Katla volcano news & activity updates
Katla volcano update: Volcano remains restless; increased melt water and H2S concentrations
Wednesday Aug 31, 2016 17:12 PM | BY: T
Earthquakes under Katla during the past 7 daysFollowing 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.
Monday, Aug 29, 2016
At least one earthquake of magnitude 4.5 occurred this morning under the volcano, the strongest recorded for Katla in recent decades. It was felt in nearby areas. ... [more]
Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014
An increased number of small earthquakes, up to magnitude 2.7, has been occurring near the surface or at very shallow depths under Katla's ice cap since yesterday. ... [more]
Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014
Earthquakes have been more frequent recently under the volcano recently. Most of them were small (below mag. 3) and shallow events. It is unknown whether these relate to magmatic movements inside the volcano, increased hydrothermal activity or are adjustments of the ice cap due to increased melting. ... [more]
Thursday, Aug 23, 2012
As can be seen from our new plots of recent nearby quakes, the number of earthquakes near Katla appears to have been gradually increasing during August. However, most quakes are very shallow and probably NOT caused by magmatic movements, but adjustments of the shallow hydrothermal system. A possibility is that this is a seasonal pattern caused by the warming and increased melting of ice during summer. ... [more]