Q: When I was in Iceland in 1984, there was a natural stone bridge over Ófaerufoss waterfall at Eldgjá ravine. I have seen photos taken since 1993, and the bridge is gone. Can you tell me what happened to the bridge, and when?
Roger Goodman, Springfield, Virginia, USA
By Roger Goodman, September 1984
A: According to Skúli H. Skúlason, managing director of Útivist travel association, who organizes hikes to Ófaerufoss, the stone bridge collapsed in early June 1993 from natural causes. He said during winter, water freezes in cracks in the stone and when it melts, rocks come loose with it. Thus the stone bridge weakens over time. The same thing happens when rocks come loose and fall down mountain slopes, he explained. In summer 1993, the stone bridge had probably become so fragile that it couldn’t withstand the stream of water which hit it after sprig thaw. No one was present to witness the event, which must have been spectacular, Skúlason said.