February 2, 2004
True to its name, Iceland is shown here covered in a white blanket of ice and snow, floating just south of the edge of the Arctic Circle. Low layers of clouds float over the Greenland Sea and Atlantic Ocean, while a wispy veil of what appears to be dust hovers in the bottom portion of the image. Iceland's southern, low-lying coastlines are greyish-tan, while the rest of the island remains pristine white. The uniform color hides Iceland's four ice caps - Langjokull and Hofsjokull in the interior west, Myrdalsjokull on the southern coast, and Vatnajokull on the eastern coast. This image, taken in the late summer of 2002, shows all four icecaps clearly. Vatnajokull is the largest of the four, and rests on top of three active volcanoes. The heat from these volcanoes causes the underside of the ice cap to melt, slowly building up meltwater in what is called a caldera.
Topics: Environment, Highlands of Iceland, Island countries, Nordic countries, Hofsjökull, Vatnajökull, Iceland, Greenland, Volcano