Researchers have uncovered the mystery of the sudden floods in Iceland. They determined that the main reason for this phenomenon is the melting of glaciers, which is not noticeable to the eyes of scientists.
Researchers have long been trying to solve the mystery in the study of glaciers – now scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa have done it. Their findings can be read in Geophysical Research Letters.
The mystery is related to floods or “jokulhlaups” that suddenly and unpredictably emerge from glaciers or ice caps. This phenomenon can often be seen in Iceland, where volcanic heat melts ice and water accumulates in lakes under glaciers. Scientists have long studied the development of these floods, which are among the largest on Earth.
“These floods can affect the movement of some glaciers and are a significant hazard in Iceland,” the scientists said. “But the mechanism and timing of the start of these floods were not clear.”
Scientists have drilled a hole in one of Iceland’s lakes to study its microbial life. While collecting samples through the well, the team noticed a downdraft of water in the well. The researchers used a computer model of the flow through the hole and its impact on the lake to show that this is what triggered the flood.
Scientists from the UK have noticed that the largest iceberg in the world is heading towards the inhabited island. It can harm nature and disrupt the ecosystem for years to come. Satellite images show the iceberg heading northeast towards the British island. As the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) explained in a press release, the giant chunk of ice, if it reaches the island, would disrupt the lives of local wildlife, including seals and penguins.