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New Rift at Thingvellir Much Bigger than Expected

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New Rift at Thingvellir Much Bigger than Expected

For two months it has been prohibited to enter the uppermost part of the fissure Almannagjá at Thingvellir National Park because the rift which appeared beneath the walking path last spring is much bigger than originally thought.

almannagja-rift01_esa

Almannagjá in June, while the walking path was still partially open.

According to ruv.is, every year thousands of tourists on organized tours walk through Almannagjá from where the buses stop at the Hakid service center and down to Thingvellir, an UNESCO World Heritage site where Iceland’s parliament, Althingi, was founded in 930 AD.

almannagja-rift02_esa

Depressions had started to appear in the soil in many places. Photos by ESA.

Now travel agents have had to change their plans because of the closure. Among suggestions on how to accommodate the mysterious rift is to build a viewing platform above it. But the more the area is worked on, the clearer it becomes that the rift is much larger than expected.

A few days ago it was discovered that the rift continues further on below the walking path. (Click “horfa” above the picture to watch RÚV’s footage of the rift).

Click here to read more about this story.

ESA

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