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Concerns about Acid Spring Melt

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Concerns about Acid Spring Melt

The lava river in Holuhraun.

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Pollution from the eruption in Holuhraun has resulted in acid snow which has been accumulating in the highlands. Scientists are concerned that the acid levels in rivers and lakes may rise sharply when the snow melts in the spring.

The Environment Agency of Iceland however says that it is not too worried about the impact on water resources but considers it important to monitor the situation, ruv.is reports.

Meteorologist Árni Sigurðsson said that the pH level in Borgir in Hornafjörður and in Írafoss in Grímsnes has measured from 4 to 3, which is considered to be rather acidic. Normally, rainwater measures pH 5.6.

Þorsteinn Jóhannsson, air pollution specialist at the Icelandic Met Office, says it is important to be on guard when the snow starts to melt. “This could be of concern for the ecology of smaller lakes and rivers. It can affect this and possibly vegetation,” he said at a community meeting in Egilsstaðir, East Iceland, on Friday.

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