The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 01:00

Tourists in Iceland escape glacier collapse

Massive glacier collapse in Iceland Massive glacier collapse in Iceland.

Tourists in Iceland had to get to higher ground when a glacier collapse triggered a massive wave.

The incident occurred on Sunday, April 14, 2019. People visited the Jökulsárlón Lagoon to admire the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. Suddenly, a large piece of ice broke off the glacier and fell into the water triggering a large wave that propagated to the visitors. Stephan Mantler, a full-time mountain guide managed to capture the failure on camera. Click the link below to watch the amazing footage.

Mantler stated that people were prepared to react if such a situation occurred. "Everybody in the area was briefed by their guide that if a collapse happens they must leave the beach and search [for] higher ground immediately, which is exactly what happened," he said.

According to Mantler, people could hear cracking noises deriving from the glacier. Cracks occur when a part of ice is about to break and it is a good sign to alert people. He also emphasized on people's ability to handle the situation: "I could see all of them start to move out of harm's way and their guides also ready to jump into action if necessary, so I kept recording but with a watchful eye on people's movements," he stated. 

A report, published in 2017, points out that Jökulsárlón Lagoon appeared in the 1920s when the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier started melting. Since then, the lagoon has become Iceland's deepest lake. According to the study, Breiðamerkurjökull and other glaciers nearby are quickly retreating and, if the situation does not change, they are going to vanish in about 200 years.


Read 146 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 April 2019 10:48


Huge Glacier Collapses in Iceland Lagoon

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