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The influence of channel flood history on the impact of the November 1996 jökulhlaup, Skeiðarársandur, Iceland (Keynote paper)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrew RussellORCiD


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Multiple channel occupation during the November 1996 jökulhlaup Skeiðarársandur, Iceland, provided an opportunity to assess the role of flood history in controlling the varied impact of a single large jökulhlaup. This paper considers the immediate geomorphological impact of the 1996 jökulhlaup in relation to the flood history of each major ice-proximal channel system draining Skeiðarárjökull. The jökulhlaup had greatest impact on the Gígjukvísl river channel, whilst the Skeiðará and Sæluhúsavatn channels were impacted to a lesser degree. The jökulhlaup had very little impact on the Háöldukvísl and Súla. Large jökulhlaup impact within the central portion of the glacier occurred because non-jökulhlaup flows had dominated the central portion of the glacier for many years. The impact of the 1996 jökulhlaup on individual channels is strongly influenced by each channels' flood history, which in turn is driven by differential rates of glacier margin retreat.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Russell AJ, Knudsen Ó

Editor(s): A. Snorasson, H.P. Finnsdóttir & M. Moss

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: The Extremes of the Extremes: Extraordinary Floods

Year of Conference: 2002

Pages: 243-247

Publisher: International Association of Hydrological Sciences


Notes: IAHS Publication no. 271

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: IAHS Red Book

ISBN: 190150266X