This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.


Blue Pool

Alex Michael Green Svansson


Behind the Shot

In 871 A.D., about the same time the first settlers were setting up camps in Iceland, lava from one of two simultaneously erupting volcanoes in the southern highlands met groundwater. Lava meeting water causes an explosive phreatomagmatic eruption. This crater lake was formed by such an explosion. Talk about a warm welcome!

The newly formed lake, originally named Litlaviti, or “small hell,” is now known as Hnausapollur. Hnausapollur is a maar; a broad, low-relief volcanic crater caused by a phreatomagmatic eruption. Maars characteristically fill with water to form crater lakes. The rims of these lakes are usually low and steep and composed of loose volcanic rock fragments.

The lake has a deep turquoise blue color, which inspired the lake’s alternate name, Bláhylur, or Blue Pool.

Alex visited Bláhylur in late September with a group of other creators. “We’d connected with some other content creators and were traveling together through the highlands. The Land Rover is so picturesque, and it stands out so nicely against the dark landscape in Iceland. Also, it’s a tank, and can handle itself in the highlands, which is crucial especially when visiting Bláhylur. Most people don’t respect the highlands, and there are lots of trapped motorists.”