Rechanneling of South Iceland River Debated

News

Rechanneling of South Iceland River Debated

Experts from Danish water environments consultancy DHI have suggested that the channel of South Iceland river Markarfljót be moved 2.5 kilometers to the east to prevent sand from being carried into the harbor Landeyjahöfn.

markarfljot-thorsmork_ps

Markarfljót. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson disagrees, Fréttablaðið reports.

“The wise thing to do, if the harbor is to be maintained, would be to move Markarfljót to the west,” Haraldur wrote on his blog. “It is clear that the sand reef that is created by solid discharge from Markarfljót … is primarily to the west of Landeyjahöfn.

Haraldur maintains that moving Markarfljót to the east will only delay the filling of the harbor. “I hope we will hear some more about the conclusions of the Danes regarding currents and sediments in this area before further decisions on throwing money into the ocean will be made.”

Haraldur points out that Markarfljót carries approximately 100,000 cubic meters of sand and mud into the ocean annually. “It will always be a problem. The location of the harbor was only determined with one goal, to achieve the shortest sailing route to Vestmannaeyjar.”

Since Landeyjahöfn opened in summer 2010, sand reefs have often caused problems for the Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) ferry.

ESA