The Pseudocraters at Skutustadagigar of Lake Myvatn are one of my favorites features in Iceland. The lake is a place where you feel connected to the living Earth, where some areas make you travel back in time to Dinosaurs aera and some makes you feel this is the post-apocalyspe landscape or, like here, as if you traveled to Mars.
Navigate back to the complete Iceland Travel Guide
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Skútustadagígar pseudo-craters
Skútustadagígar is the area around the pond Stakholstjorn where the famous pseudocraters can be found (see next section to understand why they are not real craters). Skutustadir Farm is named after an ancient hero called Viga-Skuta and allows us to get up close and climbs some of those beautiful shaped pseudocraters.
The pseudo-craters are included in the Travel guide Experience Iceland that I wrote to help you plan your road trip around Iceland and make the most of your time.
The geology behind the Pseudo-craters
Here is the information I found at the Myvatn visitor center where thay have very nice displays:
“The planet Mars has recently found to harbour a large groups of craters that seem to have formed by steam explosions as glowing hot lava flowed over frozen ground. Such “pseudocraters” from on Erath as lava runs over wet sedimenet or into the sea. Most of Eearth’s pseudocraters are in Iceland and they are rare elsewhere. Scientific interest in them has increased after the Mars discovery. The pseudocrater by lake Myvatn are among the largest and most beautifully shaped on Earth.
The Myvatn pseudicraters were formed as lava entered a large lake (a precursor of Lake Myvatn), trapping its wet sediment underneath. First, many eruptions take place and a platform of fine-grained material is built up. Later, a few eruption vents take over, the water supply diminishes and well-shaped crater cones develop on top of the platform. The molten lava moves like a thin sheet inside a strationary crust. The lower crust breaks and the hot lava makes contact with the water-logged sediment underneath triggering violent steam eruptions. The lava continues to flow inside the crust envelope and feeds the steam eruptions.
Now the craters are covered by grass because midges fertilize the soil when they die.”
Walking up the first pseudo-crater
I started the walk around the pseudocraters early morning I was lucky that the wind was down and got rewarded with beautiful reflections.
The first crater you encounter can be circled. See the people below, it gives you and idea for the size of the pseudocrater:
From the top of 2 pseudocraters, you get nice views of the area and sometimes the company of sheeps
Walking along the pond
After that I walked by down and continue on the path along the pond. Apart from the flies this is a very enjoybale walk. However the first part had the best views as you can see in the pictures.
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Discover more things to do and places to see in Iceland in my online Iceland Destination Guide.
What do you think of those prefect shapes?