Water Levels at Lake Kleifarvatn Rising Rapidly Skip to content

Water Levels at Lake Kleifarvatn Rising Rapidly

The surface of the lake Kleifarvatn on Reykjanes peninsula, southwest Iceland, has risen considerably since last fall and the water level is now approaching its previous height. After the earthquakes on June 17, 2000, the water level of Kleifarvatn dropped suddenly.

“I go there often and I have watched [the surface of the lake] rise after every trip,” diving instructor Hédinn Ólafsson told Fréttabladid. Ólafsson also said the water in the lake is muddier than usual, similar to what it was like before the earthquakes in 2000.

Gunnar Sigurdsson, a hydrograph specialist at the National Energy Authority, confirmed the rising water level of Kleifarvatn. “It dropped a few meters because of tremors following the earthquakes in 2000 when a rift was created in the floor of the lake.”

The average height of the water surface before the earthquakes was 139 to 140 meters above sea level, Sigurdsson said.

Sigurdsson believes the reason for the surface of the lake rising again is that sediment and mud has condensed the rift and thus reduced the leak. Sigurdsson said recent heavy rain in the region may also have caused the water level to rise.

The leaking Kleifarvatn inspired Arnaldur Indridason’s 2004 crime novel The Draining Lake.

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