This iconic volcanic region covers an area of over 1,400,000 ha, nearly 14% of Iceland’s territory. It numbers ten central volcanoes, eight of which are subglacial. Two of these are among the most active in Iceland. The interaction between volcanoes and the rifts that underlie the Vatnajökull ice cap takes many forms, the most spectacular of which is the jökulhlaup – a sudden flood caused by the breach of the margin of a glacier during an eruption. This recurrent phenomenon has led to the emergence of unique sandur plains, river systems and rapidly evolving canyons. Volcanic areas are home to endemic groundwater fauna that has survived the Ice Age.
Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site
|viii||To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features.||All|
|Akureyri Heart-Shaped Traffic Lights||2019||135.3km||site_ao|
|Iceland’s Youngest Turf Church||2018||75km||site_ao|
|This Icelandic Canyon Looks Unreal||2018||109.3km||site_ao|
|Gullfoss (Golden Falls)||2016||157.8km||site_ao|
|Iceland’s Otherworldly Waterfall||2018||90.3km||site_ao|
|Field of Cairns||2018||133.5km||site_ao|
|‘How’s It Going?’ Phone Booth||2018||156.1km||site_ao|
|These Large Sculpted Eggs Represent the Native Birds of Eastern Iceland||2017||123.6km||site_ao|
About the source: UNESCO
Within UNESCO's broad remit, this specialised agency of the UN works towards international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage, designating venues of exceptional value as World Heritage Sites.