No Decision on Raising Katla Volcano Levees Skip to content

No Decision on Raising Katla Volcano Levees

No decision was made at the meeting between geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, district commissioner of Hvolsvöllur Kjartan Þorkelsson and representatives of the Icelandic Road Administration yesterday as to whether the levees to the east of Vík should be raised to fend off a glacier outburst caused by a possible eruption in the volcano Katla, which lies underneath the Mýrdalsjökull icecap.

myrdalsjokull-katla_psMýrdalsjökull glacier, under which Katla lies. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“What is clear is that a simulation of a flood down Mýrdalssandur due to an eruption in Katla was made in 2006 after which it was evaluated that the levees were high enough,” Kjartan told

“However, circumstances may have changed since then—there was a flood in Múlakvísl in 2011—and the Road Administration is also reviewing the levees because of the construction of a new bridge across Múlakvísl,” added Kjartan.

“We will therefore review the simulation and reevaluate whether anything has changed, whether there is reason to take any measures. But under the current circumstances, there’s no reason to [raise the levees],” he concluded.

Click here to read more about concerns over the height of the Katla levees.


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