Mud Floods Across Levee at Iceland Eruption Site

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Mud Floods Across Levee at Iceland Eruption Site

A mud flood began in the river Svadbaelisá by the farm Thorvaldseyri at the foot of Eyjafjallajökull glacier and continued until the afternoon. Mud was carried over the levee by the farm, which had already been damaged in previous flooding.

The farm Thorvaldseyri in happier times. Eyjafjallajökull is in the background. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“The mud flowed over a 150-meter long stretch of the levee by Thorvaldseyri for a short period of time,” farmer Ólafur Eggertsson told Fréttabladid. “It was in a poor condition after having been damaged in the first flood and was further damaged after this overflow. It is still mostly intact but it won’t hold much longer.”

Eggertsson said the mud flood is caused by rainwater which is washing mud and ash down from the glacier and accumulates more mud on the way down.

Poor visibility blocked the view of the glacier yesterday but radar pictures taken by the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter TF-SIF yesterday morning show clear fracture lines at the flood’s source in a height of 1,200 meters.

The area where the flood originated is four to five square kilometers in size. The ash must contain 20 to 30 percent water for a mud flood to be created; the area has been subject to heavy rain lately. Similar flooding can occur in other areas on the glacier.

The levee by Thorvaldseyri is now being repaired.

Click here to read more about the previous flooding at the farm and here to read other news of the eruption.

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