Snow, ice, and glacial coverage of Iceland in summer and winter

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Detailed Description

Here is a satellite image of Iceland in the late summer, showing ice-free landscape except for permanent ice fields. Even in summer the large permanent ice caps stand out brightly against the volcanic rock surrounding them. The brightly colored lakes and coastal waters are the result of very fine and highly reflective sediment that is ground into bits by the immense weight of glaciers and washed out to sea with glacial runoff (at the bottom of picture).

Next seen is an image of Iceland in the middle of winter, showing that the island country is almost completely covered in white snow and ice, obscuring the permanent glaciers and icecaps that exist year-round. Over millennia, ice has carved out deep fjords leaving fringes of land that extend like fingers into the ocean, as seen in the northwestern coast.