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The proposed Búrfell Wind Farm is located in an area with seismic activity. This could lead to events that could disturb operations or cause damage to structures. These events include volcanic eruptions, lava flow, volcanic ash, pumice clouds and possible earthquakes within the area. Ash and tephra are unlikely to disturb the wind turbine structures, but they could have some effect on operations.

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Seismic activity

The area is located in a well-known earthquake zone in the south of Iceland. The Earthquake Engineering Research Centre is currently measuring and identifying the earthquake load for the area. The results of this research will be utilised in the design of the Búrfell Wind Farm.

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Tephra distribution

Tephra distribution at Hekla, based on the last 18 volcanic eruptions at Hekla. The proposed Búrfell Wind is within 44% probability zone.

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Floods

Floods could affect the Þjórsá River, but the flood risk is not listed as a limiting factor for the project during the construction phase or during the operational phase.

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Icing and ice throw

Certain meteorological conditions can cause ice to form on the wind turbines and turbine blades. Icing can fall directly downwards or can be thrown from the blades when they rotate. This is known as an ‘ice throw’ event. The distance and direction of the ‘throw’ is dependent on wind speed and wind direction.

The need for a de-icing system for the wind turbines is under assessment. This type of equipment uses hot air or electricity to prevent ice from forming on the blades or removes ice that has accumulated. The decision on the need for such equipment will be based on data results from measurements and models.

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Búrfellslundur Wind Farm EIA report

The Búrfellslundur Wind Farm EIA report can be accessed here.
Further discussion on natural hazard is in chapter 5

EIA report

186 MB PDF

Volcanic hazards

2,0 MB PDF