Gas Pollution Warning Near Mýrdalsjökull Skip to content

Gas Pollution Warning Near Mýrdalsjökull

By Larissa Kyzer

Photo: Mýrdalsjökull. Milan Nykodym, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Icelandic Met Office warns there is a risk of gas pollution to the east of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, not far from the village of Vík í Mýrdal, in South Iceland. In a post on its Facebook page, the IMO urges travellers in the area to be cautious, particularly in low-lying areas.

The gas pollution is thought to be a consequence of geothermal water leaking from under the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap and seeping into the Múlakvísl river. This has increased the river’s conductivity in recent days. Travellers in the area around the ice cap have also reported a significant smell of sulfur (hydrogen sulfide).

“Due to geothermal activity below the glacier, meltwater accumulates beneath cauldrons on the glacier and at a certain point finds a way from there to the glacial rivers,” explains the post. “It is quite common that it happens during the summer when surface melt on the glacier has started.”


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