Iceland Mag

-2 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

General

An eruption in Bárðarbunga will trigger massive floods

  • Hvannadalshnjúkur peak, Vatnajökull. Bárðarbunga volcano is located beneath Vatnajökull glacier. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

According to the Icelandic Met Office there are no signs of eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano, but “it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission”.

Bárðarbunga caldera is located under Vatnajökull glacier, Iceland’s largest ice cap. Seismic activity near the volcano has been ongoing since Saturday, August 16th.  An eruption can trigger massive floods known as “jökulhlaup” – massive glacial outburst floods which can carry ice blocks and rocks large enough to destroy bridges and roads.  

According to Matthew J. Roberts, a project manager with the Icelandic Met Office, the situation is monitored closely. As reported by Fréttablaðið newspaper, an eruption could trigger a “jökulhlaup” in the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum only hours after its inception. 

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