Gígjökull flood
Flood from Gígjökull at 19:10 GMT on 15 April 2010. Photographer: Matthew J. Roberts (via a Coast Guard flight).

Workshop on Jökulhlaup Hazards

Lessons from Eyjafjallajökull 2010


Thursday 25 August 2011, 08:30 - 17:30 h
Veðurstofa Íslands (Icelandic Meteorological Office),
Bústaðavegur 7-9, 150 Reykjavík

Jökulhlaup Hazard Management and Risk Mitigation:Lessons from Eyjafjallajökull 2010


Repeated glacial floods (jökulhlaup) were created by the April 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, resulting in damage to infrastructure and inundation of farmland. Beginning early on April 14, subglacial volcanism within the summit caldera of Eyjafjallajökull prompted the pre-dawn evacuation of over 800 inhabitants in the vicinity of the volcano. The resulting jökulhlaup drained from both the northern and southern flanks of the ice-cap, affecting an area of 57.5 and 1.5 km2, respectively. A second jökulhlaup on April 15 contained a large quantity of glacial ice; this flood propagated rapidly down the Markarfjót river, again necessitating a local evacuation.

Workshop Goal

The workshop will serve as a venue for sharing scientific knowledge about recent jökulhlaups from Eyjafjallajökull. In particular, initial results from a UK project at Gígjökull, led by Newcastle University and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, will be presented. Representatives from agencies tasked with managing and mitigating jökulhlaup hazards are encouraged to attend. Through a series of presentations and informal debates, our scientific understanding of volcanically induced floods will be explored, helping to prioritise future research. There will also be an opportunity for informal networking sessions.

The Event

A preliminary outline of the interactive programme appears below:

  • 08:30 Coffee
  • 09:00 Opening remarks and outline of agenda
  • 09:15 Jökulhlaups from Eyjafjallajökull: Observations and insights
  • 11:30 Early lunch at IMO
  • 12:00 Coffee and informal discussions
  • 12:30 Volcanically-generated jökulhlaups: Examples from Iceland and New Zealand
  • 13:00 Discussion: Management of hydrological hazards at Eyjafjallajökull
  • 14:30 Coffee
  • 15:00 Discussion: Implications for monitoring and managing rivers prone to jökulhlaups
  • 17:00 Conclusions and future research priorities
  • 17:30 Reception

The workshop will be held at the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), with attendance limited to ~20 participants due to the size of the venue. Attendance is free-of-charge and lunch will be provided; any access or dietary needs should be communicated via e-mail (see below).

How to Attend

If you wish to participate in the workshop, then please contact Matthew J. Roberts at IMO (matthew[at] Attendance will be on a first come, first served basis. The closing date for registering for the workshop is Monday 22 August 2011.

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