Hazard Area Around Grindavík Expanded Skip to content
grindavík hazard area
Photo: Iceland Met Office.

Hazard Area Around Grindavík Expanded

The Icelandic Met Office updated its map of the hazard area around Grindavík yesterday, November 20.

The updated map was made with new data from satellite mapping of the area, in consultation with the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, the IMO, and experts from University of Iceland.

As can be seen on the map, three zones are marked.

Hazard zone A, the largest zone, indicates an increased likelihood of seismic activity.

Hazard zone B indicates a danger of volcanic eruption, including fissures that may open with little warning, dangerous gases, sinkholes, and lava flow.

Hazard zone C indicates the same dangers posed by zone B, but at a heightened level. ICE-SAR, police authorities, and workers in this area are advised to have escape routes in mind, in addition to carrying gas metres and gas masks.

Making predictions

In an interview with Vísir, geophysicist Benedikt G. Ófeigsson stated that the most likely scenario is that an eruption may occur near Hagafell, a mountain east of Þorbjörn.

“That’s where we’ve seen magma influx occur after the formation of the magma chamber. It’s shallow, and we have good data on this, so we are looking at it as the most likely location for the source if an eruption occurs,” he stated.

Benedikt also reiterated the difficulty in predicting what this means for Grindavík. Importantly, the impact on the town of Grindavík would heavily depend on the exact location of a fissure and models of lava flow can only be made once it has reached the surface.

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