Iceland glacier flood reaches peak

iceThe glacial flooding at the southern Icelandic Skafta river is expected to reach its peak this evening and then begin to subside quickly.

The current flood increased slightly at around midday but has otherwise been stable since midnight, RUV reports.

At Sveinstindur, near the source of the flooding from the Vatnajokull glacier, the flow peaked at 400 cubic metres per second. This contrasts with 1,250 cubic metres per second when the geothermally heated glacial melt water last flowed from the glacier in autumn 2008.

There are two flooded craters under the Skaftarjokull glacial tongue on the Vatnajokull glacier and they release floods regularly. The smaller of the two craters is now releasing its melted water and the other is expected to follow in late summer or autumn.

Measuring equipment at the glacier gives scientists enough notice to evacuate farms and close roads if such action is needed. Today’s flooding caused a few farms to be evacuated but damage is minimal and nobody was hurt.

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