Gases Still Released by South Iceland Flood

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Gases Still Released by South Iceland Flood

Sólheimajökull glacier, South Iceland

Sólheimajökull. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Flood water from the geothermal area below Mýrdalsjökull glacier in South Iceland can still be detected in the rivers Múlakvísl and Jökulsá at Sólheimasandur. Travelers are advised to keep away from the western edge of Sólheimajökull glacial tongue where the flood emerges.

High conductivity has been measured in both rivers, but the most recent data indicates that conductivity is decreasing. The water flow is also lower than earlier this week, mbl.is reports.

Dissolved gases, including hydrogen sulfide, continue to emerge from the flood water and their density remained close to the danger level on July 9.

Toxic gases such as these can cause respiratory difficulties and sore eyes. Some of them are odor and colorless and cannot be detected without sensors.

Minor earthquakes have been occurring near the surface of the caldera of the volcano Katla in Mýrdalsjökull but their frequency does not appear to be increasing.

It is considered likely that the seismic activity is connected with the geothermal activity and events like these are common at this time of year.

Last year a small glacial outburst flood, which occur when melt water accumulates due to geothermal activity below the glacier, was also reported in Múlakvísl.

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