New earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

When I just think that Katla volcano had gone quiet. It starts a earthquake swarm to proof that I had it wrong.

This earthquake swarm in Katla volcano is not big. But the largest earthquakes where up to ML2.6 in size according to Iceland Met Office web page. This earthquake swarm is located in Katla volcano caldera, in the area that have been most active since July 2011. No harmonic tremor has followed this earthquake swarm.

The earthquakes in Katla volcano today. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

The tremor plot of the earthquake from Slysaalda SIL station. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

The earthquake swarm on Alftagröf SIL station. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

The earthquakes as they did appear on my geophone at Heklubyggð (Hekla volcano). This picture is released under Creative Common Licence. See the Licence page for more details.

This was most likely a small dike intrusion in Katla volcano caldera. But that seems to be the major driving force behind this earthquakes that are currently taking place in Katla volcano caldera. It is hard to know for sure if this earthquake swarm is going to continue or not. But this high earthquake activity in Katla volcano suggests that it is not far away from erupting. But it is impossible to know when a eruption might take place at current time.

Icelandic News about this earthquake swarm.

Smáskjálftar í Mýrdalsjökli (, Icelandic)

193 Replies to “New earthquake swarm in Katla volcano”

  1. Green stars on the way at Katla, 3.2 and 3.2. This is interesting. (from last thread)
    No eruption yet but getting warmer.

  2. Two 3.2 earthquakes, other must be duplicate, same time but different place. Both only 1,1km deep

    1. One MW3.2 at Godabunga and one MW3.2 at Habunga. At the places where most of the earthquakes of the past months took place.

  3. By coincidence part of my coursework this week has been about Katla. Guesstimates/timescale for a possible eruption? (hoping if/when it happens it’s not as bad as some are saying).

    1. Katla had a minor eruption earlier this year, under the ice, it failed to break through, VE 0-1. Possibly thats all we may get for a while yet.

    2. Earliest time for an eruption should be about may, but remember that it could easilly take a decade or more before an eruption happens.
      When it happens it will most likely be a VEI4+ to a large VEI5. And there would be about 1 chance in 10 that there will be an Eldgja eruption, which would be the most horkingly disturbing thing that could happen.

    3. For a less accurate prognostication…

      Try this.

      It’s a plot of Katla’s repose intervals from 130 AD to 1918 AD. (49.9487 year ave, 40.0401 year sigma)

      GVP lists the 1955 and 1999 eruptions as “uncertain,” and that certainly fits the likely category that the event earlier this year will fall into. (VEI-0).

      Why is it a less accurate prognostication?

      Easy. A volcano will erupt when it’s @#$% well ready, and not a moment sooner. I’ve run this against several volcanoes, and when they erupt usually can’t be called… even with a Poisson distribution. The Poisson seems like it would be best suited, but ya know what? Volcanoes don’t care. If it’s time it’s time. If not.. well, come back next year… or century, it will get around to it eventually.

      1. A beautiful plot proving this point:
        “We will see some time, perhaps!” 🙂

        Regarding the uncertain eruption, I do not think I am to far off if I am saying that there probably has been a couple of “uncertains” for every known eruption, and I would guess about ten eruptions that are bigger, but unknown due to being covered up.

        But one thing is rather clear, both Hekla and Katla likes to party alone.

  4. There is no sign of any eruptions going to happen soon at Katla.
    This is just another of the quake-swarms that are a part of the run-up to a potential future eruption.
    It will take a lot more before she will go. Pretty much you could expect larger EQs happening at high frequency non-stop for up to a month before eruption, and the harmonic tremoring will most likely over-whelm the SIL-stations.
    This is just Katla snorting in her slumber.

    1. She probably did not like being disturbed by the 5.0 EQ in the Jan Mayen Island Region on Tuesday so is a bit grumpy.

      1. Jan Mayen is way to far away to be affecting Katla. I would be more concerned about Beerenberg at Jan Mayen erupting again, it is after all almost as active at erupting as Hekla.

  5. Carl, Did u not mention that “strong” earthquakes on Iceland could put more stress on Hekla aswell? Or did I misunderstand u?

    1. Yes I have, but I think I should explain that a bit and caveat the hork out of it 🙂

      Hekla seems to be very sensitive about EQs to the west of her. Earthquakes here increases the pressure on her and could theoretically squeeze her like a zit. There is actualy some circumstantial evidence that this happened before the eruption in 2000.
      Earthquakes over at the Katla side seems to work in the other way, as t relieves pressure over at Hekla. Basic micro-tectonics actually.
      But, what would happen if there was a heavy quake around 6?
      If it happened over at Hengill I think it would be an eruption, I think that could happen even for a strong 4 by now. Katla, small quakes seems to relax Hekla, but I think that a 6 would be to much for a seriously overfilled Hekla.
      I hope this clarified things a bit.

