oil on canvas, 60cm x 80cm, Iain White, 2010, £425
Lómagnúpur, or Loon Peak is a 764 metres above sea level at its highest peak. However, it is the cliff 671 metres high, almost vertical and the highest cliff face in Iceland that is its most impressive feature. The cliff was carved out by glaciers and later modified by coastal erosion during interglacial and early Holocene times and towers over the narrow habitable zone at its base with the Skejdararsandur stretching south and east to the sea beyond. It is part of a larger mountain called Bjorninn, the bear.
For the most part Lómagnúpur consists of upper Pliocene and early Pleistocene basic and intermediate extrusive formations including pillow lavas and lava pillars with intercalated sediments. Two or three landslides are detectable at Lómagnúpur. The most striking is located on the west side of the mountain right next to the main road and dates from 1789 when it was triggered by an earthquake. Its effects reached several hundreds of meters out on the sandur plain, leaving scattered boulders and angular rocks. Another landslide occurred in 1998.