Dynjandi Waterfall and Vigur Island

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 15 Jul 2021

Dynjandi Waterfall and Vigur Island, 7/15/2021, National Geographic Explorer

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This morning we sailed into the majestic Arnarfjörður, a deep fjord carved by Ice Age glaciers that ground down through the basalt layers below as they flowed seaward. This location is typical of the deeply carved landscape of the Westfjords that are formed of layer after layer of basaltic lava flows that were emplaced 13,0000 to-16,000,000 years ago. Though geologically very young, these are some of the oldest rocks in Iceland. Our goal was soon in sight, splendid Dynjandi, the “thundering” waterfall that is famous in the Westfjords. Dynjandi certainly thunders and roars as it jumps down in stepwise fashion, forming a series of waterfalls over the lava layers that were carved into great steps by the relentless ice.

 

In the evening we visited charming Vigur Island located in the giant fjord, Ísafjarđarjup, home of Atlantic puffins, eider ducks, black guillemots, wild Arctic terns, and more. The terns are in Iceland called Kria for their loud calls. Fearless in protecting their young on their nesting grounds, they do not hesitate to attack us, flying at our heads and screaming in protest that we are there. In a calmer scene, puffins posed with beaks full of small fish and eider duck hens herding their fuzzy ducklings around the grounds.

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