Northeast Quadrant


Hverfjall tephra ring

Hverfjall tephra ring was created by a large phreatic erruption during the Hverfell period of volcanic activity. Tephra rings form as a result of short fissure eruptions whereby acending magma meets groundwater. The phreatic eruption produces a wide tuffcone consisting mostly of ash and pumice.

Hverfjall Tephra Ring
Inside Hverfjall

Krafla Caldera

Krafla caldera is located within a fissure swarm. The caldera itself is 5-7 km across and contains within it a large viti and a geothermal field. The geothermal field entitled Namafjall hverir contains numerous bubbling mudpots and steaming fumaroles. Namafjall is also a site where the Mid Atlantic ridge (Eurasian plate) is found.

Krafla Viti
Namafjall hverir
Recrystalized rock
Bubbling Mudpot

Mid Atlantic Ridge (finger points towards the Euransian Plate)




My'vatn lake and its pseudocraters were created during the Hverfell period. The Hverfell period is characterized by a large and powerful phreatic erruption followed by an immense fissure eruption which took place about 2,300 years ago. The pseudocraters, sometimes called rootless craters, formed as a result of hot rushing lava flowing into the lake, thereby producing steam explosions. A short distance from the lake, Dimmuborgir lava field is visible. Dimmuborgir translates as "dark castles" and the lava fields are the remains of an old lava lake that formed during the Hverfall fissure eruption.


Askja Caldera

Askja is an enormous caldera found in the mountain area called Dyngjufjoll. The system formed during a few large eruptions over 4,500 years ago. The Plinian eruption in 1875 caused a part of the roof of Askja's magma chamber to collapse, subsequently forming a new caldera within the old one. Upon formation, the new caldera filled with groundwater, forming Lake Oeskjuvatn. The crater itself formed a viti, or geothermal maar. In addition to the formation of the lake, the multiple eruptions have produced the largest lava field in the Islandic desert called, Odaoahraun.

Askja Viti
Lake Oeskjuvatn (back)

Godafoss and Herdubreid

Two other unique sites northeast Iceland has to offer are Godafoss falls and Herdubreid table mountain. Godafoss, or "falls of the gods" is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland . It is located within the 175 km long Skjalfandafljot glacial river. Iceland boasts a number of table mountains, which are formed by subglacial eruptions. Herdubreid is a table mountain with a cindercone at its peak, the cindercone was formed when the eruption broke through ice.

Table mountain