Katla volcano current activity & updates

Katla volcano (Iceland): earthquake yesterday

ven., 4 sept. 2020, 08:13
08:13 AM | AUTEUR : MARTIN
Earthquake detected near the Katla caldera yesterday (image: Volcano Discovery)
Earthquake detected near the Katla caldera yesterday (image: Volcano Discovery)
The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) recorded an earthquake with magnitude M 3.1 that occurred at 12:39 local time yesterday located in the northeastern part of the Katla caldera near Austmannsbunga.
Few smaller aftershocks were detected but no volcanic tremor has been recorded.
Source: Icelandic Met Office volcano activity update 4 September 2020

Katla volcano (Iceland): earthquake today

jeu., 23 juil. 2020, 09:05
09:05 AM | AUTEUR : MARTIN
The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) recorded an earthquake with magnitude M 3.3 that occurred at 05:36 local time this morning. Another earthquake with magnitude M 2.7 occurred at 01:59 local time today. Few smaller earthquakes have also been detected.
Increased seismic activity at the volcano has been measured during the past years.
Source: Icelandic Met Office volcano activity update 23 July 2020
Increased earthquake activity
Update Thu 22 Jun 2017 16:38
Recent earthquakes under Katla volcano as of 22 June 2017, showing two small swarms  (image: Icelandic Met Office)
Recent earthquakes under Katla volcano as of 22 June 2017, showing two small swarms (image: Icelandic Met Office)
Over the past days, seismic activity under the large ice-covered volcano has increased. It seems likely that at least some of this activity is caused by injections of new magma into the volcano's system, as some earthquakes were detected at depths between 10 and up to 25 km where no normal tectonic activity that could be triggering the earthquakes is expected.
Most earthquakes in the recent swarms were tiny, with only 5 quakes during the past week above magnitude 3 (the largest being a 3.6 event on Tuesday).
For the time being, the observed activity seems small and probably does not mean that a new eruption of Katla is imminent.
Magnitude 4.3 earthquake, increased seismic activity
Update Sat 28 Jan 2017 11:19
Recent earthquakes under Katla volcano as of 26 Jan 2017 (image: Icelandic Met Office)
Recent earthquakes under Katla volcano as of 26 Jan 2017 (image: Icelandic Met Office)
Seismic activity has increased at the volcano. A magnitude 4.3 earthquake occurred under the volcano on 26 Jan at shallow depth beneath the summit caldera covered by the Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
Scientists now believe that the increased seismic activity indicates that the volcano is more likely to erupt in the near to medium term future compared to some years ago, but it is impossible to make any precise predictions.
Icelandic authorities are increasing their surveillance of the volcano, which is one of the country's largest and most active, with potentially devastating eruptions due to the hazard of catastrophic glacial floods.
Earthquakes under SE part of caldera
Update Thu 05 Jan 2017 09:55
Recent quakes under Katla volcano in Iceland (image: IMO)
Recent quakes under Katla volcano in Iceland (image: IMO)
Magnitude vs time distribution of recent quakes at Katla (IMO)
Magnitude vs time distribution of recent quakes at Katla (IMO)
An increased number of earthquakes has been occurring at shallow depths (few km) under the SW part of the ice-covered volcano's caldera.
The largest event was a near-surface magnitude 3.5 event 3.9 km ESE of Goðabunga at 07:09 local time this morning. Whether the quakes are volcanic in origin (a swarm caused by magma intrusion) or caused by adjustments of the glacier's weight (or likely both) is unknown.

Katla has been on elevated alert since Oct 2016 when an intense seismic swarm occurred that triggered fears the volcano might erupt again soon (its last eruption dating back to 1918 and it is thought to be statistically "overdue").
The seismic swarm in Sep / Oct 2016 had been the largest in recent decades. It began on 29 Sep 2016, increased on 30 Sep with several quakes of magnitudes of 3 and higher, and lasted until early October.
Volcanic tremor was also detected, suggesting that it had been caused by intruding magma inside the volcano.
Volcano remains restless; increased melt water and H2S concentrations
Update Wed 31 Aug 2016 17:12
Following Monday's large earthquakes, the volcano remains relatively calm seismically, with only small swarms of deep to shallow earthquakes occurring under the northern flank. According to experts, there is currently no sign of an eruption being imminent.
Icelandic authorities are aware of the potential danger the next eruption of Katla represents (whether it occurs in the next months or only decades from now). A delegation of the volcanologists from the Icelandic Met Office was invited to discuss with a committee of the Icelandic Parliament about how to respond in case of an eruption.
The biggest hazard are large-scale, potentially catastrophic glacial floods when an eruption occurs, which is likely going to be subglacial, as a result of rapid melting of ice by magma. A fast and wide-spread evacuation of all river beds draining from the Katla massif and alternative routes are likely a major topic in such plans.

During the past days, an increase in glacial water into the Múlakvísl river, south of Mýrdalsjökull, has been detected. The river water has a strongly elevated content in hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and people are advised not to travel near the river due to gas pollution.
Such events are not uncommon, especially at the end of the summer and not necessarily related to magma movements inside the volcano.
Earthquakes under Katla during the past 7 days
Earthquakes under Katla during the past 7 days
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