Iceland’s Northernmost Point to Vanish by 2020 Skip to content

Iceland’s Northernmost Point to Vanish by 2020

If the situation continues to develop the same way, the island Kolbeinsey, Iceland’s northernmost point, will completely disappear by 2020 and turn into a sunken rock, according to geologist Árni Hjartarson.


View from Grímsey. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The island, which is located 74 kilometers north of Grímsey, Iceland’s northernmost inhabited island, has decreased fast in the past years. Its bedrock is very penetrable and so the sea easily eats away at it, reports.

Kolbeinsey served a very important part when Iceland negotiated the limits of its fishing grounds and therefore a helicopter platform was established there around 1990.

However, now that it has been agreed that the borders of Icelandic and Greenlandic fishing grounds lies between the two countries, the island has lost its significance.

Sources from the 17th century indicated that Kolbeinsey measured around 700 meters in length at the time. In the early 1900s it had dropped to 100 meters and by the end of the 20th century it only measured 30×40 meters.

Since then the island’s surface has continued to decrease; when the Icelandic Coast Guard’s helicopter flew over it recently there was hardly anything left.


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