South Iceland sees small glacial flood

The glacial flood which was first predicted and then ‘unpredicted’ again in South Iceland did indeed take place this weekend. It was small compared to other floods the geothermal region is used to.

The Jökulhlaup, or glacial outburst, came from under the Vatnajokull glacier and ran south towards the sea, overwhelming the Skafta river.

The region’s infrastructure is built to withstand such floods.

The flood appears to have peaked on Sunday night, when water was flowing at 350 cubic metres per second. By comparison, RUV reports, a big jökulhlaup in the same river can reach 1,800 cubic metres per second.

Floods from the craters under the western part of the glacier tend to be less severe than those from the east and scientists do not predict any imminent flooding from the east of the glacier. Roads in the area remain open as usual.