Jökulhlaup - robertwill

Aftermath of a Jökulhlaup

This photo shows the remains of a steel highway bridge, destroyed by the catastrophic 1996 jökulhlaup.

A jökulhlaup is a glacial outburst flood that occurs when a volcanic eruption under a glacier causes countless tons of ice to melt - but remain trapped under the ice cap. Eventually the heat of the steam causes the entire ice cap to rise up, and the melted water rushes out destroying everything in its path.

The 1996 jökulhlaup caused by an eruption of Grímsvötn released water at a rate of 50,000 cubic meters/second.
© Robert Will 2013<br />
<br />
The remains of a steel highway bridge destroyed by the catastrophic 1996 jökulhlaup.<br />
<br />
A jökulhlaup is a glacial outburst flood that occurs when a volcanic eruption under a glacier causes countless tons of ice to melt - but remain trapped under the ice cap. <br />
<br />
Eventually the heat of the steam causes the entire ice cap to rise up, and the melted water rushes out destroying everything in its path.<br />
<br />
The 1996 jökulhlaup caused by an eruption of Grímsvötn released water at a rate of 50,000 cubic meters/second.

© Robert Will 2013

The remains of a steel highway bridge destroyed by the catastrophic 1996 jökulhlaup.

A jökulhlaup is a glacial outburst flood that occurs when a volcanic eruption under a glacier causes countless tons of ice to melt - but remain trapped under the ice cap.

Eventually the heat of the steam causes the entire ice cap to rise up, and the melted water rushes out destroying everything in its path.

The 1996 jökulhlaup caused by an eruption of Grímsvötn released water at a rate of 50,000 cubic meters/second.

Apocalyptic Floods

Scientists believe that 8-10,000 years ago, a single catastrophic jökulhlaup carved this gorge through which the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river flows. The gorge runs from Vatnajökull all the way to the Greenland Sea. 

This waterfall, Selfoss, is just a couple of hundred meters upstream of Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe (flow approx 193 cubic meters/second). 

Powerful as Dettifoss and Selfoss are, they are faint echoes of the jökulhlaup that created them.
© Robert Will 2013<br />
<br />
Selfoss. <br />
<br />
Scientists believe that 8-10,000 years ago, a single catastrophic jökulhlaup carved this gorge through which the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river flows. The gorge runs from Vatnajökull all the way to the Greenland Sea.<br />
<br />
Selfoss is a couple of hundred meters upstream from Dettifoss.

© Robert Will 2013

Selfoss.

Scientists believe that 8-10,000 years ago, a single catastrophic jökulhlaup carved this gorge through which the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river flows. The gorge runs from Vatnajökull all the way to the Greenland Sea.

Selfoss is a couple of hundred meters upstream from Dettifoss.

The Danger Zone

One of Iceland's most dangerous volcanoes is Katla (4 eruptions since 1947). When Katla erupts, the resulting jökulhlaup starts here - at Emstrur. The Emstrur huts, where we stayed, are located at the mouth of an amazing gorge carved through the volcanic rock by jökulhlaups. When volcanic activity is detected at Katla, the wardens begin shooting off flares and sounding alarms (sirens and flash-bangs). 

When you hear those alarms, you get to high ground as fast as you can - no delay.
© Robert Will 2013<br />
<br />
One of Iceland's most dangerous volcanoes is Katla (4 eruptions since 1947). When Katla erupts, the resulting jökulhlaup starts here - at Emstrur. <br />
<br />
The Emstrur huts are located at the mouth of an amazing gorge carved by many centuries of jokulhaups.<br />
<br />
When volcanic activity is detected at Katla, the wardens begin shooting off flares and sounding alarms (sirens and flash-bangs). When you hear those alarms, you get to high ground as fast as you can - no delay.

© Robert Will 2013

One of Iceland's most dangerous volcanoes is Katla (4 eruptions since 1947). When Katla erupts, the resulting jökulhlaup starts here - at Emstrur.

The Emstrur huts are located at the mouth of an amazing gorge carved by many centuries of jokulhaups.

When volcanic activity is detected at Katla, the wardens begin shooting off flares and sounding alarms (sirens and flash-bangs). When you hear those alarms, you get to high ground as fast as you can - no delay.

The Emstrur Gorge

Carved by centuries of jökulhlaups, the Emstrur Gorge is an amazing place. To get an idea of the scale of this gorge, look for the SUV parked on the top left rim of the gorge.
© Robert Will 2013<br />
<br />
Carved by jökulhlaups. To get an idea of the scale of this gorge, see if you can find the SUV parked at the top of the gorge - left side.

© Robert Will 2013

Carved by jökulhlaups. To get an idea of the scale of this gorge, see if you can find the SUV parked at the top of the gorge - left side.



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