Flood Predicted in South Iceland Skip to content

Flood Predicted in South Iceland

Extensive water has accumulated in Skaftárkatlar in the western part of Vatnajökull glacier in South Iceland, which is likely to lead to a flood in the coming days or weeks. This is indicated in aerial footage shot by Atlantsflug pilot Jón Grétar Sigurðsson yesterday.

skaftarkatlar130813_screenshotA screenshot from Jón’s video.

Skaftárkatlar are two sub-glacial lakes that gradually fill by melt water, regularly causing floods. Bergur Einarsson, a geophysicist at the Icelandic Met Office, told ruv.is that an unusually long time has passed since the eastern lake last flooded.

Usually, the lakes flood every other year but three years have passed since the eastern lake last flooded. The western lake flooded in late August last year.

The body of water that can be seen in Jón’s video is a surface lake that was created by summer melt. The flood water is created when glacial ice at a significant depth melts due to geothermal heat.

The video indicates that there’s an extensive amount of water in the sub-glacial lake because the surface lake is much shallower than it would be shortly after a flood.

ESA

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