Level of Uncertainty Declared over Glacial Flooding from Grímsvötn Skip to content

Level of Uncertainty Declared over Glacial Flooding from Grímsvötn

By Erik Pomrenke

Vatnajökull Grímsfjall Grímsvötn Bárðarbunga Kverkfjöll Jöklar Jökull Vísindi
Photo: Golli. Grímsvötn, 2019.

Civil Defense authorities have announced a State of Uncertainty due to glacial flooding from Grímsvötn, a subglacial volcano under Vatnajökull.

The ice sheet has been measured as receding in the last few days, accompanied by increased seismic activity.

Grímsvötn, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, has an eruption cycle of 5-10 years. As its last eruption was in 2011, it could mean that it is due soon. Glacial flooding can also trigger subglacial eruptions, which has been known to happen at Grímsvötn.

The glacial flooding is expected to last for several days, but no structural damage is expected. Grímsvötn flooding has become more frequent in recent years, meaning that individual floods are milder and cause less damage to infrastructure.

Read more about Grímsvötn and the flooding at Iceland’s Meteorological Office.

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