Iceland: Geysir & Strokkur

Strokkur and Geysir: The Churn and the Gusher

Most places on Earth fool us into thinking the land beneath our feet is inanimate.
A dead thing of sod and stone.
Not so in Iceland.
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The life beneath the earth’s crust – beneath grass, turf and rock – constantly makes its presence felt in this place of fire and ice. The ground trembles with earthquakes, volcanoes erupt, ash spews and lava flows. Potholes steam and bubble and plop and geysers erupt, sending jets of superheated water into the sky.

Down through the centuries and decades, earthquakes have shaken Geysir and Strokkur from their slumber – unblocking their conduits (sometimes having the opposite effect). From time to time, the impatient Icelanders, tired of waiting for a return to life, have taken matters into their own hands – adding bubbles, throwing rocks and turf into the pools; digging a channel around the rim of Geysir to lower the water table.
Anything to kick-start the show.

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While Geysir has returned to one of its slumbers, Strokkur performs with Swiss regularity; a show-off – sending a jet of water skyward every five minutes or so.

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We crane our necks and gag at the smell of sulphur.
We watch the water
heave and churn
and spew.

2 thoughts on “Iceland: Geysir & Strokkur

  1. Such evocative words…even without the photos, I’d be able to see the land, water, and steam. Had no idea Icelanders try to help things along by throwing in pebbles etc. Do these tricks work?

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    • Thank you, Chris. Yes, the human intervention did work up to a point. But a friend commented that the last addition if soap powder was possibly the death of Geyser. Best to leave nature to its own devices.

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