Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano caldera

This morning there was an earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. This is the first earthquake swarm of the year 2012. This earthquake swarm is most likely created by an dike intrusion. Based on how dense the earthquake swarm appears to be. But that is often an sign of an dike intrusion in an volcano. How this earthquake swarm is going to evolve over the next few hours impossible to know for sure. That depends on what the magma is going to do that is creating this earthquake swarm.

The earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. It is dense as can be on this picture from Iceland Meteorological Office. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

The earthquakes can be seen on my geophone web page here (English). The geophone at Skeiðflöt is going to go up this week. So all activity in Katla volcano is going to appear more clearly following that. Sadly. No high resolution of the earthquakes that take place is not going to be available until I move back to Denmark. As my main earthquake computer is offline and is going to be so until that time.

I am going to post updates to this if anything more happens. But it might take a while as I am travelling today to Reykjavík area and tomorrow I am going to Skeiðflöt tomorrow.

15 Replies to “Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano caldera”

  1. Oh please post a pic of your “earthquake computer”!! I’ve always wanted to see one! 🙂

    ps. the Katla updates are my favorites!

      1. This is from Eruptions blog:

        Santorini, Greece

        The seismicity at Santorini in Greece continues – however, the situation has become confusing as there have also been a number of earthquakes nearby between Santorini and Crete that have gotten people’s attention as well. However, regarding the volcano in question, the most important news was some of the first pieces of information about what might be happening at Santorini. An article in a Greek newspaper this weekend has information from Greek scientists watching the volcano. The article mentioned that the caldera has seen ~1 cm/yr deflation between 1993-2010, but since then, the caldera has inflated slightly. The inflation is to the north side of the caldera and seems to be correlated with seismic swarms. Carbon dioxide emissions are currently at 39 tonnes/day, which is relatively low in the grand scheme of volcanoes (usually we think hundreds of tonnes/day), but is a change for Santorini. The seawater in the caldera has also been warming, although the extent of this warming is not mentioned. Finally, in the most ambiguous piece of information, an intrusion has been inferred at 4 km depth north of Nea Kameni where the seismicity is centered. The volume has been listed at “107 cubic meters”, however I am fairly confident that it should be 107 cubic meters, which is a fairly small volume. Take all of this news in total, and it does appear that magma is intruding under Santorini – the question remains: will it erupt and if so, how large of an eruption might we expect.

      2. Well, 100 cubic meters is not much, roughly equal to the volume of a typical living room in western countries. However, if it is 10^7 cubic meters (possible but not likely), then it amounts to VEI1 or VEI2 (assuming 1-10 % of it is eruptible).

  2. Tuesday
    31.01.2012 11:19:02 63.648 -19.320 0.1 km 2.9 99.0 3.6 km WNW of Goðabunga

  3. Thank you very much Jón for the latest helicorder addition to your network. Very nice to see (rather noisy now, but likely due storm or rain) but adds to resources if IMO system in area (or its servers) fails. Adds a good perspective on what is going on in and around Katla Volcano. Newest graph is at bottom, “Skeiðflöt” alredy showing “nice” (nasty) spike of recent EQ in middle if caldera.

  4. Heads up everyone:

    Alaska Cleveland Volcano Alert
    New status is Orange

    A new Lava dome is building in the summit crater.

    It was 130 feet in Diameter as of January 30, 2012.

    On February 1, 2012 the AVO/USGS issued a Volcanic Activity Notice on the Cleveland Volcano raising the status from YELLOW to ORANGE.

    A ORANGE status indicates that the Cleveland Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, OR eruption is underway with no or minor volcanic-ash emissions [ash-plume height specified, if possible].

    Complete details are available at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (

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