Verkís participates at the Arctic Circle 2019

Arctic Circle 2019 logo

The Arctic Circle will take place for the seventh time in Reykjavík Iceland October 10th to 12th.

Verkís will deliver two presentations this year and a group of our staff will also attend the conference.

The Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. It is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, think tanks, environmental associations, indigenous communities, concerned citizens, and others interested in the development of the Arctic and its consequences for the future of the globe. It is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.

Ægir Jóhannsson, Civil and Environmental Engineer at Verkís, will give a talk at the seminar Responsible project management beyond the Arctic Circle on Friday, October 11th. He will speak about the Ilulissat power project.

The Ilulissat power project now provides the town of Ilulissat and its 4500 inhabitants with electricity produced from 2 run-off of natural glacial lakes. The power plant installed capacity is 22,5 MW.

Main challenges to the project are linked to the fact that the Ilulissat Hydroelectric Project was to be implemented in a natural pearl and in the remote and artic conditions of Greenland. This caused various design and implementation challenges related to construction and operation of a hydropower plant in remote and permafrost conditions.

Kristín Martha Hákonardóttir, Civil Engineer at Verkís, will give a talk at the tour Infrastructure in a world of extreme weather on Sunday, October 13th.

The topic of the talk is a series of laboratory experiments and numerical simulations, to study the interaction of slushflows with catching dams. In the experiments, water is released down a 10 m long and 1 m wide chute and the impact with different types of obstacles at the end of the chute is documented. Water is used as a substitute for slush. The aim of the experiments is to identify an engineering design that effectively stops a slushflow upstream of a catching dam

Slushflows occur when water-saturated snowpack is mobilized. The resulting flows may be highly turbulent and travel with steep flow fronts, much like dam-break floods. Slushflows are common in Norway, Iceland, Alaska, other Arctic regions, as well as in Japan, and may become more common in lower altitude Alpine regions, due to global warming. The speed of large slushflows is generally lower than the speed of dry snow avalanches. The flows generally entrain snow, soil and rocks on the way and the flowing mass increases substantially downslope. Large slushflows may be highly destructive, exerting dynamic pressures on obstacles of the same order as large dry-snow avalanches.

The study is motivated by the challenge of stopping slushflows above the villages of Patreksfjörður and Bíldudalur in Nortwestern Iceland. Residential houses are threatened by slush­flows with volumes of 10–50 thousand cubic meters and both towns have been hit by slushflows from prominent gullies in the mountainsides. A catastrophic slushflow was released above Patreksfjörður in January 1983, claiming three lives and damaging 16 houses.

World goals

Arctic Circle 2019 logo