      1. Understood, Carl 🙂 Thank you.

        But do have any information if Hekla has ever erupted just a few months after Katla or something? Or maybe while quaking has been going on before a Katla eruption? Because then you know that there is a tiny hole or not in your theory. Not that I don’t believe u, just curious 😛

      2. Actually Hekla and Katla seems to be excluding each other a bit from erupting. That is why I am saying that Katla activity has a relaxing effect on Hekla. But I do think it also goes the other way too.

        Hekla and Katla should statistically speaking have erupted almost five times in the same year. But it has in reallity only happened once in the same year.
        This are too few instances to prove that they relax each other, but good enough to say that they absolutly do not trigger each other in the normal sense of the word.

        As you know Hekla has been very active the last almost 60 years, and I think that activity has halted the activity over at Katla.

        But remember, I was not talking about co-eruptivity here. I was talking about EQs at Katla being able to trigger an eruption at Hekla. It is related, but actually very different. My answer was that small quakes in Katla should relieve pressure or be neutral in effect towards Hekla, but a large quake (for Iceland) between 4 – 6 could very well make Hekla go off.

      3. Christina, that is not the largest Iceland have ever seen, not even close actually. There was a 7m quake over at Tjörness fracture zone in 61(? Around that year). And back in the 1870s Theistareykjarbunga northern fissure swarm had a series of 6es.
        But it should be the largest in Iceland caught on video.

      4. They have erupted 1 time during the same year. It should have been roughly five times.

        Sadly there is no records of the quakes in Katla causing anything in Hekla.
        But that is not that interesting really. Why? Lack of historical data is due to lack of ALL data in this regard. Katla has not had serious quaking, nor erupted during the time humans have had equipment to measure it.
        But the most interesting question is this:
        Has Katla ever had heavy quaking at the same time that Hekla is filled at top capacity? Thar’s da rubb you know.

        I do not think Katla has had heavy quaking with an overfillled Hekla behaving like a jiggly jello in the vicinity. Everything makes her to start sloshing around by now you know.

  6. Whats the noise on Jon’s helicorder now? And have any of you ever seen any pattern in earthquakes before an eruption?

    Before Katla blows, will we see the same amount of earthquakes thats been seen around El Hierro, or is that different? And in that case, in what way is it different?

    I’m guessing you can’t be 100% sure that Katla is not gonna have an eruption tomorrow, but it is very unlikely.

    Does anyone have any idea about have many earthquakes that has been recorded around Katla since start of this year? And how many over M3.0? And what was the biggest…

    Hope someone is able to answer some of these questions! 😀

    1. Those are small earthquakes.
      Yes there is almost always patterns in it. But it is impossible to interpreting them exactly. Generally they will get stronger over time, come more frequently, and move from bottom up. But there are so many exceptions that it is almot useless. Eyjafjallajökull is a perfect example of this type of patterning during the last month before eruption started.

      No, I would be very surprised if Katla behaved anything like El Hierro.
      First of all we have the Peter-layer of sedimentary rock that halts magma progression and creates this flattened out pattern of EQs. Then we have the dead seismic zone in the sedimentary layer. So, no.
      I would guess we will something like Eyjafjallajökull, but about much more and with very much larger quakes. The pattern will also be more complex, with lateral fissuring quakes going back and forth at the same time as we have the bottom up feeder-tube quakes. We also have a very active and filled magma-reservoir. So, a more corny version of Eyjafjalljökull. Really scary alternative would be if we see a line of heavy quaking running from Katla towards Vatnajökull that goes on for a few days. By then I would cancel my flight tickets and buy a gas-mask.

      It is very unlikely that Katla erupts during the next 6 months. But she is most likely going into that direction.

      There is a link to a page with cumulative yearly quake counts, and cumulative strain on the IMO page, sadly I do not have the link book-marked on this computer.

      I think I got them all, but couldn’t link you up to the goodies 🙂

      1. Any one know if there are local accounts of the time leading up to the 1918 eruption so we could get a better feal for what Katla might do?

      2. Yes there is, the locals reported quakeing on and off for months before the eruption, and almost constant very heavy quakeing the days before onset of eruption.
        This is actually a fairly well documented eruption as eruptions go from the era before instrumentation. Vik existed back then too you know.

      3. What if fresh magma from Eyjafjallajokuls tube system found its way into Katlas magma reservoir.
        The difference in heat and chemical setup of new magma flowing into Eyjafjallajokull system and Katla’s deacades old magma could possibly trigger a explosion.
        The Fimmvorduhals eruption showed us how close those 2 volcanoes are to each other, so this could be the reason why Katla so often erupts shortly after Eyjafjallajokull.

