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Iceland Mag


Warning: Show extreme caution when entering ice caves created by geothermal activity

By Staff

  • Dangerous beauty People are urged to show extreme caution when visiting a newly discovered ice cave in Blágnípujökull. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below

The Police in South Iceland has issued a warning to travellers and tour operators, urging them to show extreme caution when entering a newly discovered ice cave in Blágnípujökull glacier, one of the outlet glaciers of Hofsjökull glacier in the Central Highlands. The cave, which was discovered late last year, is created by geothermal energy. Poisonous geothermal gases which concentrate in the cave can be fatal or cause people to lose consciousness. 

While the cave is dangerous it is also spectacularly beautiful, as the following video, shot by a local photographer Arnþór Snær Þorsteinsson demonstrates:

According to a statement from the Police the "cave isn't a major tourist destination, but each week several tours with large numbers of people have visited the site." The cave, which is in the Central Highlands, far away from any roads, can only be accessed on especially equipped mountain trucks.  

Blágnípujökull location

Central highlands Blágnípujökull is only accessible on specially equipped mountain trucks. Photo/

Measurements which were taken in the cave on February 3 and 17 found dangerous concentrations of H2S in the cave. A February 17 measurement found H2S concentration of 120-183 ppm. Levels above 100 ppm are considered dangerous to life and health. at concentrations above 150 the sense of smell is significantly impaired, making it difficult or impossible for people to notice the presence of the gas.

Read more:  Hikers advised to show extreme caution in recently discovered ice cave in Hofsjökull glacier

The Icelandic Meteorological Office has also issued a warning, urging people to show extreme caution when visiting any ice cave created by geothermal energy. In addition to the presence of dangerous geothermal gases such caves are more unstable than caves carved out by water. 

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