Askja refers to a complex of nested calderas within the surrounding Dyngjufjöll mountains, which rise to 1510m, askja meaning box or caldera in IcelandicLocationThe region is only accessible for a few months of the year. Being situated in the rain shadow to the northeast of the Vatnajökull glacier, the area receives only about 450 mm of rainfall annually. The area was used during training for the Apollo program to prepare astronauts for the lunar missions. Their main objective in Askja was to study geology.EruptionsAskja was virtually unknown until the tremendous eruption which started on March 29, 1875. Especially in the eastern fjords of Iceland, the ashfall was heavy enough to poison the land and kill livestock. Ash, or tephra from this eruption was wind-blown to Norway and Sweden. The eruption triggered a substantial wave of emigration from Iceland. Another less well-known eruption occurred in the early Holocene, ca 11,000 years ago. Tephra from this eruption has been found in south-east Sweden, Northern Ireland and north Norway. The last eruption of Askja was in 1961.
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(Vatnajokull National Park is the nearest city to Askja)

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82 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The crater is very wide: more than 60 Km in diameter. From the parking lot side 2.5 km walk leading to two lakes contained in the crater: magnificent scenery! It is not recommended to swim in the Lake clearer: there is danger of inhaling sulfuric gas.
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  • Desert like area full of grey dust and sand in the midle of nohwere. Nice trip to crater where is located the lake. Trek is easy but took cca 3-4 hours one way.  more »
  • Going to Askja is not and easy task from lake Myvatn at least!!! 3,5 hours (to get there )of rough driving, roads not well indicated, many deep ( up to 50 ? cm) rivers to cross..its a long day with th...  more »

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