      1. Yes I agree it is small but every now and again Vatnsfell has odd looking “tremors”. Is this anything to do with the hydroelectric station working or is it purely ground tremor? It doesn’t match up with wind strengths and I am presuming not a lot of traffic interference.
        Is there any history of volcanic events in the area? As they have built aa hydroelectric plant there I am presuming not a lot of geothermal activity.

      2. Scary alternative, but still possible. Onset of activity in the Eldgja fissure, harmonic tremoring due to magma infiltration. Would then be on a very minute scale. Then we should see a pattern of quakes shoot out from Katla towards Vatnajökul before an eruption starts.

  7. About HI04

    Julia sisi on Avcan FB
    Meeting this evening : Maria Jose Blanco del IGN dice que no saben a qué se debe el aumento de seísmos en La Frontera, que hay que esperar unos días. También dice que no saben si ha habido deformación en La Frontera, porque la estación HI04, que ella dijo que está en la zona del Pozo de la Salud

    IGN Maria Jose White says does not know what is giving rise to earthquakes in La Frontera, to wait a few days. It also says they do not know if there has been deformation in La Frontera, because the station HI04, which she said is in the area of the El Pozo de la Salud google traslation

      1. Ahhh… but SABI’s last update is

        2011.7629 -0.0115 0.0220 -0.0056 2011 10 6 279 2

        ie. 6 Oct 2011.

        HI04’s last update is 20 Oct 2011, even though other stations have started updating.

      2. Or SABI’s last update is:

        2011.8095 -0.0137 0.0234 0.0015 2011 10 23 296 1

        But still not 2011 10 27.

      3. Someone commented on AVCAN that HI04 stopped updating because of wi-fi problems, but that it has been reset yesterday and as soon as they process the data, they will put them up again.

    1. “because the station HI04,” and then something that seems to be unrelated to “because”

      “says they do not know if there has been deformation in La Frontera, because the station HI04…”

      Missing data? Doesn’t show deformation?

      Thank you Google idiots. “Do no evil” my @ss.

      1. This time it’s not google idiots, it’s because not the whole paragaphs was copied from AVCAN:

        Maria Jose Blanco del IGN dice que no saben a qué se debe el aumento de seísmos en La Frontera, que hay que esperar unos días. También dice que no saben si ha habido deformación en La Frontera, porque la estación HI04, que ella dijo que está en la zona del Pozo de la Salud (debe ser la que está en Arenas Blancas, AVCAN, ya recibieron las fotos?), ha estado inoperativa varios días por problemas con la wifi, y que hoy se ha arreglado, pero que todavía hay que esperar varios días para verificar si ha habido deformación, lo que dará la respuesta de si estamos ante una recolocación o ante una reactivación en la zona del Golfo.

        Translating from where google left of:

        …because the station HI04, which she said was in the zone of Pozo de la Salud (it must be the one at Arenas Blancas, AVCAN, did you receive the photos yet?), has been out out of order for a few days due to wi-fi problems, and which today has been fixed, but we still need to wait a few days to verify if there has been deformation, which will tell us if we can expect either relocation or reactivation in the zone of El Golfo.

        Although this last thing of relocation vs. reactivation is totally not clear to me?

      1. Then comes the question which GPS-station is than at the Tinganar-radiomast? Any ideas guys, because there is one there, and then comes that we have a new unknown station.

      2. I don’t know but the data would be very interesting and would confirm or add a new dimension to Lurking’s plots.

      3. Yes, but one should remember that not all GPS:es in the world is belonging to the volcanological network. That one could very well be one that belongs to Telefoníca or the Spanish TV-network.
        But the most probable is that it is a Loran-C(LDC) mast. “In recent years, LORAN-C has been used in Europe to send differential GPS and other messages, employing a similar method of transmission known as EUROFIX” (WIKI). And those differential GPS signals from a Loran mast requires the Loran-C(LDC) station to have a GPS antenna.

      4. Deformation monitoring.

        Back to October 25, 2011 at 19:34:

        Found some information about the network to which the Malpaso station belongs (or belonged):

        “GPS Networks for deformation monitoring at the Canarian Archipelago”

        “2.1. Canarian Archipelago Network.
        This network consists of 6 stations located over the islands of the Canarian Archipelago and of the
        permanent stations of Maspalomas (MAS1) in Gran Canaria, La Palma (LPAL) and Jameos del Agua
        (LACV) in Lanzarote. The stations are Bocinegro and Chinobre located in the island of Tenerife,
        Arrecife in Lanzarote, Baja del Trabajo in Fuerteventura, Garajonay in La Gomera and Malpaso in the
        island of El Hierro. In Figure 2 it is shown a map with its situation.”

