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Photo Information
Copyright: Ina Hjorth Nilsson (Ina) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 6 N: 101] (767)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-07
Categories: Mountain
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-06-08 16:19
Viewed: 6447
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This picture comes from the magnificent waterfall ' Svartifoss'... I find it very facinating because of the strange structur of the rocks... They are actualy big crystals...
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I think you got a fairly good shot of the falls, but you did indeed give us a picture of a very unique structure of nature.

This is a very interesting example of these large crystals. There is a similar site on the Golan Heights., but the rocks point up rather than hanging down, as I recall

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2005-06-09 13:01]

I've seen this same waterfall and I like it very much.The rock is a bit like a churchorgan. Very impressive.
You made a beautiful composition here and I'm very curious to see more icelandphoto's.

Thanks for sharing.


The rocks are ballast, volcanic in origin. These crystals form when the larva meets the sea and causes rapid cooling.
Great waterfall, I've never seen a waterfall in this kind of rock formation before. The way the bassalt is eroding is very interesting. They look like they will drop at any moment. Well done.

I must say this is practically identical to the one I posted on TE. I never thought of using TN for this kind of shots. But why notit is a good idea. I will remember that.There seems to be a funny shining edge at the top of the cliff where it meets the sky. Maybe it came from sharpening? Nice weather for Iceland though.

very nice, we have similar formations in n Israel. TFS Ori

This is beautiful, Ina.
Good photograph.

Hi Ina
nice photo and great shot

Strange and fascinating indeed. I'm impressed.

If you have the oportunity to com back on an overcast day, you should get even beter result as the light and shadows effect is here a little harsh.

Maybe also uncenter the water to one side.


  • Great 
  • Bass Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 173 W: 0 N: 233] (974)
  • [2010-08-10 13:26]

Hi Ina,
I got sorprised with your pic, īcase here at Patagonia there is a very similar one (Santa Ana waterfall), with rock structures just like this one. In this case they were part of the volcanic era, I donīt know if yours are from the same age.

About the pic, I like the compo, itīs very nice presented. Iīm not sure about the light, there are some parts that seems to be very clear...
anyway, good job!

Hello Ina,

I came across this fabulous image which has been here for more than seven years, and so it is rather belated but maybe my comments will be of some significance.

Hexagonal, and sometimes pentagonal, columns (prisms) like this occur in volcanic rocks, particularly in basalt, but also in other igneous rocks. They are indeed formed by cooling joints but they are not crystals. Lavas are very fine grained rocks because of their rapid cooling which is not conducive to the formation of large crystals. The slower the rock cools, the larger the crystals that may form, and vice versa. In terms of a stress regime during cooling of a lava, this kind of arrangement of the joints is the most favourable for stress relief, hence the columns of rock, not crystal, with their hexagonal cross sections. If you look at the rock itself, you will hardly be able to, if at all, discern with the unaided eye the tiny crystals that make up the rock.

Definition: Joints in rocks are very sharp and regular surfaces of separation that can form under a variety of conditions during regular unidirectional or multidirectional stress relief.

Note: Hexagonal prisms are common with crystals of certain minerals of the hexagonal crystal system but pentagonal prisms do not occur in nature.

Thank you for this beautiful image. Best wishes.


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