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Jökulsárlón is situated on Breiðamerkursandur, below the subglacial volcano Öræfajökull (zoomed) behind.
Breidamerkursandur from Road No.1, to the left is part of Öræfajökull, Breiðamerkurjökull glacier just in front.

Breiðamerkursandur is a glacial outwash plain in southeast Iceland. The area is mostly sand, although some vegetation is beginning to grow in the area.

Breiðamerkursandur is located in the municipality of Hornafjörður. It was formed by the glaciers Breiðamerkurjökull, Fjallsjökull and Hrútárjökull during the last few centuries. As the climate cooled during the little ice age the glaciers advanced down and out to the lowlands, piling gravel ahead. The glaciers are sources of muddy rivers who commonly change their channels frequently and carry the sediment that the weight of the glacier grinds down and across a large area. [1] The pro glacial lake Jökulsárlón, one of Iceland's best-known tourist attractions, is located on Breiðamerkursandur.

The glaciers that formed the sandur are a part of Vatnajökull, and therefore a part of Vatnajökull National Park. In 2017 the borders of the park were changed to include also the plain itself and the Jökulsárlón lake.[2]

Breiðamerkursandur is an important breeding ground for birds, for example Arctic tern and great skua.[3]


  1. ^ Breiðamerkursandur, Northern Environmental Education Development website, accessed 1 October 2012
  2. ^ "General Information Map". Vatnajökull National Park. Vatnajökull National Park. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  3. ^ Hilmarsson, Jóhann Óli (2011). Icelandic bird guide (2nd ed.). Reykjavík: Mál og menning. p. 319. ISBN 978-9979-3-3220-6.

Coordinates: 64°3′30″N 16°10′30″W / 64.05833°N 16.17500°W / 64.05833; -16.17500