Symposium Info2018-12-14T11:58:33+00:00

Symposium information

Rapid gravity mass flows pose a threat to settlements and infrastructure and limit the use of land on all continents of the world. In mountainous regions, these natural hazards include snow avalanches, slush- and debris flows, rockfall and landslides. People in modern societies are becoming more concerned with safety, and authorities strive to ensure the safety of settlements, traffic lines and society in general with hazard zoning, planning of settlements, and construction and management of protection measures. The design of permanent protection measures has become more demanding and expensive in recent years due to high safety demands leading to the consideration of temporary protection measures or relocation of settlements as well.

The symposium seeks to bring together scientists, engineers, architects and representatives of local and central authorities to discuss the state of the art of mitigation measures against snow avalanches and other rapid gravity mass flows and the challenges that lie ahead in the management of those natural hazards.


The symposium will be held in Siglufjörður, north Iceland. Siglufjörður is at the northern tip of the Troll Peninsula (Tröllaskagi) (Map), surrounded by the N-Atlantic Ocean. The location is ideal for a symposium about avalanche mitigation measures. Siglufjörður and the surrounding rural area has a long history of avalanches and avalanche catastrophes and the area offers great opportunities for a symposium field excursion. An extensive programme for the construction of avalanche protection measurements for the town has been ongoing for more than two decades. The symposium will take place at the newly built Sigló Hótel, built into the fisherman´s marina in Siglufjörður. Local attractions include the Herring Era Museum, the Folk Music Center, heli skiing, kayaking, horseback riding tours, the local skiing area in Skarðsdalur, and surfing in the neighbouring Ólafsfjörður fjord.


VFI (The Association of Chartered Engineers in Iceland)

Contact person: Árni B. Björnsson; arni@verktaekni.is

Address:  Engjateigur 9, IS-105 Reykjavík, Iceland. Tel: +354 535 9300

Organization and Committee


Árni Jónsson (chair) (arni@hnit.is/arni@orion.is), Kristín Martha Hákonardóttir (kmh@verkis.is), Jón Skúli Indriðason (jon.skuli.indridason@efla.is), Tómas Jóhannesson (tj@vedur.is), Hafsteinn Pálsson (hafsteinn.palsson@uar.is)


Tómas Jóhannesson (Icelandic Meteorological Office, IMO) (chief editor), Peter Gauer (Norwegian Geotechnical Institutt, NGI), Kristín Martha Hákonardóttir (Verkís consulting engineers ltd.), Stefan Margreth (WSL-Institut fur Schnee- und Lawinenforschung, SLF), Halldór Pálsson (University of Iceland), Fjóla Guðrún Sigtryggsdóttir (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU)