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HomeWorldIceland volcano: Plans to protect Grindavik residents

Iceland volcano: Plans to protect Grindavik residents

  • Icelandic Strategy for Eruption
  • Earthen Barriers to Redirect Lava
  • Scientific Simulations for Efficacy

According to Icelandic authorities, while magma cannot be prevented from erupting, it can be redirected. They are contemplating the construction of earthen barriers to redirect a molten lava river away from Grindavik.

Icelandic authorities are developing a strategy to safeguard the evacuated municipality of Grindavik in the event of a volcanic eruption.

Scientists currently believe that a short distance from the town is the most probable location for magma to breach the surface, and that it could travel towards homes.

Earthen Barriers as a Redirecting Solution

However, the Icelandic civil defence, Almannavarnir, stated that they could construct earthen barriers to redirect a flow of molten lava away from the town.

Jon Thor Viglundsson, the authority, stated that they had evaluated the method in recent eruptions elsewhere.

“Therefore, we shall attempt this,” he declared. “You cannot stop lava; you only direct it.” You raise substantial quantities of soil. “This is the sole method by which a funnel can be constructed to divert lava.”

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Simulation and Contingency Planning

According to the Icelandic Met Office, the region where the magma is most likely to erupt is one to one and a half miles northeast of the town.


However, an incline situates the hazardous area, and the precise location of the magma breach will dictate whether the lava travels north towards a power station, where an eight-meter-tall defensive wall is presently under construction, or south towards the town.

Met Office natural hazards specialist Salome Jorunn Bernhardsdottir told that scientists were simulating various possibilities.

“It’s highly dependent on the contours,” according to her. “Flouting direction: north or south.”

As a result, teams have been prototyping various scenarios featuring varying flow rates in order to determine the efficacy of barriers in diverting the flow.

Current estimates place the depth of the magma along a nine-mile line that passes near Grindavik at approximately 500 metres.

According to Dr. Bernhardsdottir, portions of the molten granite appear to be solidifying and cooling.

However, magma accumulation persists in the region where an eruption is most probable.

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