Giant earth crack drains Icelandic lake which reappears years later

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Icelanders are accustomed to their land being stretched, split, and torn by violent earthquakes and hazardly rebuilt by exploding volcanoes.

But everyone was surprised when a large lake began to disappear into a long fissure created by a large earthquake.

Sabrina Matzger

The giant fissure measured about a foot wide and 400 meters (1,280 feet) long and led directly into Lake Kleifarvatn before disappearing beneath the water.

And through the crack, lake Kleifarvatn was draining at about one centimeter (one-third of an inch) a day.

And if you put your ear to the ground, you can even hear the lake draining … Like water going down the sink.

Lake Kleifarvatn, Lake Kleifarvatn fissure, Lake Kleifarvatn crack, earthquake creates crack at Lake Kleifarvatn, Lake Kleifarvatn disappearing, Lake Kleifarvatn draining
Bill Minter

So what created this giant fissure?

The phenomenon behind the large fissure at Lake Kleifarvatn remains an enigma.

The earthquake thought to be responsible for the fissure at Lake Kleifarvatn occurred on June 17, 2001 about 80 kilometers (49 miles) east in the South Icelandic seismic zone.

But the water has returned since then and the lake bed is filled with geothermal hot springs:

This lake dramatic disappearance is, at least, unexpected and interesting. The last time a similar event happened was in 1912, after a magnitude 7 earthquake, and it took about three decades for the water level to normalize.

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