    2. To clarify the HI04 ‘because’ line from Maria above : ” because the station HI04, which she said is in the area of ​​Pozo de la Salud (must be the one at White Sands, AVCAN, and received the photos?) has been inoperable for several days because of problems with the wifi, and now has been fixed, but still have to wait several days to verify if there has been deformation”

      1. No, it is out on a jetty in a shed where they have the chemical testing station CIE02 and the water chemical testing station of CIE06. Why have them spread out? It is much more effective to have them together.
        Le Pozo de la Salud is a village with a big hotel with a large swiming pool up in the northwestern third of the El Golfo-remnantcrescent.
        The jetty is quite visible on google earth.

  8. The IGN has got me curious again.

    There are two lists of EQ. One is a list of the last 10 days, the other a list of all earthquakes. From midnight to 6.05pm today the both have an equal number of quakes. One lists those 1.5 and over, the other was listing every EQ, now it appear to be 1 and over. The are none listed with a magnitude of less than 1. since the 25th October. When I looked closer at the lists, I realised that there are 6 EQ on each list not listed on the other list.

    How likely is it that given the recent activity, there be no quakes with a magnitude of less than 1??

    1. There’s a bit in Karen’s post below about them having difficulty in locating EQs because of the tremor. Maybe they just gave up with the 1s?

    2. IGN do not publish EQ’s less than 1.5.


      “Terremotos de los últimos 10 días en las Islas Canarias de magnitud igual o superior a 1.5 o sentidos:
      La información de terremotos de magnitud inferior se puede obtener en Catálogo y boletines sísmicos.”

      Or as translated by Google:

      “Earthquakes of the last 10 days in the Canary Islands of magnitude less than 1.5 or senses:
      The information on earthquakes of magnitude lower than can be obtained from seismic catalog and newsletters .”

      1. But they did include smaller than 1.5 in the swarm that started in July? So a comparison of EQ numbers before and after ten days ago (18th?) is now not possible. Wonderful. Lets hope they extract the <1.5 from the earlier data and map.

      2. “…IGN do not publish EQ’s less than 1.5…”

        Actually, they do. They might not do it there, but the plots that we have been doing use all published quakes.

        AVCAN – Sub mbLg 1.5
        boletin_HIERRO.txt – Sub mbLg 1.5
        IGN Wb interface – Sub mbLG 1.5 if you tell it to, but the data sucks (positional resolution gets rounded)

        Here is a histogram plot of the AVCAN/boletin_HIERRO.txt sub mgLb 1.5 quakes for the year verses the same period from the IGN web intereface.

      3. And no.. they don’t fill in the depth gap.

        What we have is simply a loss of small quake detection or a lack of small quakes.

  9. From Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias (AVCAN) FB page

    “New official information, in which becomes balance sheet and summary of as it is the eruptive process, who has not completed nor much less… and what I already said days before the eruption and the sign of the tremor and took place when the tremor signal, as they say in this article that the placement of a seismic array (Enrique) becomes necessary.


    27-10-2011… 20: 33 – Ministry of economy, finance and security school students may join back to the College of LA RESTINGA.

    The Roquillos tunnel will again function normally immediately, according to Committee Director of the Civil Protection Plan decided by volcanic risk (PEVOLCA), met this afternoon in Valverde. The reason that has generated this re-opening has been that the risk of seismicity that may lead to landslides has fallen.

    The Steering Committee of the PEVOLCA also agreed to return to La Restinga schoolchildren receiving their classes in El Pinar and encamados that remained evacuated.

    Despite these measures, the director-general of security and emergency, Juan Manuel Santana, insisted that “all Civil protection authorities remain prealertadas 24 hours” he continues, at La Restinga, in level 1 without risk to the population, “but we must remain vigilant”. In this sense, Santana reported guaguas necessary for a possible evacuation to remain in La Restinga, the deployment of the Red Cross will continue to be stored in Valverde and the emergency military unit will remain in El Hierro.

    The director-general of security and emergency recalled the recommendation of public health not bathing in areas affected by the English channel and was further reported that there will be a regular collection of water samples and fish for later analysis by the Coordinator for the marine reserve of La Restinga.

    As the evolution of the eruptive process, the Scientific Committee of the PEVOLCA pointed out that the deformation is stable, which is another symptom that the eruption has not completed.

    In reference to the seismicity is registering in the North of the island and there is 20/25 kilometers deep, the Committee pointed out that this requires a comprehensive study “because nothing can be concluded with the current data”. He also stressed that the constant presence of the tremor makes the location of earthquakes, which requires the placement of a seismic array for the characterization of seismic signals.

    Finally point out that it has proposed the integration of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) in the Scientific Committee of the PEVOLCA”

    Translation by Facebook.

