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Iceland Mag

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Bárðarbunga glacial floods would reach Ásbyrgi canyon in 9 hours

By Staff

  • The island This rock formation is in the center of Ásbyrgi canyon and is called the Island. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

The seismic activity in Bárðarbunga subglacial volcano has transferred mostly to a single line heading northeast. If a volcanic eruption were to occur in that area it would likely cause a fissure eruption underneath the glacier. 

A fissure eruption, as reported by visir.is, would cause melted ice to flow from the glacier and cause a flood in the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. A flood-damage prevention group with the Icelandic MetOffice suspects that the size of the glacial flood would be around 5,000 – 20,000 cubed meters per second. Based on that estimation, it would take the flood 7-hours to travel down to the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, past Grímsstaðir, but approximately 9-hours down the 160 km (99.4 mi) to Ásbyrgi canyon

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