Reservoirs Swell, Leading to Possible Overflow for Several Hydroelectric Dams Skip to content

Reservoirs Swell, Leading to Possible Overflow for Several Hydroelectric Dams

By Erik Pomrenke

blönduvirkjun power plant iceland dam
Photo: Blöndulón – Golli.

In a recent report by Iceland’s national energy company, Landsvirkjun, reservoirs throughout Iceland are said to be reaching full capacity.

The public report can be seen below in  Facebook post from Landsvirkjun. 

According to Landsvirkjun, Blönduvirkjun power station, located along the Blanda river in North Iceland, began to overflow this past Thursday, September 1. 

Hálslón, one of the reservoirs for the Kárahnjúkar hydroelectric dam, also began to overflow September 5, causing the 100m man-made waterfall known as Hverfandi to appear. Hverfandi, known literally as “vanishing” or “disappearing,” is called this because it only flows when the reservoirs spills over.

According to Landsvirkjun, it has been a good summer for energy production, with nearly all reservoirs nearing capacity. Hágöngulón, a reservoir in the central highlands, and Kelduárlón, a part of the Kárahnjúkar system, were both full already in July. Þórisvatn remains the only other major reservoir to not reach its peak capacity.

Þórisvatn is currently rising by some 3-4cm per day, but it is unclear if it will reach its overflow point this year. Last year, its highpoint was reached at 576m, 3m shy of its 579m capacity.

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