Askja is a caldera of the Dyngjufjöll volcano in the north-central Highlands of Iceland. With a length of 200 kms and width ranging from 5-20 kms, it is the largest volcanic system on the island.
This is a bleak, primordial landscape, not easy to get to given its remoteness. To the north of the caldera lies the vast and barren expanse of the lava field Ódáðahraun which translates to “Lava of Ominous Deeds.” As part of the training for the Apollo programme, NASA dispatched its astronauts to this area, and I suspect that it was here in Askja that Buzz Aldrin had his first brush with “magnificent desolation.”
The explosion craters Viti (lit. hell) and its larger sibling Öskjuvatn (lit. Askja lake) were formed in an eruption in 1875. In 1907 two German scientists vanished in Öskjuvatn and their case remains unresolved to this day.
In the image below, the dots in the centre of the lake are Icelanders enjoying a dip in the mineral-rich tepid waters of Víti.
[…] a sci-fi version of an alien world with a cast of actors given to periodic fulminations. The feared Askja caldera is within sight as is the massive shield volcano […]
[…] in the Ódáðahraun lava desert yesterday evening near the Askja caldera in the Highlands of […]
Great pictures of the fantastic landscape in and around the Askja! I especially like the first one with the lava stream and coloured caldera rim. Hope to be back there soon.
Thanks. You have a very interesting website.
Great photos. Brings back good memories. We need to go there again, this time in late August, to catch the first brush of snow, and twilights.
A spectacular slide show. I was especially taken with the second and its thoroughgoing surrealism, the composition heightening the sense of disorientation. The later ‘pattern of ice’ commands similar qualities.
Barren yet beautiful!