Downstream Maelstrom

Just downstream from Dettifoss (Europe’s largest waterfall) and under the plume of spray, a fluidly abstract scene roiled and roared along in the form of the  snowmelt-swollen Jokulsa a Fjollum River.  The high water, flood-producing in a few places upstream and downstream, ran a deep, muddy gray, laden with volcanic silt and ash ground up and carried by Iceland’s biggest sheet glacier, Vatnajokull, to a terminus where both old glacier and recent slow melted.   Without renewal by volcanic activity, which has happened at a greater pace than erosion for several million years, Iceland would wear away, particle by particle and flood by flood, to a submarine plateau under the North Atlantic’s tumultuous surface, within in just a few million more.  Zooming in on just this section of the scene conjured an image of what hell might look like were it made of frigid, muddy water instead of fire and brimstone.  Duly captivated by the size, power and grandeur of the waterfall itself, it’s easy for most folks to miss the natural wonderment and artistry continually flowing and blowing on the river below.

10 NNW Holssel, Iceland (21 Aug 14) Looking WNW
65.8153, -16.384

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