    1. English channel? = canal de la mancha = Stain channel (where there is a stain in the channel?)


        El canal de la Mancha (en inglés, English Channel (‘canal inglés’); en francés, La Manche (‘La Manga’), es el brazo de mar del océano Atlántico que lo comunica con el mar del Norte, al oeste de Europa, y separa el noroeste de Francia de la isla de Gran Bretaña. El nombre no es más que una mala traducción del francés, ya que La Manche significa realmente ‘La Manga’, puesto que es la misma palabra que se emplea para designar a la parte de la camisa dentro de la cual se mete el brazo.

        El canal de la Mancha (in English, English channel); in French La Manche (La Manga = “the sleeve”) is a sea channel that connects the Atlantic ocean with the North sea, at the west of Europe and separates the north-east ot France from the islands of Great Britain. The name (La Mancha) is just a bad translation from the French, since La Manche actually means “La Manga”, i.e. the same word used for a part of the shirt into which one puts an arm (the sleeve).

  10. So in the last 26 hours there has been a 3.0 at 24km, 2 x 3.0 at 22km and now a 3.0 at 20km.

    1. Okay…

      Why is there a thermal anomaly at the Wiggins Uplift? (Just west of Mobile Alabama in the region of the southern coast area of the state of Mississippi.)

      … and …

      The heat flux(?) south and west of the Reelfoot Rift area extends into Arkansas under Guy and the Ozarks. Interesting. That also matches what I saw on borehole temps that I had for some of those sites.

      There also seems to be a warm spot in the area of what appears to be a psuedo ring fault complext in Oklahoma… West of the Nemaha ridge.

      … plus …

      The really warm area in the Rockies up from southern Colorado extends from the Rio Grande rift. THAT is a nice tidbit of info. I didn’t know that.

      Many thanks!

      1. Revisiting…

        Snaking though Lake Superior is the Mid Continent Rift/Rift zone (Keweenawan Rift) At about 1.1 billion years old, I had wondered if it could pop back to life at some time in the future and link up with the Rio Grande rift coming up from the South. (millions of year time frame)

        (BTW, the Reel foot Rift formed 750 million years ago)

        From the graphic, that seems less likely since the spine of that rift complex is pretty cold.

    1. First, there is nothing wrong with your plots. Don’t sell yourself short.

      If you can take constructive criticism, I have one or two.

      Try to make your graphic as clear as possible. It’s really easy to put together a plot that looks good on your screen but comes out messed up on someone else’s. One thing that can really mess you up is the re-scaling that some photo hosting sites use. I mainly use tinypic since the image there is how I push it to the server. I don’t have an account there, but they left the open hosting side open. All you need to do is answer a capcha to push to the server.

      You also get a rather short URL, which is the other suggestion that I have.

      Other than that, it’s good to see someone actually diving into the data!

      Welcome Aboard!

      1. Mr. GeoMichelangelo, generosity adds up to your curriculum!
        Keep doing your excellent work.
        Many thanks.

      2. Haven’t had enough coffee to look at data this morning but will look at tinypic.

        Thank you all for the feedback.

      3. I think the depth is called “Pro” (profundidad in Spanish). IGN call it Prof on the other page.

    2. Nice plots – think the ‘depth vs magnitude’ plot could be improved by switching the axis around

      depth on the ‘up and down’ axis – rather than across seems more intuitive to me

      I’m guessing that you chose not to pick that because the depths would be ‘upside down’ (deepest highest) so perhaps multiplying them all by -1 to make them all negative depths – then the deepest would end up lowest on your graph.

      Edward 🙂

    3. Karen many thanks for these plots. Like Lurking says ” Do not sell yourself short.” You are brave to attempt this and have a good result. I am far to lazy to even try…. there again….Last time I did something like this it was many years ago and all by hand on graph paper and took hours and hours and days ……With the help of a PC……
      It would be a new challenge!

  11. Karen and Lurking

    Thanks very much for the visuals. Can I ask a favour, now, Karen? I am focussing on the area W and NW Frontera. Could you extrapolate the data for that area? Or am I asking a huge piece of work of you… There are also some shallow Atlantico quakes further north, but it’s probably best to exclude those.

    Otherwise – it is interesting to note that over-all, to date, the quakes have remained largely within the same band of strength and depth.

    Thanks you very much indeed.

    1. Actually, I am very interested in those pesky Atlanting quakes that have appeared in the area above the new quakesite. I would really like to see a more detailed plot for that area without the old “over the place” quakes… 🙂
      Sometimes I think there is a pattern to them, but my brain is good at seeing ghosts of patterns where there is none.

      1. Patterns may be: rifting and / magma injection. But very difficult to spot in 10,000 quakes.

      2. Nah, I am interested in those deeper ones that have been during the last few days… The old ones are actually not so interesting since almost all of them are load-readjustments as magma presses against Peters sedimentary rock layer.

