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Hallmundarhraun near the Hraunfossar, in the distance the Gilsbakki farm
Hraunfossar lava waterfalls
Stricklaven in the Hallmundarhraun
Hallmundarhraun with entrance to Víðgelmir cave
Lava field west of Víðgelmir

The Hallmundarhraun is a lava field in the west of Iceland . It dates from the time of the conquest of Iceland, i.e. from the turn of the 9th to the 10th century, and has a length of 50 km.

Origin and more detailed description of the lava field

At an altitude of about 750 m in the west of Langjökull near Jökulkrók there are two craters from which the lavas flowed. They are seven kilometers apart. The craters belong to the volcanic system in the northern part of Langjökull, which is also known as the Hveravellir Volcanic System .

Some of the lavas ran over the eastern end of the Flosaskarð pass between the Eiríksjökull and Langjökull glacier shields . The stronger lava flow spread north of Eiríksjökull to Fljótadrög , where springs emerge from below it that feed the Norðlingafljót river , then followed the valley of the river and split around the palagonite cone Strútur . The eastern part in the valley of the Hvítá is called Skógarhlíðarhraun . The sources of the river Hvítá lie in these lavas. The northern part is called Gráhraun , the southern Skógarhraun .

Most of the lavas, especially in the southernmost part of the lava field, are pahoehoe lavas , which often appear as knitted lavas .


The name has its origins in the saga of Grettir the Strong . There it is said that on one of his trips as an outlaw, Grettir met a troll named Hallmundur in a cave where he wintered and played with his daughters.

Caves in the Hallmundarhraun

As in many lava fields, there are numerous caves in the Hallmundarhraun. These are old lava tubes . Many of the roofs collapsed partially and sometimes completely.

Surtshellir and Stefánshellir

The most famous caves are Surtshellir and Stefánshellir, which almost merge (the connection has broken down) and are over 3.5 km long in total. They are about 7 km north of the Kalmannstunga farm in the direction of Arnarvatnsheiði . Surtshellir has a length of 1,310 m and extends to 40 m below the surface of the Arnarvatnsheiði. The cave has a height of up to 10 m. Often there is water in the middle of the cave, which can be frozen even in summer. Hence the innermost part is called Íshellir . In these caves, traces of human presence such as bones from meals have been found. There are many legends about the caves, which are often associated with outlaws and their beings. The cave plays a role both in the saga of Eiríkur , the namesake of the Eiríksjökull glacier volcano , and in the Sturlunger saga. The ground in these caves is very uneven because of broken stones and pieces of rock.


This cave, which is particularly beautiful due to its colorful rock ( rhyolite ), is under nature protection and may only be entered with a guide (e.g. from the Kalmannstunga farm). It is located two kilometers from Fljótstunga í Hvítársíða and is 1,460 m long. From 1918 to 1930 the cave was completely frozen.


The cave is about 20 minutes' walk from Syðra-Sauðafjall mountain (528 m) towards Eiríksjökull. It is about 40 m long and narrows inward. Two years after its discovery in 1956, a museum attendant named it after the troll from the Grettissaga. It can be seen from the cave that it was temporarily inhabited. Walls have been built and bones from meals have been found.


This cave is located in the northeast of the Þrístapafell mountain in the Jökulkrók pass and is approximately one kilometer long.


From the lavas of the Hallmundarhraun in Hvítársíða in the south of the Arnarvatnsheiði, the waterfalls Hraunfossar flow over 1.5 km in length.

See also

Web links

Scientific Article


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ferðafélag Íslands. Árbók 2004. Borgarfjarðarhérað milli Mýrar and Hafnarfjalla. Reykjavík (Oddi) 2004, p. 183
  2. Íslandshandbókin. l. bindi. 1989, p. 132
  3. ^ Ferðafélag Íslands. Árbók 2004. Borgarfjarðarhérað milli Mýrar and Hafnarfjalla. Reykjavík (Oddi) 2004, p. 183
  4. Íslandshandbókin. l. bindi. 1989, p. 143f.
  5. Íslandshandbókin. l. bindi. 1989, p. 146
  6. Íslandshandbókin. l. bindi. 1989, pp. 131f.
  7. ^ Ferðafélag Íslands. Árbók 2004. Borgarfjarðarhérað milli Mýrar and Hafnarfjalla. Reykjavík (Oddi) 2004, p. 183

Coordinates: 64 ° 50 ′ 0 ″  N , 20 ° 25 ′ 0 ″  W.