Námaskarð, Mine Pass, one of Icelands geothermal lagoons, is located between Námafjall and Dalfjalland, east of Námafjall and is 410 meters (1300 feet) above sea level.
Námaskarð is known for its volcanic clusters of bubbling mud pots, [solfataras], and its fizzing jets of volcanic gasses and steam [fumaroles].
Arriving at Námaskarð, the first thing I noticed was the incredible colours and geothermal activity [‘cause at this point I hadn’t yet stepped out of the car]; once out of the car, the odor coming from the sulphurous fumes was “interesting”, but manageable [the odor will not become the next best Icelandic perfume scent].
Because of the deep red & orange colours, steam rising from the ground, bubbling mud pots, and strong sulphurous odors, some call Námaskarð the Gateway to Hell. I thought it was heavenly and was intrigued by all the geothermal activity and colours.
~Click on individual images for larger view~
On the technical side, a sign at Námaskarð explains “Cold ground water seeps down to magna intrusions, where it is heated and transformed into steam, and then comes back to the surface. Along with the steam comes fumarole gas, which contains sulphur hydroxide which is responsible for the hot spring smell most people know. In hot spring areas, sulphur deposits are formed when fumarole gas mixes with air. Besides the sulphur deposits, a mixture of silica and gypsum forms around the fumaroles. In mud pots, fumarole gas rises through surface water, producing sulphuric acid, which makes the water acid. Rock and soil dissolve in this acid water, producing the mud which is typical of mud pots and their surroundings”.