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Iceland Reference Libraries

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Askja
2014-04-09 16:13:20

Askja is an active stratovolcano that is located in the isolated central highlands in Iceland. It reaches an elevation of 4,974 feet and its name literally means caldera, or box, in the Icelandic language. The area can only be reached during a period of a few months and because it located in the rain shadow of the Vatnajökull glacier to the northeast, it only receives 17.7 inches of rain per...

Hekla
2014-04-08 13:19:59

Hekla is an active stratovolcano that is located southern Iceland and is part of a volcanic ridge that extends over an area of twenty-five miles. This volcano reaches an elevation of 4,882 feet and holds a unique shape that is a mixture of a stratovolcano and crater row, a trait that is found in very few volcanoes. Its name is translated as “hooded” but it also refers to a hooded cloak, so...

Eldfell
2014-04-08 12:54:37

Eldfell is an active stratovolcano that is located in Iceland on the island of Heimaey, in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. It reaches an elevation of 656 feet and was created during a volcanic eruption on the east side of the island in 1973. Its name means Mountain of Fire in the Icelandic language. Iceland is an area with a high frequency of volcanic activity because it is located on top of...

Grmsvtn
2014-04-08 12:39:42

Grímsvötn is an active subglacial volcano that is located in southeast highlands of Iceland. This volcano reaches an elevation of 5,659 feet and is located in the northwestern side of the Vatnajökull ice-cap. It is comprised of basaltic lava and has the highest frequency of eruptions of any volcano in Iceland. The majority of this volcano resides under Vatnajökull, so its eruptions are...

Erik The Red
2014-01-06 11:48:00

Known as Erik the Red, Erik Thorvaldsson is remembered in medieval and Icelandic saga sources as having founded the first Norse settlement in Greenland. The Icelandic tradition signifies that he was born in Rogaland, Norway. The designation “the Red” probably refers to his hair or his beard color. Leif Ericson, the well-known Icelandic explorer, was Erik’s son. When Erik the...

Velvet Belly lanternshark
2007-04-19 04:27:33

The Velvet Belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, is a shark of the family Dalatiidae, found on the outer continental shelves and upper slopes of the eastern Atlantic, from Iceland to South Africa, down to depths of 1.55 mi (2,500 m) between latitudes 70° N and 38° S. Its length is up to 23.62 in (60 cm). The Velvet Belly lanternshark feeds on small fish, squids, and crustaceans. It is...

Greenland shark
2007-04-13 20:01:43

The Greenland shark, Somniosus microcephalus, also known as the Sleeper shark, Gurry shark, Ground shark or Gray shark, is a large shark native to the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean around Greenland and Iceland. These sharks live further north than any other species. They are closely related to the Pacific sleeper shark. The size of the Greenland shark is impressive; it is so large, in...

Little Auk
2006-02-23 11:19:57

The Little Auk, or Dovekie (Alle alle) is a small auk, and the only member of the genus Alle. It breeds on islands in the high Arctic. There are two subspecies: A. a. alle which breeds in Greenland, Iceland, Novaya Zemlya and Spitzbergen, and A. a. polaris on Franz Josef Land. These birds can be found during times of breeding on coastal mountainsides, where they have huge colonies. They nest...

Atlantic Puffin
2005-06-14 11:49:56

The Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) is an auk with a brightly colored beak. It is a pelagic seabird that feeds primarily by diving for fish. Atlantic Puffins breed in large colonies, nesting in crevices or burrows. This particular puffin is 28-34 cm in length, with a 50-60 cm wingspan and is mainly black above and white below, with a pale grey face and orange legs. The bright orange...

Common Snipe
2005-06-14 08:57:42

The Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) is a small, stocky shorebird. Adults are 23-28 cm in length with a 39-45 cm wingspan. They have short greenish-grey legs and a very long straight dark bill. The body is mottled brown on top and pale underneath. They have a dark stripe through the eye, with light stripes above and below it. The wings are pointed. They breed in marshes, bogs, tundra and...

Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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