During the night of the 16th of November, 2011 there was a new earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. This earthquake swarm is a part of ongoing pattern in Katla volcano. This pattern started after the small eruption that took place in Katla in July 2011. It was observed yesterday that there was a deep earthquake in Katla volcano, with the depth of 28 km. This earthquake did most likely did happen due to a dike intrusion deep inside Katla volcano, but it might well be that this was just a normal earthquake. It is hard to know that for sure. But deep dike intrusions are well known in Katla volcano. Sometimes they are followed by a harmonic tremor for few moments or minutes.
The largest earthquake in this earthquake swarm. Its size was ML2.35 and it had the depth of 4 km. This picture is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see the top bar (there is a link there) for more information on this.
This was a long period earthquake. But this is the only clue at the moment that Katla volcano is going to erupt soon. But when is still a unknown question at present time.
The frequency analysis of the ML2.35 earthquake. As can be seen here this earthquake has really low frequency component. But most of the energy goes into about 2Hz frequency. This picture is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see the top bar (there is a link there) for more information on this.
It is impossible to know how many earthquake swarm Katla volcano is going to have before it erupts. But this is a one way street that Katla volcano is now on. For us humans, we just have to wait and see what happens next. Nothing else can be done when it comes to forces of nature. When the time comes, get out of the way of Katla volcano.