hálendið /ˈhauːlɛntɪ /
The hálendið is a plateau that covers most of the interior of the Icelandic Highlands. It covers 40.000 km2 of the island (103.000 km2), and forms one of the largest territories in Europe which has never been inhabited or cultivated.
Mostly inaccessible during the winter, such uninhabitable volcanic black desert is nearly lifeless. This is because the water precipitating as rain or snow infiltrates so quickly into the ground that it is unavailable for plant growth. This results largely in a grey, black or brown surface made of lava and volcanic ashes.
Glaciers' streams form during summer and flow towards the Ocean silently across the black plains. Impermeable craters are rare and exceptional and collect snow melt water.
Hálendið is considered one of the last great wilderness areas in Europe. A Wilderness which is becoming more and more rare.