Iceland Mag

1 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Before-and-after photos of vandalized moss of volcanic crater show repairs successful

By Staff

  • Before (top) and after (bottom) Photos of the slopes of Litla Svínahlíð south of Þingvallavatn lake. Photo/Magnea Magnúsdóttir

Teams from the municipal geothermal power utility Orka Náttúrunnar have now finished repairing damages left by vandals who had torn out moss to write messages in the moss covered slopes of a volcanic crater near the Ring Road between Reykjavík and South Iceland. The repairs were remarkably successful as the before-and-after photos show. 

Read more: Repairs of vandalized moss in crater slope: Delicate vegetation should have recovered in 5 years

Magnea Magnúsdóttir, who led the project, told the local news site Vísir that the project worked better than anyone had hoped. She added that while the utility has significant experience in repairing damages to moss caused by drilling operations and construction of steam-pipelines, this was the largest case of pure vandalism they had ever tackled.

Repairing the moss of a volcanic crater is not a simple task: A team of ten summer employees at the utility, led by Magnea, spent three days repairing the damages to the moss of Litla Svínahlíð. 

Not out of the woods yet
The crater is not out of the woods yet, as it will take the moss five years to forma continuous cover and regain its former strength. In the meantime the mat of moss is extremely vulnerable. 

The method used to repair the damage to the moss in the field was a simple transplanting of moss from one area to the next. Small pieces of moss are removed from undamaged areas and then assembled in the wounds where vandals had ripped out moss to leave their messages. It takes the strands in the transplanted moss on average five years to fasten roots in the ground and stick to the surrounding moss. 

Litla Svínahlíð damaged mosses

Litla Svínahlíð Before the repairs The "graffiti" is both in Icelandic and English, pointing to the responsibility of a multinational team of vandals over a long time. Photo/Magnea Magnúsdóttir


Litla Svínahlíð damaged mosses

Litla Svínahlíð after the repairs The crater now looks like it has never been the victim of questionable creativity. Photo/Magnea Magnúsdóttir


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