Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9479084:


Icelandic place names may sound exotic, but they're usu 28 4, 8:01am


To be clear, it's not the highest waterfall in Europe (Norway has all of those, and indeed many of the highest in the world), and it's not the highest flow rate - but it's more often than not (depending on the season) the highest height * flow rate in Europe (the rest of the year it's Rhine Falls). It's also just the start of a sequence of falls of large scale.

You may know of the waterfall from the opening scene of Prometheus.

Note that every so often a jökulhlaup (glacial outburst flood) runs over the falls; in some of the more powerful ones (occuring on average once every few thousand years) it's had several times the waterflow of all of Earth's major rivers combined (several hundred thousand cubic meters per second). These superfloods (and more accurately, the large boulders that they carried with them at tremendous speeds) carved out some impressive landscapes in a matter of days - for example, Ásbyrgi: