Jökulsá á Fjöllum

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Jökulsá á Fjöllum
 
Iceland near Dettifoss 1972.jpg
Jökulsá á Fjöllum downstream from Dettifoss
Country Iceland
Region Europe
Source Vatnajökull
 - location Central Iceland
Length 206 km (128 mi) approx.
Basin 7,380 km2 (2,849 sq mi) approx.
Discharge
 - average 183 m3/s (6,000 cu ft/s)

Jökulsá á Fjöllum is the second longest river in Iceland (206 km). Its source is the Vatnajökull glacier. It flows into the Greenland Sea. Jökulsá á Fjöllum streams over the waterfalls Selfoss, Dettifoss, and Hafragilsfoss, the second of which is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and through the canyon at Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, which was formed by the explosion of a volcano situated directly beneath the river. Consequently the course of the river changed to fit the mountains. The gorge Ásbyrgi was formed by the river in the shape of a horseshoe. The park is one of three national parks in Iceland. The largest Jökulhlaups (glacial floods) in Iceland are known to have occurred along Jökulsá á Fjöllum between 7100 and 2000 yr BP.[1] The source of these floods were likely an eruption of Bárðarbunga, a major volcano under the Vatnajökull glacier, in the late Holocene. The peak discharge of this flood is estimated to have been 900,000 cubic metres per second (32,000,000 cu ft/s). This can be compared to the flow of the Amazon river, which has an average discharge of 209,000 cubic metres per second (7,400,000 cu ft/s).

The river is located in the northeast of Iceland and forms the eastern boundary of Ódáðahraun, an extensive lava field. Its drainage basin is the largest in Iceland at 7,380 square kilometers.

Selfoss, one of the main waterfalls in Jökulsá á Fjöllum river

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Coordinates: 64°39′52.54″N 16°51′17.33″W / 64.6645944°N 16.8548139°W / 64.6645944; -16.8548139