Map of the Glaciers of Iceland

News release on publication


A Map of the Glaciers of Iceland has been published by the Icelandic Meteorological Office which shows the outlines of all of the glaciers in Iceland.

The authors are Oddur Sigurðsson (Icelandic Meteorological Office), Richard S. Williams, Jr. (U.S. Geological Survey), and Skúli Víkingsson (Iceland Geosurvey).

There are many types of glaciers in Iceland, and they have an enormous impact on the landscape and people of Iceland, especially from the perspective of hydrology. Under a warmer climate which is now taking place, many changes in the glaciers are occurring. The record of changes has both practical and scientific value. This is the reason that the Icelandic Meteorological Office published the map, to show all of the glaciers of Iceland and the changes to them which took place during the last century.

On the Map of the Glaciers of Iceland the outlines of all the glaciers are shown together, thus it is easy to see their distribution and the comprehensive record of the changes to them.

The map shows the greatest extent of the glaciers at their maximum at the end of the Little Ice Age (about 1890) and also at the end of the 20th century. On the map surge-type glaciers are distinguished from non-surge-type glaciers with a darker green color. A symbol shows volcanic calderas which are located underneath the glaciers. Also shown are place-names of all of the glaciers that have been given names.

An explanatory, illustrated pamphlet, including a list of all place-names accompanies the map. In addition, there is a distinction with the largest glaciers, because they exhibit the greatest change in size during the 20th century. The text of the pamphlet and the map explanation are in two languages, Icelandic and English.

The Map of the Glaciers of Iceland is of use to the general public as well as scientists. The map will be sold in general bookstores and in most tourist shops. It can be ordered directly from Iðnú.

Presentation by Oddur Sigurðsson
The Map of the Glaciers of Iceland was released by the Icelandic Meteorological Office on 28 May 2013. Oddur Sigurðsson, author, gave a talk on the project. Photo: Snorri Zóphóníasson.

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