  12. More about HI04
    Maria Angeles, the HI04 is the station of IGN located in the western of Golfo, near the coast and as a kilometer from the scarp of the landslide which resulted the valley of the gulf. It is NW of Tanganasoga and was recorded … an increase in the deformation. A little beyond, near the coast is the HI03, NE Tanganasoga the deformation shows no respect to the border station. This is because the problem (whether a fault, fissure, or swelling) that is causing the deformation in the horizontal is between the two stations (vertical not given). It is the only one that gives information on what is happening and it is not going or not updated or is there a glitch … this is Spain … (Enrique) from Avcan .

    1. Cute! 🙂
      And you can also see how the resolution of mapping sensors improved from 1998 until now – there is much more detail in the latter surface than in the former.

      1. and image-process software innovations and improvements …. not to mention much improved number-crunching power

    2. Thanks Diana. Hope you are healing well. Indeed shows (in my mind) there is much thicker lava in the “walley” down from Bob than previously known. Them small cones (below in middle of walley) even might be small “artifical” crater-cones, such are known from Iceland, where lava flowed over old lake sediments (muddy ground), heating it up, and steam geysers pushing part of the overrun lava into “new craters”. To me it appears mabe 5 – 10 times more material than previously calculated has come up. Still small eruption.

    3. Thanks Diana!
      Have immediately included it in ER – great image and looks evident now (the valley)
      It would have been nice to have a scale on it, but let’s not to quick complain here.

    4. Interesting, the valle submarino is the actual rift. Then I was correct that a fissure opened up inside of the actual rift.
      Then we can safely say that Baby Bob is a true rifting eruption.
      What does that tell us? Well, rifting fissure eruption behave differently than center volcanos. First of all they are vampyric on the magma-reservoir, they vacum-suck magma from the magma-reservoir, they have a tendency to open up and close fissure as they wish, and they normaly go on for quite some time.
      And rifting fissure eruptions have a tendency to not suck up magma from the reservoir, but after a while the back pressure can become so big that they start to draw directly from the feeder tube into the magma below the MOHO. Secondly, the end result if they go on for long or have large effusive eruptions, they can cause subsidizing caldera formations like Askja.

      1. @Carl. Good you noticed too, this IS fissure eruption. This is worst case scenario you paint, do not know exact details of what can happen next but all that plausible. It can go on for months.

        There would be smart move by the respective government to evacuate the not needed popuation off the island. Do it now, In orderly and origanised form. Have all normal folks belongings and furiture packed into small containers and ship to safe place on another island. This was done in the Icelandic, Heimaey Eruption, starting in January 1973. Only security personell, police, rescue workers and them need be, were kept on to monitor, that included the press. Good and timely info is the key to success, soon as something happenes. It has started. No doupt about this. Not everybody here knows that the Icelandic RUV put up a TV camera and broadcast it live, when normal every day program was not on. Thus we could watch how the volcano slowly buried the town, but not all, fortunately. I am on the opinion that leaving the island now is best, before more drastic happens.

      2. Hello! I have been reading here for awhile, and I appreciate all the info the various posters have offered. Thank you all. All the technical stuff is really interesting.

        I agree with the above poster. What seems lacking here is a solid evac plan that will work at the last minute. How do you evacuate a population of 10,0000 (?) with little notice? I read here that the government has some evac plans in place with boats…but now the problem is perhaps developing, what island is going to be safe? And who can you count on, to sail into a dangerous port? I’m glad I don’t have to make plans for all those people. But, the people should start their own plans now, and not particularly depend on the government. Help the government by getting themselves ready, just in case.

        I have been reading what other governments in other countries did to minimize losses, and I have to say, it’s a lot easier if you are not an island. But what strikes me is that it is typical that people tend to disbelief of their situations. Most people died because they took no action, and hoped the problem would go away.

        I must say, there is an unusual amount of seismic and volcanic activity around the world at this time. While I am not a doomsayer, it is peculiar to say the least.

  13. The new things you learn about Iceland from this blog / forum.. Eldgja, askja & Katla… watch out world! just goes to show there’s more happening to Iceland than just a regular mid-ocean ridge.

  14. Good news. The geophones and the hardware is here in Iceland. I am going to get it next week when it has cleared customs and I have paid it.

    I expect to set-up the geophones in December, as I do not have time until then due to school I think. But I am looking into it doing it early. But I am not yet hopeful about it due to cost and stuff like that.

    1. does your setup require AC power and an near constant internet connection ? is it possible to have a remote site without spending your life savings, by that I meant powered by solar power and using occasion satellite(?) uploads ??

      1. I place my setup in houses with constant electricity. That is far better and cheaper then solar powered setup that costs a lot of money.

