Flood in south Iceland could suggest possible volcano eruption

Flooding began in the Gigjukvisl river in the south of Iceland yesterday afternoon after a small earthquake occurred at the Grimsvotn volcano in Vatnajokull. Gunnar Sigurdsson, a Hydrographic specialist working for the Icelandic Met Office (Vedurstofa Islands), told mbl.is that it may take 4-5 days for the flooding to reach a peak.

Sigurdsson said, “The river flow is currently measuring 140 cubic meters per second which is about two times higher than a normal glacial river but it is still not very high compared to other floods. However, I except this number to increase over the coming days.”

Pall Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, also told mbl.is that the likelihood of the Grimsvotn volcano erupting following the end of the flood is not unlikely, although, it is somewhat difficult to predict at this early stage.

“In 2004, sufficient pressure accumilated in the magma chamber under Grimsvotn volcano. The same thing is happening now – there is currently a lot of magma in the magma chamber under pressure and it is therefore possible that the events of 2004 will repeat themselves.”

Hydrographic specialists will continue to monitor the flood tomorrow and the day after and activity at the Grimsvotn volcano will also be monitored.

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