Svartsengi Barrier Elevation Progressing Well Skip to content

Svartsengi Barrier Elevation Progressing Well

By Ragnar Tómas

lava barrier Iceland
Photo: Golli.

The elevation of the protective barriers around the Svartsengi power station, which will be raised by 4-9.5 metres to a height of 10-21 metres, is progressing well. The project is expected to be completed before Merchant’s Weekend.

Project progressing well

On June 18, lava breached a protective barrier near the Svartsengi power station, not far from the town of Grindavík. Firefighters responded by using water from fire trucks to halt the lava flow. They also experimented with cooling machinery but encountered issues relating to water pressure.

The eruption drew to a close on June 22, although another eruption is likely to occur in the coming weeks or months. On June 27, the Minister of Justice authorised raising and strengthening protective barriers around Svartsengi to prevent damage from volcanic activity.

In an interview with published this morning, Hörn Hrafnsdóttir, an engineer at Verkís, stated that the elevation of the protective barrier, where lava overflowed in the last eruption, is progressing well.

Read More: Wall of Fire (On the Construction of Lava Barriers on Reykjanes)

The project is expected to be completed before Merchant’s Weekend (August 2 – August 5). The barrier in question, referred to as L1, extends from Mt. Sýlingarfell. As noted by Hörn, the height of the barrier varies, although it will generally be raised by 4-9.5 metres in different sections. This means the height of the barrier will range between 10-21 metres.

“Things are going very well, and the elevation should be finished before the Merchant’s Weekend,” Hörn stated.

As reported by, approximately 30-35 people were working on elevating the barrier near Svartsengi. Hörn noted that Verkís has not yet conducted simulations to determine whether the lava would have reached the Svartsengi power plant without the barriers. Regarding the last eruption, it was evident that the lava came dangerously close.

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