        I am all for quality. But I take what I can get. Since I am not yet a billionaire (but I plan to be one…soon).

      2. To quote Gary Cooper.
        “Being rich doesn’t make you happier. But it is nicer to cry in a limousine, than in a public bus.”

        Takes a heck of a lot of work, selling your soul, and a good bit of luck to become a billionaire. I would seriously think about not becoming one if I where you Jón, you would loose everything that is you, and that you care about. There is a vast difference between having a bit of money so you do not have to worry about things, and what happens to you on the road to becoming a billionaire.

  15. For those interested, i have published quite a big update on Hudson in the ER article + a flyby video – looks quiet spectacular. You will not hear a lot about it as it is mostly cloudy over there and as the volcano is relatively far away from the populated areas

  16. Please note that comments containing links to godlikeproductions and similar web sites won’t get published here. They go straight to trash. I do not even bother to look at them.

    I do not condone or publish material in comments from scaremongering web sites on this blog.

    1. Why not? They do the same thing to a competing scare site.

      I don’t think any denizens of GLP have room to complain.

      1. Okay, still feeling very very blond here… Now I have seen an animated wand emitting stars as it waves around. But what that had to do with scaremongering sites hating each other I do not know… I probably need a drink 🙂

      1. What’s that new line on the spectrogram at 13hz? Showed up at 13:30 today. Must be mechanical since it’s so non-deviating…?

      2. Not saying that it’s the cause, but Spain uses 50hz power lines.

        12.5 Hz is one of the subharmonics of that.

      3. …And, just as suddenly, with the quake at 17:12hrs, it disappears again. Now ain’t that a thing?

      4. I reiterate… I’m not saying it is related… just that a subharmonic falls pretty close. Personally, I would expect some modulation of it as would probably be erratic.

  17. Hi people. I’m sorry I did not get to answer you last night. Thank you so much for all the information I got. Carl, as you are the one that always answers me, the thanks goes especially to you.

    I have to say that this blog would not be the same without you. And offcourse Jon, that is a great writer and has a great mind for science. And I can’t forget the rest of you either. All you people makes this blog into something really out of the ordinary.

    My guess is that this blog is gonna be remembered for it’s SCIENTISTS – all of you here that put your minds together to solve a problem!

    This blog has really given me a hobby and something that really makes me happy. (Maybe a little be kinky, but yes volcanoes makes me happy)

    So thank you, Jon for writing this blog. And thank you people for following it and being a part of this great little “community” 😀

    1. I wonder when we will get our first vulcophiliac here? Would be fun if we could entice him, or her, to try to hump Hekla or Katla during an eruption… *ewg*

  18. Pro is the depth, I think (profundidad in Spanish). On the other page, they call it Prof.

    1. Hola, Maria.
      No creo que tengan algo que ver.
      I don’t think so… Those are tectonic.

    1. OOps I got click happy and also at Skrokkalda
      There seems to be an earthquake spike but I don’t know where it is from. The wind is not too strong but I guess it could be stonger locally. It just looks odd and it is showing on most Sil sites to a greater or lesser intensity.

    2. Something bad I think. It shows from Slysalda to Skildingaholshraun at Theistarykjarbunga. The highest reading seems to be Skrokkalda, so I guess it is emaneting from Hámarínn. Only thing I can think of is a magma infusion into the extended fissure swarm of Bardarbunga.
      But it is a bit early to say. I hope it stops really fast, because you know what I mean with the extended fissure swarm of Bardarbunga.

      1. I do indeed Carl. I just hope it is something else! It does show up even on the Reykjanes peninsular though. That is why I thought it may be a large earthquake from somewhere else.

      2. It was an earthquake, not a harmonic tremoring. It looked so much like a very heavy harmonic tremoring, but now it has turned into a normal EQ spike.
        And the only feature that could do that both to the north and south of Hámarínn would have been Veidivötn.

      3. The only non Icelandic quake nearby is a very odd quake at 2.1m 1km at Storvatnet in Norway. And that couldn’t have caused anything that would show up in Iceland.
        But Storvatnet is odd… I wonder if it could be an old munitions dump that blew up?

      4. Hi Ursula. yes ! I agree it is even showing on UK helicorders. See post below.

  19. Jón, are you 100 percent sure that the activity during the last 24 hours on your helicorder is human made noise? Could you please check it closely again to make sure.

      1. KarenZ, not all EQs show in red, the red is attributed by a pattern recognition algorithm, and the algorithm in Jóns software is actually not the most exact to be honest. It succeds in about 1 out of 4 quakes to make them red.

      2. Yepp, I think so to now. When it was showing as a harmonic (before it changed back) I did not think so, but now it is the only thing that fits the bill.

