Vík í Mýrdal ~ Black Sand Beach on South Coast of Iceland
Photographer: Mari Wirta; Mari’s Web site
Summary Author: Mari Wirta
The photo above shows a black sand and pebble beach near the town of Vik i Myrdal, the southernmost settlement in Iceland. This sand originated from the basalt lava that covers much of the area. Because black sand isn’t routinely replenished like most beach sand when storms and tides wash the sand away, black sand beaches tend not to endure very long.
The geology of Iceland is comparatively young — it owes its existence to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that splits the island in half. Volcanoes along the ridge, such as Katla, erupt with some regularity continuing to add surface area and mass to the “land of ice and fire” and to augment the black sand beaches. Photo taken near sunset on October 3, 2012.
Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D800; Lens: 16.0-28.0 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 16mm (35mm equivalent: 16mm); Aperture: f/4.5; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 400; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.2 (Windows).
- Vik, Iceland Coordinates: 63.419444, -19.009722
The village of Vík or Vík í Mýrdal in full, is the southernmost village in Iceland, located on the main ring road around the island, around 180 km (110 mi) by road southeast of Reykjavík.
Despite its small size (291 inhabitants as of January 2011) it is the largest settlement for some 70 km (43 mi) around and is an important staging post, thus it is indicated on road signs from a long distance away. It is an important service center for the inhabitants and visitors to the coastal strip between Skógar and the west edge of the Mýrdalssandur glacial outwash plain.