From Iceland — Snow Melt Indicates Glacial Run On Grímsvötn

Snow Melt Indicates Glacial Run On Grímsvötn

Published August 18, 2020

Nico Borbely
Photo by
John Rogers

Snow melt around a pole connected GPS meter on Grímsvötn intended to aid in predictions of a potential jökulhlaup (glacial run) caused the pole to tilt, RÚV reports.

The groundswelling reported originally raised suspicions that a jökulhlaup would soon start around the Grímsvötn volcano in Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management’s geophysicist and the Icelandic Meterological Office and Icelandic Coast Guard’s experts noted this while patrolling Grímsfjall yesterday. Though initially thought to be a false alarm according to Morgunblaðið, according to a 10:45 A.M. update from today, it was reported that there was in fact a landslide in the area.

The group tidied up the equipment and added a webcam, now making it possible to view web images of the area.

Now the greatest concern is that of a possible eruption of Grímsvötn, as sudden pressure relief following a glacial melt can trigger an eruption according to a statement to Morgunblaðið by nature conservation expert Einar Hjörleifsson.

The situation will be closely monitored, and the Meterological Office plans to send a team back to the area on Tuesday.

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