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Location  Northeast Iceland
Total height  44 m (144 ft)
Number of drops  1
Type  Cataract
Height  44 m
Watercourse  Jökulsá á Fjöllum
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Average flow rate  193 m/s (6,816 cu ft/s)
Similar  Mývatn, Goðafoss, Gullfoss, Ásbyrgi, Skógafoss

Dettifoss iceland

Dettifoss is a waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland, and is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The water comes from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier, whose sediment-rich runoff colors the water a greyish white. The superlative of "most powerful" comes from its water flow times its fall distance. The water of the wide Jökulsá á Fjöllum river falls for more than 144 feet, causing a massive, crashing spray.


Map of Dettifoss, Iceland

The Norwegian cascade Sarpefossen has a greater average water flow, but only with about half the height of Dettifoss.

Cascada de dettifoss islandia


Dettifoss is situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier and collects water from a large area in Northeast Iceland. The falls are 100 metres (330 ft) wide and have a drop of 44 metres (144 ft) down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It is the largest waterfall in Iceland in terms of volume discharge, having an average water flow of 193 m3/s.

Tourist access

Dettifoss can be reached by a new tarmac road (Route 862, finished in 2011) and an older gravel road (Route 864). On the west bank there are minimal facilities, including a bathroom, and the view on the waterfall is somewhat hindered by the waterfall's spray. On the east bank there is an information panel maintained by the staff of Vatnajökull National Park (Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður) and a maintained track to the best viewpoints, as well as public restroom.

Dettifoss is located on the Diamond Circle, a popular tourist route around Húsavík and Lake Mývatn in North Iceland.

In media

The musical composition 'Dettifoss' (Op.57) by Jón Leifs is inspired by this waterfall.

The waterfall is featured in the 2012 science-fiction film Prometheus, standing in as landscape on a primordial Earthlike planet.


Dettifoss Wikipedia