Flateyri experimental site
EU Contract no. EVG1-CT2002-00059

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  Site description
  • Flateyri is a town in the north-west of Iceland that suffered from a tragic avalanche event in October 1995 that resulted in twenty fatalities.
  • The older part of the town is located further from the mountainside and towards the fjord. As the town expanded, more houses were built closer to the mountain.
  • There was some concern about avalanche danger, which explains why some conical earth mounds were placed above the town. However, these defence structures were not designed according to engineering criteria and were insufficient protection from a major avalanche.
Flateyri avalanche, October 1995
    xxxxxxFlateyri before the avalanche of October 1995

    xxxxxxFlateyri before the avalanche of October 1995. The conical earth mounds can be seen
    xxxxxxin the middle distance.

  • The images below show the outline of the October 1995 avalanche and some of the damage caused.


  • xxxxxxThe run-out distance of the 26th October Flateyri avalanche

    xxxxxxThe run-out distance of the 26th October Flateyri avalanche.


    xxxxxxThe damage caused by the 26th October Flateyri avalanche

    xxxxxxThe damage caused by the 26th October Flateyri avalanche.

Project response
  • In response to this event, a deflecting dam has been introduced to protect the town from such events in the future.
  • As a part of the SATSIE project, radar will be installed at a position where information can be gained on the avalanche velocities at Flateyri and the manner in which the avalanche flow interacts with the dam can be determined.
  • This will provide important data on the design of such dams in the future. Photographs of the Flateyri dam are shown below.


  • xxxxxxAerial view (a) of Flateyri since the dam has been installed
    xxxxxxAerial view (b) of Flateyri since the dam has been installed

    xxxxxxAerial views of Flateyri since the dam has been installed.

 

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