The Elliðaár River flooded its banks in several places on Sunday afternoon, RÚV reports. The deluge comes in the wake of significant thawing this weekend, which has increased flow into rivers around the country. Daníel Freyr Jónsson, one of four geologists who manages the Facebook group Eldfjalla- og náttúruvárhópur Suðurlands (‘Volcano and natural hazards group of South Iceland’) documented the flooding.
The Elliðaár river is fed by Lake Ellíðavatn on the eastern outskirts of Reykjavík. The river forks in the district of Árbær, where it bounds the Elliðaárdalur valley, a popular outdoor recreation area. Lake Ellíðavatn also feeds several other rivers, including the Bugða and Hólmsá rivers. According to the Met Office, flow into both the Bugða and Hólmsá rivers has increased significantly over the weekend; flow into the Hólmsá tripled in just over 24 hours between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.
Sunday’s flooding took place in the Víðidalur valley, not far from where Breiðhóltsvegur crosses the Elliðaár river. Large areas of vegetation and footpaths were also submerged around the Norðlingaholt neighbourhood and the Rauðhólar pseudo-craters where the Bugða river overflowed its banks as well.
Eldfjalla- og náttúruvárhópur Suðurlands credits the flooding in Norðlingaholt in part to human intervention, as the pedestrian and horse bridge there significantly narrows the Bugða river. As of noon on Sunday, the water level of the Bugða river had almost reached the bridge floor.