      3. If it’s any consolation, seismically Iceland is about 88° to 90° from the Peruvian quake, and would have started seeing the P-wave about 12 min 55 sec after the quake.

  20. @Karmela (from the last blog-post where she posted 2 nice links)

    Gracias por el enlace.
    Sí, Islandia es un país muy hermoso. Me gustaría que todo puede ir allí y hacer una fiesta el próximo verano.

    Estoy empezando a sentir lástima que me parece que han cambiado el nombre de señor Armas en “Perfidio”. Supongo que nunca se librará de ese nombre ahora.
    Lo siento por mi español malo.

    Thank you for the link.
    Yes, Iceland is a very beautiful country. I wish we all can go there and have a party next summer.

    I am starting to feel sorry that I seem to have changed mister Armas name into “Perfidio”. I guess that he will never get rid of that name now.
    Sorry for my bad spanish.

    1. Hmm….

      “Perfidio” –> Google Manglation –> “Perfidy” –> TFD –> “1. Deliberate breach of faith; calculated violation of trust; treachery. 2. The act or an instance of treachery.”

      Yeah, I could see where someone might take issue with that… provided that Gargle did an accurate translation.

      1. It does, I do not get it how I could have gotten his name into that. I was totally convinced his name was that. Do not ask how my brain works some times. That would take a lot of beer to fail to explain.
        But, I was rather stumped to see that it have caught on among the El Hierrans.

  21. New plots. This time for All Frontera (N, NW, W, SW, S, SE and E (no NE)). Extracted from IGN’s site.

    I have included EQs with a depth of 0 km as IGN reports EQ in km so I am assuming that these are EQs with a depth of less than 1km.

    Note total number of EQs published at the time of download was 10,407. This is split:

    W FRONTERA 3,302
    SW FRONTERA 5,681

    Locations excluded from the plots:
    S EL PINAR 51
    W EL PINAR 51
    SW EL PINAR 337

    1. Jon, please delete my comment of 19:52 (currently stuck in moderation) as it is now duplicated. Many thanks, KarenZ

    1. They are a sign that a new feeding mechanism is opening up, especially since they seem to be going upwards. It is a rift opening, one that is not that well known I think.

  22. Previous attempt got stuck in moderation so second attempt for new plots. This time for All Frontera (N, NW, W, SW, S, SE and E (no NE)). Extracted from IGN’s site.

    I have included EQs with a depth of 0 km as IGN reports EQ in km so I am assuming that these are EQs with a depth of less than 1km.

    Note total number of EQs published at the time of download was 10,407. This is split:

    W FRONTERA 3,302
    SW FRONTERA 5,681

    Locations excluded from the plots:
    S EL PINAR 51
    W EL PINAR 51
    SW EL PINAR 337

    Plots attached to this post:


      1. Not a prob. Most people don’t like 5km long links anyway.

        BTW, I second Carl’s note about the sizing of the plots. Very nice.

    1. I did not know that you wished to see me dance naked infront of the Hekla Dalek 🙂
      Well, I guess that anything can happen during the upcoming volcanic BBQ atop Búrfell (if it is still there) next summer.
      Which reminds me that we perhaps soon should start setting a date for it… 🙂

      1. No, no. Just the dance and hat part, if it so happens. Summer preferably, too cold untill June… 🙂 Midnight BBQ around 21 June, then no sunset and everybody can watch via webcam. 🙂
        Just a suggestion. Lets others decide.

      2. I would definitely prefer it during the summer… Especially if I am to BBQ my hat in all natural garb… Diana would definitly prefer if it was not too cold 😉
        So late june or july sounds perfect to me.
        Ah, we can start during the day and keap it up through the night… Was it Rick who promised to assist with driving the beer up Búrfell? Or perhaps chartering a buss would be better.

      3. Nope.
        You have to dance naked, hat, in front of both Katla’s RUV and Mila cams.
        Funnier if it’s winter time. (No suntan)
        But only if Katla goes first.

      1. Not that many for this area but note that this excludes 50% v approx of all quakes and it is “not that many” out of 10,000 odd.

        On the other hand, they are occuring in the so-called dead zone and have been since July. They were just very difficult to see in 10,000 and easy to dismiss.

        I can see why Jon is concerned.

        Check against’s animation. It’s easiest to select the cummulative for each day rather than spend xxx hours watching the whole animation.

  23. I know that there is supposed to be no physical connection between Eyjafjallajökull and Katla, but history does suggest that Katla erupts within 2 years of Eyjafjallajökull . The lastest swarm at Katla is on a direct line from Eyjafjallajökull and Katla.

  24. Carl le strange…. how can you say that katla and one that went off last year are not connected wen no one knows what is underneath either?? No one can physically cut between the two and have a look! No offense intended. Why is this the case if its true. im very interested.

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