New earthquake swarm in Katla volcano on 11. June 2012

Today from 04:00 to around 08:00 UTC this morning. There was an earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. This earthquake swarm was not large in the magnitude of the earthquakes. With the largest earthquakes being around ML2.0 in magnitude. There has been slight increase in conductivity in Múlakvísl river following this earthquake swarm. That suggests water is now leaking from hydro-thermal vents in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. So far no change in harmonic tremor has been seen. So for now, this are just earthquakes taking place inside Katla volcano caldera.

The earthquake swarm in Katla volcano this morning. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

It is difficult to know what happens next in Katla volcano. As it is bit unclear what is exactly taking place in Katla volcano. With the lack of harmonic tremor following this earthquake swarms. This simply might just be normal summer earthquake swarms taking place. But Katla volcano is well known for that type of behavior during the summer in Iceland. With the most earthquake activity taking place in July and August.

31 Replies to “New earthquake swarm in Katla volcano on 11. June 2012”

  1. I think it is ice melting and collapsing, also due to hydrothermal activity. It would be really interesting to get aerial photos on the area now!

  2. One week ago I flew over Myrdalsjokull and I saw nothing special. That is, the cauldrons created in July 2011 were covered by new snow, and no new cracks were detected. So, I guess this is only minor activity. I have doubts that Katla will erupt this summer, I think we will still wait at least 1 or 2 years more.

    With no new and significant deep earthquakes under Katla, how can we expect an eruption in soon? No, I think we are still far away from it. We need to see first an increase in significant earthquakes, from the deep upwards. Something that happened before Eyjafjallajokull and which has not been seen yet in Katla.

    1. Dear Irpsit,

      If I remember right, Jón has said and I believe one of the Sanders too, that if the conduits are open / free, it’s not always
      necessary to have significant or deep earthquakes, before an eruption takes place.
      Kind regards, Henk

      1. Yes I have read that, though I cannot fathom how a conduit can empty itself of magma, logic would suggest it cooled insitu and closed the conduit – clearly logic and volcanology are not good bedmates.

        Regards a post I made some time ago about my noticing a correlation and moon/solar phases over a period of months, I found this article on USGS –

        It stikes me that we should be plotting graphs on this and in particlar planetary full or partial alignments alongside seismic/volcanic activity, or does anyone already have that info?

      2. I said that idd, but that was because Jon said that and somebody else asked. I only replicated the answer 😛
        I can however imagine that when pressure builds up in the chamber we will see a lot more quakes than we are se
        eing now


  3. I have noticed that there has been the odd EQ at depths of around 12km, couldn’t this be a sign of magma moving up, heating the ground and ice in the caldera, and therefore cause this hydro thermal activity?

  4. Mýrdalsjökull: Múlakvísl; V089
    Conductivity goes up, the most curious is the pH is maintained over 3
    a low value may cause an acidic water?

    1. If the pH is 3 that means that the water is already pretty acidic. If it drops to lower values it becomes pretty
      dangerous in terms of acidity.

  5. The problem with Katla is that we don’t know the early signs of an imminent eruption (if there are any) since all the modern monitoring devices were not available at that time.

    But from what I can gather from different sources, I think that Katla is different than Eyjafjallajokull. The small eruptions under the glacier indicate that the volcano is already full with magma, but the pressure is not sufficient. It is some kind of steady-state, I think. Probably there has been a slow but constant influx of magma in the past centuries, but it was never enough to trigger an eruption. But a new influx of magma, accompanied by some deeper earthquakes might be enough to start the eruption. However, in my personal (and non-professional) opinion I think that we’ll only see a few deep earthquakes with a bigger magnitude (3-4) and not a long series.
    But it is impossible to predict when this is going to happen. It could be this year or even 5 years later.

    And that’s what I find so fascinating… I’m really curious to find out who was right in the end: the “long-term, deep earthquakes”-fraction or the “short series of earthquakes”-fraction. In any case, with all the new technology scientists will certainly know more about Katla to predict future eruptions after the event. For the people in Iceland (especially in Vik) I still hope that the volcano will continue to rest for awhile.

