is one of the brightest pearls on the string of beautiful areas of the
country, surrounded by rugged and majestic mountains, glaciers and glacial rivers,
decorated with small birch woods and silver lined with humming
streams. It is rather
difficult to describe the charm of this area. It has been tried in the already existing
literature with various results. The Icelanders appreciate Thorsmork (The
Forrest of Thor, the thunder god) very much and visit it frequently the whole year round. Quite a few
streams and rivers have to be forded to get there and no-one
should attempt that without the company of experienced people. The glacial
rivers are unpredictable and the fords change constantly.
A new added feature of
attraction, is a hot pool "Þórslaug", to add to the delight of staying
in Þórsmörk. Be sure to bring your swimwear with you!
Thorsmork and east of River
Markarfljot are the barren summer pastures of
County Western Eyjafjoll. Still
further north are the summer pastures of County Fljotshlid.
Hikers on the trail between
pass through those areas. This
popular hiking trail starts or ends here.
A hiking trail from Thorsmork to Skogar
The distance from the capital is
about 150 km.
The Bus Company
Kynnisferdir offers scheduled services to
the starting or ending points of the "Laugavegur hiking trail" at
Skogar, Thorsmork, and Landmannalaugar, during summer.
On March 20th 2010 (spring equinox), shortly before
midnight, a half a kilometre long fissure opened up and an eruption
started just to the west of the hiking trail. Earthquakes and
tremours had been monitored since the summer of 2009, and the
authorities were well prepared for the measures to be taken in case of
an eruption. People were temporarily evacuated from the area and
roads were closed. They were opened again in the afternoon.
Scientists say, that this erution probably will count among the small
ones. Lava started flowing across the hiking trail, down into the
Hrunagil gorge on the 22nd, melting snow and causing temporary swelling
of river Krossa. The trail is thus closed and it depends on the
duration of the eruption, when it will be passable again.
On March 31st, a NW-SE eruptive fissure opened up a bit
further northwest of the original crater, which remained active.
Molten lava flowed from the new fissure down into the Hvannargil gorge
further north and added to the lava volume. The police and the
rescue corps present decided to evacuate the eruption area. In the
evening, it was decided to evacuate the Godaland and Thorsmork areas as
well and close access to them for the time being. The whole
mountain was unstable, and noone knew what would and could happen next. Those who visit the area have to
be aware of the
risk involved and be prepared for the worst.
April 13th - 14th 2010. No emission of lava from the
fissure of March 31st. Eruption pause or end.
April 14th 2010. Shortly after midnight the
mountain massif Eyjafjoll's caldera started erupting. Flood waves
rushed in two directions, mainly to the north into river Markarfljot's
wide valley, threatening farm communities and communications on rd #1,
which was removed partly to save a relatively new bridge.
Approximately 700 people were evacuated from their homes. The
flood wave to the south threatens an inabited area around farm
Thorvaldseyri, and will cause damage to rd #1, fields and meadows. The westerly winds carried ash and tephra eastwards,
where large areas were covered. It is estimated that the tephra
distribution might disturb air communications to Northern Europe
(Scandinavia) the next few days. The westerly winds carried ash
and tephra eastwards, where large areas were covered. It is
estimated that the tephra distribution might disturb air communications
to Northern Europe (Scandinavia) the next few days.
May 3rd 2010. The last few days, one crater has been active
in one of the ice cauldrons. Lava has been flowing to the north
under the glacier tongue Gigjokull and increasing meltwater on the
outwash plain. Today the temperature of the main glacial river,
Markarfljot, was measured 11-17°C at the old bridge (1934).
A German research plane flew to the southeast along the ash plume, which
is carried at relarively low altitudes (>20 thousand feet), and reported hight density of
the ash all the way down to the latitude 60°N, which might cause some
disruptions of flights. Airports in Ireland and Scotland were
closed as a result (May 4th and 5th).
According to scientists, the eruption is now more intense than in the
beginning, but the ash (tephra) distribution is less likely to cause
trouble because of coarser particles.
May 23rd 2010. The eruption has been dwindling during the
week. A reporter flew over the crater in the afternoon and saw no
sign of activity. The volcano has paused or the eruption is over.
June 4th Road to Thorsmork is open for 4x4 cars going to Thorsmork