Earthquake swarm continues close to Herðubreið. Earthquake activity in Katla volcano

The earthquake swarm that started in Herðubreið two days ago continues. So far over 100 earthquakes have been recorded. Most of them are less then ML2.0 in magnitude. But this earthquake swarm continues at slow rate. This is not a big earthquake swarm. Based on number (in my system) of earthquakes pr hour. But in my system, a large earthquake swarm has tens to hundreds of earthquakes pr hour.

The earthquake swarm in Herðubreið. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

A bit higher resolution of the earthquake swarm in Herðubreið. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

Katla volcano

There is some earthquake activity in Katla volcano. But it is not high. There was one small earthquake this evening (it did appear on my Skeiðflöt geophone). But it has not been reviewed. So both size and depth are going to change.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano during the past few days and until today. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

The earthquake activity in Katla volcano is also showing interesting pattern during this week (Week 20). It seems that earthquake activity is focusing on one point inside the caldera. It is hard to know for sure what this means at current time. But it is my opinion that it is not a good sign. But so far, nothing major has been happening inside Katla volcano caldera at this time. Until that happens, it is just best to keep watch and keep speculations within the amount of what is going on.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano during Week 20 (current week). Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

Beside this activity. It has been quiet in Iceland now for several weeks now. That is not un-common to happen during some years. While other years are often more active, some years are quiet. It is not clear yet if the year 2012 is going to be quiet year in Iceland or not.

32 Replies to “Earthquake swarm continues close to Herðubreið. Earthquake activity in Katla volcano”

    1. It is just a cloud. When an eruption starts in Katla volcano. When ever that might be. You will see the difference between could and ash cloud.

  1. It looks to me like seismic activity is slowly starting to increase within the katla caldera.

  2. I suppose we’ll know sooner or later what (if anything) will happen.

  3. On the earthquake map of Mývatn , two calderas of Askja are shown by “jagged” lines. One is the crater lake and the other is a larger caldera from an eruption perhaps 10,000 years ago. Further out from the crater lake, there is another line which is approximately 30km in diameter, meaning that it has an area of perhaps 700 square kilometres. Is this an extremely old caldera or does this line represent something else? There another three similar sized areas marked in the same way to the north of Askja.

  4. Looking for some Icelandic local knowledge here. If there is a subglacial melt at or near Askja, where would the flood waters manifest themselves, Jokulsarlon? Or is that confined to Grimsfjall?

    1. Askja is not covered by a glacier. And then you are in the wrong corner – Jökulsárlon is south of Vatnajökull, Askja is north of it.

      1. thanks guys, thats why I wanted local knowledge. I had assumed that because of all the talk of the ice melting on askja lake. Now I know better. You dont grasp these things until you visit a country and get a better feel for it. All I have is data and sattelite views.

        I’m watching that cluster closely, it is starting to look like the new favourite over katla.

  5. Since the UK press has the bad habit of twisting what I say here. I am going to choose my words more carefully.

    Note on infolinks. I am considering to quit using infolinks once I get up to $50 USD with them. But at the moment I am at $28 USD. This link in text ads bother me. So there is more chance then less I am going to remove them from this web site.

  6. Even though there is no icecap on top of Askja, the lake a a considerable volume of water, so if there would be a eruption under or close to the lake, it could make the eruption more explosive.

    There was actually a interesting event at the same time as when the ice on the lake melted.
    FFA has a few huts in this area, and one of them close to Askja, called Dreki, was flood damaged.

    Someone who looked at the damage said that the volume of water in that area had been 2-3 times more than would usually be expected.

  7. This seems to be a eventful day in Iceland. Earlier tonight a Iceland air Boeing 757-208 made a emergency landing at Keflavik airport because of damage to the gear under the left wing, one wheel fell off.
    She made a perfect landing with no injuries or damage.
    The plane was heading to Orlando and was reversed when the problem was discovered. USAF offered to send 2 F16 fighters to photograph the damages, but it was not needed as the damage could be seen from the ground when the plane flew very low over the airport.

    Now there is a new problem, a ship with a crew of 10 got a net in the prop 1-2 nm from Skardsfjara.

  8. Bit slow with updates…that´s why the traffic has come to a halt on your blog. If you want people to donate money and gear you definitely need to step up! A lot of your posts lately have been to casual with no depth- Most of us coming here have more than a fundamental grasp of Iceland or volcanoes so a bit more analytic posts would be a blast… I know you can do better than this, hope so anyway.


    1. There is little to nothing happening in Iceland. I have also been moving from Iceland to Denmark (that has taken a lot of time and work. It also seems that I am going to move again within Denmark soon, when I am not sure yet). But I do update regularly. But unlike many other blogs. I do appear to have serious effect based on what I write (from what I hear). So I have to be careful what I write and how I write it.

      As for in-depth details. It sometimes is just like that details are often lacking from the data that I get. For instance, the earthquake swarm at Herðubreið was just a earthquake swarm. Nothing more, nothing less. So while quit times are up on us in Iceland I do my best to find stuff to write about. But that is far from easy to do.

      But when something happens. I write about it, in as much details that I can do.

      1. You are doing just fine Jon! Always correct info, and at appropriate times.

      2. Yes Jon, agreed you are doing absolutely fine, dont take it to heart. The fact is you are the only person using what few resources you have to maintain a very informative site. When people criticsise that, it is due to lack of understanding that you cannot actually make seismic/volcanic events happen.

        There are many seismology sites on the web, many contain much older information, state of the art sites usually keep things under their hats so as not to cause media frenzies. Only through collecting data, local knowledge, and helpful knowledgeable members can any site be an interesting one, and there is why you have such a consistant audience.

  9. morning all

    Could that 4.2mag have been a foreshock to the bigger 6.0mag same location and near the same depth. there could lots of
    aftershocks now there alredy been a 5.1mag. what the history of massive earthquakes in this region, do you think there more
    follow in the future .

    1. Hard to say… but I bet the prosecutor is busy looking for leads on what geologist to charge with it.

    2. Yes. It seem that the ML4.2 earthquake was an fore-shock to the big earthquake. But there has been an earthquake activity earlier in this area. But it is impossible to know for sure if that is actually connected. Might well be. Then again, it might not.

  10. I did record the Mw6.1 earthquake clearly here in Aabenraa in Denmark. I am going to write a blog post about this earthquake in Italy later today.

  11. Jon,

    Can you phonetically tell us how to pronounce this volcano name? I thought Eyjaf was bad. I think you will drive the media people around the world insane with this one if it goes.

    1. Herthubreith the first th is like th in the, the second like in these

  12. The Welsh can though. They have place names like Dolgellau – pronounced the same as Icelanders would read it.

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