Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano yesterday (07.June 2012)

Yesterday there was an earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. Over 50 earthquakes have been recorded so far. But this earthquake swarm stopped yesterday at 16:22 UTC. Most of the earthquakes where shallow, with depth less then 1 km. Largest earthquake had the magnitude of ML2.5. No harmonic tremor was detected following this earthquake swarm. But that is unlike what did happen last year, when a similar earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano yesterday (07. June. 2012). The main areas appear clearly on this map. The small dot SE on the caldera rim is an area that became active after last years minor eruption. What is taking place there is still an mystery. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

This activity appears to be similar to what happened around 9th July, 2011. But no harmonic tremors are taking place in Katla volcano following this earthquake swarm.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano on 9. July 2011. This good to compare the earthquake activity yesterday (image above this one). Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

The ML2.98 magnitude earthquake that happened in Katla volcano yesterday (07. June. 2012). This is the earthquake as it was recorded on Skeiðflöt geophone station. This image is released under Creative Commons License. See License page for more details.

Same earthquake as above. But filtered at 1Hz and this is how the earthquake appeared in Heklubyggð geophone station. This image is released under Creative Commons License. See License page for more details.

So far this is just an earthquake swarm. As there are no harmonic tremor signal taking place as the earthquake swarm is taking place. I do not know if there has been any glacier flood following this earthquake swarm. But if there was. It would mean that hydrothermal vents under Mýrdalsjökull glacier have been emptying out. It happens regularly in glacier such as Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

19 Replies to “Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano yesterday (07.June 2012)”

  1. I am planning to go to Iceland this summer for a month. I know it may be a stupid question and I know it is not possible to foresee, but do you think Katla may erupt in the near future, maybe during next months? It’s not I’m hesitating going to Iceland, it’s just to know, as there has been recently some activity in that zone. Thank you for your information and for your interesting website! 🙂

    1. It is impossible to know if Katla volcano erupts or not. But the signs are in that direction. But it does in fact not tell us if that eruption is going to be big, small or not even break the glacier at all. Like did happen last year.

      So you should go to Iceland as you are planning to do. I do not think that Katla volcano is going to be any problem.

    2. No, this is impossible. Come to Iceland as planned and if something happens follow the instructions of the icelandic civil protection. If you are not in an area, which is affected you might have to change your travel plans, but the icelandic hotels where quite flexible about that in the past. So no reason to worry.

    3. And the icelandic people are very fast to help!
      Last year was a little eruption under the glacier and the water distroyed a bridge on the main road. One day before our travel to iceland. With a 4×4 car we could use a mountain road instead. The tourist with normal rental cars for example were carried by a bus through the highland and there is waiting a new car. And after 7 days the new bridge was ready!
      Enjoy your trip!

  2. Thanks for putting such effort to keep this site up to date. We are leaving for Iceland on monday and we are also staying in a hotel near the waterfall Seljalandsfoss (?). I hope Katla will wait a while and will be quiet for now. Thanks again for this site, it is very interesting, I will keep checking it next week if we have wifi.

  3. In fact I’m going to a very small village in the east of Iceland. Of course I’m not doubting to go there, as I’m really expecting to go there because Iceland must be SO beautiful 🙂 I’m a bit worried about this volcano, but I’ve also read about the efficiency of Iceland society, so no worries, it was just to know. Thank you for your nice answers.

    1. The word Katla is a sort of female version of the word Ketill, which means Kettle.
      I suppose she got this name because its sort of a trademark for Katla to show slowly increasing quake activity from roughly mid summer until the end of the year.
      This is because the ice and snow melts and water goes trough cracks trough the ice where Katla heats it up, like a kettle.
      The big holes or kettles that formed in the glacier last year and the small flood that took the bridge down were formed by increased geo-thermal activity under the glacier.
      I would think its more likely, if she were to erupt, that it would happen rather late in the year.

  4. Small rise in flow and conductivity Mýrdalsjökull: Múlakvísl, V089
    It may not be anything significant, but a follow-up

      1. If the increase is very small, this may be the reason, I see weird blue line is the temperature which is very stable for a few days, looking at history has always been more rocking.

      2. In the news today about this earthquake swarm. It was noted that higher conductivity is taking place. This suggest that some hydro-thermal water is now coming from the glacier. But it is not a lot of water at this time.

  5. Looks like activity is increasing, is it true that historically Katla erupts about 2 years after Eyjafjallajökull?

  6. I will write about this later today. But currently I am have a bit of computer problems. So that is delaying few things for me.

    I need a new dvd drive for my server computer. Does anyone know where I can find one cheap or used in Denmark ?

    [Comment updated]

  7. It would be great to know exactly what is going on below the ice?

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