Two employees of the Icelandic Met Office traveled to the source of glacial river Vestari-Jökulsá in Hofsjökull glacier in the central highlands yesterday in search of an explanation for the river being unusually murky and a strong smell of sulfur in the area.
Vestari-Jökulsá is popular for river rafting. Archive photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
Sigurður Friðriksson, owner of the company Bakkaflöt in Skagafjörður in North Iceland, offering river rafting, among other tourism services, followed in their footsteps, Morgunblaðið reports.
“We were paddling on Vestari-Jökulsá and noticed on our way home that it had turned a bluish gray. And the water smelled strongly of sulfur, especially close to the glacier. It stank,” stated Sigurður.
Sigurður stated that the water had been bubbling where it flowed from underneath the glacier but couldn’t explain why that was.
“There was a lot of ash in the river but I couldn’t see any indications of increased water flow,” he added when asked whether he thought a flood might be coming up.
“I believe there might be some volcanic activity under there,” Sigurður speculated, “but I couldn’t notice any increased temperature in the water.”
Sigurður took a water sample home with him. “When I opened it the whole house stank,” he laughed.
According to the Icelandic Met Office, its employees won’t complete their studies of Vestari-Jökulsá until today.