Surprising Facts About Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland
Gullfoss is a tiered waterfall in the Canyon of Hvítá River (White River) in Iceland. The magnificent and photogenic falls, coming from the Langjökull glacier, are renowned in the whole world.
The total height of the waterfall is 105 feet, but divided in two parts. The upper one is 36 feet and the lower is 69 feet. At its widest, the waterfall is 800 ft.
The average water flow is 109 cubic meters per second! The highest water flow recorded was 2,000 cubic meters per second! It is one of the largest volume falls in Europe.
The name translates to ‘Golden Waterfall’ in a native Icelandic language. Also, the name is well-suited because the water seems golden on a sunny day. The glacier water carries lots of sediments which bring in the color.
The area where the waterfall is located was once owned by farmers named Tómas Tómasson and Halldór Halldórsson.
The waterfall was once going to fall prey to a private hydroelectricity project but it got saved because of insufficient funds. Sigríður Tómasdottir, daughter of the owner, threatened to throw herself in the falls if the land was sold. It was then sold to the state of Iceland.
The waterfall has been appointed as a protected nature reserve since 1979.
The rock on top is a lava rock situated on the edge of the Eurasian plate and the North American plate, and is the only place where you can see this.
The falls are a perfect example where the water has followed a fissure in the lava rock and then carved the way through it.
The waterfall falls down in a narrow canyon which is 230 feet deep and 2.5 kilometres long.
Gullfoss Waterfall forms the Golden Circle, with Thingvellir and Geysir. It is one of the most famous tours in Iceland.