Damaged Lava Caves in Iceland to Be Closed Skip to content

Damaged Lava Caves in Iceland to Be Closed

By Iceland Review

The Icelandic Speleological Society would like 15-20 caves in Iceland to be fenced off in the next few years to prevent them from being damaged any further. At the same time, access to the caves should be improved so that they can be observed safely.

vidgemlir_lavacave_westis

Víðgemlir. There are also ice formations inside the cave. Photo source: west.is.

Guðni Gunnarsson, chair of the Icelandic Speleological Society, told Morgunblaðið that he can name many examples of damaged caves, including Víðgelmir in west Iceland, which has practically been stripped of its stalagmites and lava straws.

Similarly, the appearance of Leiðarendi in south Iceland has undergone drastic changes since its discovery 20 years ago.

“It is very sad what happened with Leiðarendi. It was very beautiful when it was found but in the past 15 years everything has been removed from inside it. One of its most magnificent lava formations, a large stalagmite, was taken in 2007, even though it was clearly fenced off,” Guðni said.

Some caves have been closed already, both to cave expeditioners and others, such as Jörundur in south Iceland.

ESA

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