Askja Remains Closed as Scientists Research Rockfall

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Askja Remains Closed as Scientists Research Rockfall

By Zoë Robert
Askja

Askja, taken after the rockfall on Monday night. Photo: Jara Fatima/Vatnajökull National Park.

Specialists from the Icelandic Met Office and earth scientists from the University of Iceland were at Askja today to research the rockfall which occurred in the area on Monday night. The scientists are trying to determine the cause of the event and whether it is related to activity in the volcano.

Media reports yesterday suggested that due to the warm weather in the area in recent days, ice around the lake melted quickly causing the ground to destabilize​

The scientists are also examining the condition of the walking track by the lake and will decide whether it can be reopened, ruv.is reports. 

As reported yesterday, a roughly one-kilometer (0.6-mile) wide piece of land fell from a mountain near Askja stratovolcano last night. Several 50-meter (164-feet) tidal waves crashed on the rocks around the lake in Askja during the night. According to estimates, 50 to 60 million cubic meters (1,766-2,118 cubic feet) of land fell down the mountain. 

The event occurred around midnight on Tuesday, meaning that there was no one down by the lake, a popular tourist destination, at the time.

Click here and here to view images from before and after the rockfall. 

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