From Iceland — Glacial Flooding From Grímsvötn Likely In The Next Few Days

Glacial Flooding From Grímsvötn Likely In The Next Few Days

Published November 25, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Calistemon/Wikimedia Commons

A continuously updated report from the Icelandic Met Office relays that the ice atop the volcano Grímsvötn is giving every indication that a flood is imminent.

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Björn Oddsson, a geologist from Civil Defense, tells Vísir furthermore that this flooding can be expected to happen as soon as over the next few days. Such flooding is often accompanied by an eruption.

“In Grímsvötn, melt water is accumulating under an ice cave that lies at the top,” Björn told reporters. “There’s a GPS measuring device over the ice cave which indicates the situation with the water. When the water accumulates, the ice cave rises.” He adds that as it is now, there is about a cubic kilometre of water accumulated there.

The GPS measurements now show that the ice cave is beginning to sink, indicating that the water is flowing outwards, towards Skeiðarjökull. “So we can expect a flood will begin from Grímsvötn within the next few days,” he said.

While Grímsvötn has been showing increasing indications of an eruption on the way, Björn reminds people that volcanoes are notoriously difficult to predict.

“It is neither likely nor unlikely [that an eruption will happen],” he said. “But it is possible and that’s why we’re prepared to respond to it.”

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