Icelandic Meteorological Office
EU Contract no. EVG1-CT2002-00059


  | Objectives | Partners | Private | Links | Feedback | Project description | Publications |  

Norwegian flag Icelandic Meteorological Office logo Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) []

  Institution description
  • The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) is a governmental institute responsible for producing regular and specific weather forecasts. It's Avalanche Section is responsible for avalanche warnings, evacuations, hazard zoning and is the scientific advisor to the Icelandic government in the field of avalanche defense structures.
  • The Avalanche Section at the IMO was strengthened considerably after the avalanche disasters in the villages Súđavík and Flateyri in 1995. The staff increased from 2 to 8 and we have been able to broaden our range of expertise. Although the Office has since 1979 been responsible for issuing avalanche warnings, it has since December 1995 been given the added responsibility for ordering evacuations, both evaluating the extent of, and deciding upon their timing.
  • The IMO is responsible for avalanche hazard zoning in Iceland. New methods have being developed and tested in the hope that better and safer zoning will result. Research projects have been carried out regarding risk and risk management. Hazard maps have been made and are being made for several villages.
  • The government of Iceland has undertaken the task of constructing avalanche protection measures for the communities at risk. The brunt of the scientific part of that work has been carried out by the IMO resulting in a rapid buildup of expertise in that field. Several research projects and field experiments have been undertaken as part of the avalanche defense project. They include a pilot project installation of avalanche supporting structures, to investigate their effectiveness and decide upon design criteria for Iceland. The interaction between avalanches and deflecting walls and retarding mounds has been studied, and also snow accumulation around retaining walls and mounds. In addition, theoretical investigations and modelling are being performed regarding the flow of avalanches.
  • The IMO is also involved with several other kinds of research within the fields of meteorology and geosciences.
Key persons (please click on the names to view details) Publications
  • Jóhannesson, T., K. Lied, S. Margreth and F. Sandersen. 1996. An overview of the need for avalanche protection measures in Iceland. VÍ-R96003/04-ÚR02/03, Veđurstofa Íslands, Reykjavík.
  • Jóhannesson, T. 1998. A topographical model for Icelandic avalanches. VÍ-G98003-UR03, Veđurstofa Íslands, Reykjavík.
  • Jóhannesson, T. 1998. Icelandic avalanche runout models compared with topographic models used in other countries. In: 25 years of snow avalanche research, Publikation nr. 203, Erik Hestnes, editor, 43-52, NGI, Oslo.
  • Jóhannesson, T., P. Sigurđsson and Ţ. Sigurjónsson. 1998. Corrosion of steel and wire constructions under Icelandic meteorological conditions with special reference to steel snow bridges and avalanche nets. Report of observations of supporting struc­tures in Auđbjargarstađabrekka, Ólafsvík and Siglufjörđur and a compilation of relevant information about corrosion protection of steel structures in Iceland. VÍ-G98004-ÚR04, Veđurstofa Íslands, Reykjavík.
  • Jóhannesson, T. 1998. Return period of avalanches on Flateyri. VÍ-G98008-ÚR07, Veđurstofa Íslands, Reykjavík.
  • Jóhannesson, T., J.O. Larsen and J. Hopf. 1998. Pilot Project in Siglufjördur. Inter­pret­ation of observations from the winter 1996/97 and comparison with similar observations from other countries. VÍ-G98033-ÚR26, Veđurstofa Íslands, Reykjavík.
  • Jóhannesson, T. and S. Margreth. 1999. Adaptation of the Swiss Guidelines for supporting structures for Icelandic conditions. VÍ-G99013-ÚR07, Veđurstofa Íslands, Reykjavík.
  • Jóhannesson, T. and Ţ. Arnalds. 2001. Accidents and economic damage due to snow avalanches and landslides in Iceland. Jökull, 50, 81-94.
  • Magnússon, M.M. 1996. Preparedness of the Icelandic meteorological Office in re­spon­se to potential avalanche danger. In: Proceedings ISSW-94 Banff, Canada. 53-59.
  • Magnússon, M.M. 1998. The Buildup of the Avalanche Section of the Icelandic Mete­orological Office. In: Proceedings ISSW-98 Sunriver, Oregon, U.S.A. 132-139.
  • Keylock, C.J., McClung, D.M. and Magnússon, M.M. 1999. Avalanche risk mapping by simulation. Journal of Glaciology, 45, 150, 303-314.
  • Hákonardóttir, K.M. 2000. Retarding effects of breaking mounds - avalanches?, MSc-thesis, University of Bristol.
  • Hákonardóttir, K.M., T. Jóhannesson, F. Tiefenbacher, M. Kern. 2001. A laboratory study of the retarding effect of breaking mounds in 3, 6 and 9 m long chutes. Rep. 01007, Veđurstofa Íslands, Reykjavík.
  • Hákonardóttir, K.M., A.J. Hogg, T. Jóhannesson and G.G. Tómasson. A laboratory study of the retarding effects of braking mounds on snow avalanches. Accepted. Journal of Glaciology.

  [Back to SATSIE Partners]

  | Home | Last revised: January 10th, 2003