Dettifoss

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Dettifoss
Dettifoss TimBekaert.JPG
Dettifoss, seen from the east
(a person next to the fall provides scale)
Dettifoss is located in Iceland
Dettifoss
Location Northeast Iceland
Coordinates 65°48′52.8″N 16°23′04.1″W / 65.814667°N 16.384472°W / 65.814667; -16.384472Coordinates: 65°48′52.8″N 16°23′04.1″W / 65.814667°N 16.384472°W / 65.814667; -16.384472
Type Cataract
Total height 44 m (144 ft)
Number of drops 1
Watercourse Jökulsá á Fjöllum
Average
flow rate
193 m³/s (6,816 cu ft/s)[1]
Detailed view of Dettifoss

Dettifoss is a waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland, and is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe.[2] Dettifoss is situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier and collects water from a large area in Northeast Iceland. The sediment-rich runoff colors the water a greyish white.

The falls are 100 metres (330 ft) wide and have a drop of 44 metres (144 ft) down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It is the largest waterfall in Iceland in terms of volume discharge, having an average water flow of 193 m³/s. The superlative of "most powerful" comes from its water flow times its fall distance. The water of the wide Jökulsá á Fjöllum river falls for more than 44 metres.[3] The Norwegian Sarp Falls (Norwegian: Sarpefossen or Sarpsfossen) has a greater average water flow, but only with about half the height of Dettifoss.

Tourist access

Dettifoss is served on its west side by Route 862, a tarmac road built in 2011. Road 862 gives access to Dettifoss in all seasons more and less, while an older gravel road (Route 864) serves the east side and is usually passable in summer only.

On the west bank there are minimal facilities, including a pit toilet, maintained hiking path and a view-platform. On the east bank there is an information panel maintained by the staff of Vatnajökull National Park (Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður), a public restroom, and a trail to the waterfall.

Dettifoss is located on the Diamond Circle, a popular tourist route around Húsavík and Lake Mývatn in North Iceland.

Panorama of Dettifoss
Panorama view taken from the west bank of Dettifoss

In media

The musical composition "Dettifoss" (Op. 57) by Jón Leifs is inspired by this waterfall.

The waterfall is featured in the 2012 science-fiction film Prometheus, standing in as landscape on a primordial Earth-like planet.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Northeast Iceland official travel website". Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Vatnajökull National Park's official web site". Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Dettifoss – the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe Atlas Obscura, 28 October 2016
  4. ^ Goldberg, Matt (July 11, 2011). "Prometheus Shooting Moves to Iceland for "the Beginning of Time"". Collider.com. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  • Leffman, David; and Proctor, James (2004). The Rough Guide To Iceland, Rough Guides, 281. ISBN 1-84353-289-1.

External links