Title: Assessing the ecological status of the Hróarslækur creek, a tributary of the Ytri-Rangá river in southern Iceland

Final project
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Supervisors: David Finger
ecology, ecomorphology, river classification, water quality, Iceland


The ecological status of rivers is of major importance for the surrounding aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. In order to identify potential threats to the ecology of rivers, it is important to assess and monitor the status of the ecology of rivers. In the present project, a river classification method was applied to a case study in southern Iceland. The method has been used in Austria and Switzerland and accordingly had to be adapted to Icelandic conditions. For this purpose, four categories of ecological status have been developed and all river sections of the case study categorised accordingly. Hróarslækur Creek close to the town of Hella was used as a representative case study to test the method. Besides classifying the creek sections, electrical conductivity and water temperature were measured to assess some preliminary water quality observations. The study concluded by assessing the overall ecological status of the Hróarslækur Creek. The weighted ecological evaluation of all creek sections of the Hróarslækur fall into the highest ecological class defined, indicating the good ecological condition of the creek.

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