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Fissures at the lake
Location of Þingvallavatn in Iceland.
Location of Þingvallavatn in Iceland.
LocationÞingvellir National Park
Coordinates64°11′15″N 21°08′06″W / 64.18750°N 21.13500°W / 64.18750; -21.13500Coordinates: 64°11′15″N 21°08′06″W / 64.18750°N 21.13500°W / 64.18750; -21.13500
Primary outflowsSog
Basin countriesIceland
Surface area84 km2 (32 sq mi)[1]
Average depth34 m (112 ft)[1]
Max. depth114 m (374 ft)[1]
Water volume2.856 km3 (0.685 cu mi)[1]
Residence time11 months[2]

Þingvallavatn (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈθiŋkˌvatlaˌvahtn̥]), anglicised as Thingvallavatn, is a rift valley lake in southwestern Iceland. With a surface of 84 km² it is the second-largest lake in Iceland. Its greatest depth is 114 m. At the northern shore of the lake, at Þingvellir (after which the lake is named), the Alþingi, the national parliament, was founded in the year 930, and held its sessions there until 1799 and still as of today the name Alþingi Íslendinga is carried by the parliament of Iceland.

The lake lies partially within Þingvellir National Park. The volcanic origin of the islands in the lake is clearly visible. The cracks and faults around it, of which the Almannagjá [ˈalˌmanːaˌcauː] ravine is the largest, is where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. Silfra fissure is a popular scuba and snorkeling site. The only outflow from lake Þingvallavatn is the river Sog.

One of the noted features of the lake is the presence of four morphs of the Arctic charr.[3]

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Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d EÖÞ. "Vísindavefurinn: Hvað er Þingvallavatn djúpt?". Visindavefur.hi.is. Archived from the original on 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  2. ^ "Fróðleiksmoli: dvalartími vatns | Fróðleiksmolar | Veðurstofa Íslands" (in Icelandic). Vedur.is. Archived from the original on 2016-05-07. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  3. ^ Malmquist, H. J., Snorrason, S. S., Skulason, S., Jonsson, B., Sandlund, O. T., & Jonasson, P. M. (1992). Diet differentiation in polymorphic Arctic charr in Thingvallavatn, Iceland. Journal of Animal Ecology, 21–35.

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