Athugið þessi frétt er meira en 2 mánaða gömul.

Flood has peaked, quakes follow

06.12.2021 - 11:03
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Kristín Sigurðardóttir - RÚV
The jökulhlaup glacial flood from Grímsvötn volcano under the Vatnajökull glacier, Southeast Iceland, peaked yesterday evening. There has been some seismic activity in the area this morning, including a Magnitude 3.6 quake before 07.00, and several aftershocks.

Einar Bessi Gestsson, a natural hazards specialist with the met office, says no volcanic unrest has yet been recorded and the flood waters are now subsiding. He says that when the weight of flood water released prompts an eruption at Grímsvötn, it is usually preceded by earthquakes. 

“The way it has been is that there has been clear seismic activity around the peak of the flood or the days around it and there has been powerful seismic activity for some hours or days before the eruption starts, but now we are just seeing a slight increase in seismic activity and are closely following events and are seeing where it will lead us,” Einar Bessi said on RÚV news this morning. 

Aviation authorities have just upgraded the risk to airpace in the area from yellow to orange. An orange aviation alert is implemented around a volcano when an eruption is considered likely due to increased instability. 

The flood from Grímsvötn peaked yesterday afternoon or early evening, at 2,800 cubic metres of water per second. That is 28-times the normal flow rate of Gígjukvísl river at this time of year.  

The glacial ice around Grímsvötn has sagged by 74 metres since the flood started. 

The raging waters of Gígjukvísl were grey with debris and transported large rocks—some of which hit the main road bridge over the river. No structural damage occurred, though, and the road is open as usual. 

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