Volcanic eruption, floods and the sands

original data copyright ESA/TSS 1997
click on image to enlarge(295Kb)

Aerial photograph of the area south of the Vatnajökull glacier, showing our route in red. Here in November 1996 huge jökulhlaup floods of water and ice swept away the road, electricity cables and some bridges. Have a look at the same area just about a fortnight after the flood began. The floods were the indirect result of a volcanic eruption in the Barðárbunga volcanic system underneath the Vatnajökull glacier.

You can also see a satellite image of the flood (also when you go to the large version of the image here at left.)

See also photographs of the sands today and some dead-ice features. Today the damage has been repaired and life is back to normal, but the landscape of the sands has changed quite a bit. In many areas you can see deep depressions left by melted icebergs which were stranded on the sand.


You can read a good summary of the eruption and the floods, as well as see spectactular photographs, at these web sites:

Subglacial Volcanic Eruption in Vatnajökull - from The Science Institute, Univ. of Iceland

Subglacial eruption in Vatnajökull, Iceland. 30/09-13/10 1996 - from The Nordic Volcanological Institute, Reykjavík