No Flood in South Iceland’s Skaftá River Skip to content

No Flood in South Iceland’s Skaftá River

The glacial river Skaftá in south Iceland was reported to be about to start flooding by the Icelandic Meteorological Office on Saturday. Icequakes were picked up by the office’s sensors at Mt. Grímsfjall, Skrokkalda and Jökulheimar.

skaftarketill_olafur_freyr_skulason

One of the Skaftá cauldrons. Archive photo by Ólafur Freyr Skúlason.

Scientists stated that there were clear indications that water from the western Skaftá cauldron was breaking a path underneath Vatnajökull glacier, ruv.is reports.

Pilot Jón Grétar Sigurðsson of Atlantsflug in Skaftafell flew over the area at noon on Saturday and confirmed suspicions that the western cauldron was about to flood.

The icequakes indicated that the floodwater was at an approximate 20 kilometer distance from the Skaftárjökull glacial tongue and it was expected to burst forth late on Saturday evening or early on Sunday. The flood was expected to be rather minor.

However, no flood has begun in Skaftá yet. Geologist Snorri Zophaníasson told ruv.is this morning that it isn’t certain that the river will flood despite the icequakes and other indications.

The activity was picked up by the western Skaftá cauldron, which flooded last year. The eastern cauldron is filling up and is expected to flood as well. However, there are no indications that a flood is imminent. Skaftá floods regularly.

ESA

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