Katla volcano news & activity updates
Katla volcano update: Earthquakes under SE part of caldera
Thursday Jan 05, 2017 09:55 AM | BY: T
Recent quakes under Katla volcano in Iceland (image: IMO)
An increased number of earthquakes has been occurred at shallow depths (few km) under the SW part of the ice-covered volcano's caldera.
Magnitude vs time distribution of recent quakes at Katla (IMO)
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.
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016
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. ... [more]
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]