17 April 2010

Extraordinary video of a Jokulhlaup in Iceland

Posted by Dave Petley

A jokulhlaup is a sudden release of water from beneath a glacier.  One of the key triggers for Jokulhlaup is the eruption of a volcanic beneath an icecap.  It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that jokulhlaups have been triggered by the Eyjafjallajokull eruption that is causing such chaos across Europe (guess who was supposed to go to Hong Kong on Thursday…), and increasingly beyond.

Now, a jokulhlaup is not technically a landslide, but as these flood carry vast amounts of debris they are at the hyper-concentrated flow / debris flow end of the flood spectrum.  On that basis I thought it reasonable to show this fantastic video of a jokulhlaup cascading off the margins of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano on 14th April 2010: