Monday, 21 March 2016

Kerið Crater, A Volcanic Crater Lake in Iceland

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grimsnes area in South Iceland. It is also known as Kerith or Kerid, a popular tourist attraction due to scenic route Golden Circle. There’re number of crater lakes in the Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone, which includes Reykjanes Peninsula and The Langjökull Glacier. It is one of several crater lakes in the area, known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes peninsula and the created as the land moved over a localized hotspot, but it is the one that has the most visually recognizable caldera still intact. This is a 55 m deep explosion crater that harbours a small green lake in the Grímsnes region, filled with water; steep circular slopes resemble an ancient Amphitheatre. The crater is nearly 3000 years old, often displaying intense colors. The caldera is well composed of a red and black volcanic rock. The caldera is approximately 180 feet deep, 560 feet wide, and 890 feet across. Kerið’s caldera is one of the three most recognizable volcanic craters. However, the other two surrounding volcanic are Seyðishólar and Kerhóll half the age of this.

While most of the crater is steep-walled with little vegetation, one wall is sloped more gently and blanketed with a deep moss, and can be descended fairly easily. The fairly shallow lake approximately is seven to ten meters deep, but mainly depending upon rainfall and other factors.  However, the other minerals from the soil, is an opaque and strikingly vivid aquamarine. Researchers originally thought that Kerið is formed by a massive volcanic explosion, though no evidence found to proof such an explosion in Kerið. Therefore, currently it is believed that Kerið was a cone volcano which was erupted and emptied its magma reserve. Hence once the magma was depleted, the weight of cone collapsed into empty magma chamber. So, the existing pool of water at the bottom of the crater is at the same level as the water table and is not caused by rainfall. The stunning beauty of Kerid Crater Lake proves that Southern Iceland is not all about ice and fire. This is one of most amazing photograph landscape protected from weathering, the jagged rocks and fissures of the walls stand in sharp contrast to the gentle rolling landscape nearby. The best way to see Kerid crater is to travel along a popular tourist route called the Golden Circle, a 300-kilometer loop that covers the most amazing natural sites in southern Iceland. Moreover, fish probably don’t live there, but there are zooplanktons and you can stand at the top of the crater and look down at the eerie calm of the lake below.

The sides of the crater are really steep but a few daring tourists always decide to climb down to the depths. Well, if you climb down into the crater, then please be careful since it was moderately difficult to navigate way to the bottom. Thus, once you get to the bottom, you can stand by the lake and observe how the sides of the crater create a cocoon for sound. The wind and nearby road are silenced by the natural walls of the crater. The bottom of the crater feels peaceful with the quiet and static water. It was definitely a meditative location.  But the really difficult part is getting back up the 55 meters to the top again. Kerid Crater is a quirky little stop-off and great because it’s not busy like the other attractions on the Golden Circle.