This glacial river, a discharge
of the icecap Vatnajökull in the south, is the most voluminous in the
northern part of the country. Its discharge area, 7380 km², is the
largest on in Iceland. About 1700 km² thereof are sub glacial. The
river is 206 km long and the average flow over Dettifoss is 183
The first bridge was built down
in the lowlands in 1905 and the present one in the same place in 1947.
The third bridge on road no. 1, further south, was built in 1956-57.
Before the river was bridged, travellers were server by the farmers,
who were obliged by law to ferry them across against reasonable
HIGHLAND ICELAND SAGA
Some people did not want to spend money on
that or were too poor and forded the river on their own. Many were
drowned. Annually the river carries with it approximately 5000 tons of
mud, sand and gravel to the estuaries and they are the breeding
grounds for the harbour and common grey seals, the great skua and
black backed seagulls among other bird species.