Site 3 - Landbrotalaug, Snaefellsness Peninsula

Site 3 - Landbrotalaug, Snaefellsness Peninsula


Our third site was the rather unassuming site of Landbrotalaug. It is located on the Snaefellsness Peninsula, made famous by Jules Verne in his book "Journey to the Center of the Earth". There, the Snaefells volcano, situated near the tip of the peninsula, is actually the entrance!

What is interesting about Snaefells is that the rocks are a bit different than most of Iceland. Indeed, they are more "alkalic", which means the lavas are richer in iron rich in iron and high in alkalis. I was thus stoked to sample hot springs in these types of rocks, but after searching through the literature before leaving, I was only able to find Landbrotalaug! If you know of any others, please let me know.

Alkali rocks are found only in the Snaefellsness peninsula and on the Westman Islands

The location of Landbrotalaug

Landbrotalaug is not a big impressive hot spring. It is perhaps 1.5m in diameter, and the water is that of a hot bath. In fact, it is quite clear that humans have been enjoying it for most likely many centures :)

The site is not marked from the highway, but does have a surprisingly large "dirt parking". After that it's a 400 feet muddy walk to the site. It's just over the river, which was super muddy to reach (Katie got stuck!). Thankfully, we had wellingtons!

The ancient "privacy screen" of the spring and my 80's rain jacket!

Getting ready to sample by the spring

A quaint unassuming spring

Hard at work extracting the gas that is dissolved in the spring water

We escaped heavy rain! But could see it traversing the area

The volcanic origin of Iceland is always present in the landscape. Here a cinder cone.

It's hard to escape sheep when working in rural Iceland. We got too close and spooked them

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