Bláa Lóniđ and Hveragerđi

Bláa Lóniđ (Blue Lagoon)

The nearby Sudurnes Regional Heating Corporation uses geothermal water from boreholes reaching depths of more than 6000 feet. Due to the proximity of the sea, it seeps into the underground water system. Thus the water is saline and this, along with the presence of various minerals, makes it unsuitable for direct central heating purposes.

The geothermal seawater is used to heat spring water, which is then used for central heating. At the outlet point, the water from the power station has a temperature of 158 °F and a salt concentration approximately equal to that of the sea.

The water travels to the Blue Lagoon under pressure and is then directed through special mixing wells where the water is cooled down to comfortable bathing temperatures ~98 - 102°F. In this unique ecosystem, high levels of silica, minerals and algae form light natural sediment on its bottom and give the lagoon its rich blue color.

The weather was pretty blue too. But that didn't deter the bathers. [dwb]

The Garden of Eden in Hveragerđi

Hveragerđi is set in a large geothermal area. It is about 70 km to the east from the Blue Lagoon. Greenhouse cultivation is the primary industry, with the main emphasis on vegetables but to an increasing extent on flowers as well. The "Garden of Eden" is unique in Iceland. It is a combination restaurant, souvenir shop and nursery. Inside its immense greenhouse are flowers and un-Icelandic flora such as orange, banana and palms trees.

Bananas [dwb]Hibiscus [dwb]

Photo Credits:
[jwz] Jim Ziebol, [dwb] Dave Bray.

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