Giant Landslide in North Iceland Skip to content

Giant Landslide in North Iceland

A massive mudslide occurred at the mountain Torfufell in the rural Eyjafjördur district near Akureyri in north Iceland on Thursday night last week. The landslide was first noticed by locals when they saw that the river Torfufellsá turned muddy red in color.


From Eyjafjördur. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

The landslide also colored the river Eyjafjardará, which carried the mud all the way to Pollurinn, the Akureyri harbor, reports.

It is the largest mudslide to have occurred in the region for decades. Around 17 years ago a mudslide similar in size fell at Thormódsstadir in nearby Sölvadalur.

Geologist Halldór Pétursson who has studied pictures of the landslide concluded that it is between 700,000 and 1 million cubic meters in size.

The landslide traveled a distance of about 1.5 kilometers through the valley. Its source is at a height of 800 meters; the mountain is 1,241 meters high.

Pétursson said the landslide is probably the result of heavy rain. No farms were hit by the slide but the river Torfufellsá was temporarily dammed.

The closest farm is Villingadalur, which is located at a five to seven kilometer distance from the site.

Click here to see pictures of the landslide shot by Gunnar Jónsson from Villingadalur.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article