Mývatn Mud Pots

Northern Iceland is home to the Mývatn area, a shallow eutrophic lake characterized by a landscape influenced by volcanic activity, pseudo craters and mud pots. The word “my” translates to “midge” and “vatn” means “lake.” Boiling mud pots are only found in Namafjall and Hverarond, two areas of the lake. Mud pots are geothermal areas with very little water, displaying frequent temperatures often exceeding 392° Fahrenheit (200° C). Due to the high concentration of acidic compounds and microorganisms, the surrounding rocks dissolve into mud and clay. Scarce amounts of water rise to the surface to a particular area in the mud that is rich in levels of clay, volcanic ash and other fine minerals. The clay appears white or grey with hints of pink and red, subject to the concentration of iron compounds present. The viscosity of the slurry changes from season to season, depending on available water levels.