      1. There are always some warning signs, like in 1918 a slight uplift in the east part of Myrdalsjokull was noticed, and the west part, facing Myrdal, had receded slightly, so that rocks were visible that had not been seen earlier due to ice.
        Also Mulakvisl river had very little water all summer and rivers running to the east had the smell of sulfur.

        The eruption started Oct 12th. The first big quake came at 1300 and the eruption started 2 hours later.

        I suppose we might see the kettles forming in the ice and the flood last year as a warning sign, even the Eyjafjallajokull eruption. Or it might be nothing.

  6. For those who donate directly to me via bank account. Please note that my bank account at Nordea has been closed down. It does not work and any donation send to that account will be returned to you.

    I am getting a new bank account with Sydbank in Denmark. I am going to post new IBAN and SWIFT codes when I get them so people how want to donate directly can do so.

    Thanks for the support!

  7. I am in the same boat as you, but i can live here in Iceland, i found a work that i can attend. Tell me why i should donate money to you so you can live (not in Iceland)why. You have edited and delited my erlier post so, if you do that i will find other ways to spread this.

    1. Please take your paranoia ideas somewhere else. I have also not deleted any of your comments. All of your three comments are still here on this blog. As you left them.

      It is possible that your comment where classified as spam. But I do not see how that would happen. As I check the spam folder regularly for false positives.

  8. That was interesting, click and strate in… did not go past editing last time. I am just grumpy why we should pay for Jóns live becuse i know what disability pay is. Because hi cant make up his mind in what contry hi will want to live, and in Iceland is the geologist dream. DK and SE has a little or (slow) geologe place for that …….I am not pikkin at you Jón but you delited my last post X 2, and that was a plane cuestios. I am willin g to donate and use my car to help you plant hardware around , just there has to bee clear that this is about hardware software not for old drem in scool in another contry…Answare and correct my as soon as possible.
    Br. to you all Elmar

    1. Please take your paranoia ideas somewhere else. I have also not deleted any of your comments. All of your three comments are still here on this blog. As you left them.

      It is possible that your comment where classified as spam. But I do not see how that would happen. As I check the spam folder regularly for false positives.

  9. Thanks for fast answare Jón, but as i wrote i im willing to help you on this project
    like in transport to the hardware for Maintenance, because i like the idea of this forum. But if i can live here why cant a volcanik nut like you, you get a afsláttur in the phone companys if you are a (aumingi).Disability card.

    1. This are not houses but hay bales in foil. It is haying time in Iceland.
      Every time I see this balls I think they look like tic-tac-peppermints 🙂

  10. (quote)Please take your paranoia ideas somewhere else.(quote) I know about a post that was delited where i was asking the same cuestions about private spending of donations. 200.000 ISK is money that i can lif on for a whole month. I was offing my help for this project so dont tell me that i am paranoid, and i know that you uppgraded the sizemic hardware, can we who donate get a list of the total for hardware and software, and list of private use from donations.
    BR Elmar.

    1. No. This is not true. All comments are copied into my email box. Your comment about asking about donation spending is not in there. Comments that go into the spam box are not copied into my email inbox.

      You have never asked this questions before, until now. If your comment would have been a false positive. I would have seen it and moved it from the spam box.

      You have commented on this blog this days and times. Plus the new comments that you have made today.

      2011/07/17 at 18:22
      Mon, 18 Jul 2011

      Total of two comment. The comment on 17. July 2011 was recovered from the spam box. You have never asked me on spending on donations.

      For your information I do let people know what I am asking for when it comes to donations. I have done so every time since I started asking for donations.

      I have also not upgraded any of my geophone hardware. I did add two new geophone stations in December 2011. With donations from this web site. Other geophone station that I had in place before that time where bought with my own money and without any help or donations.

      So, take your paranoia somewhere else. Because your claims in my regards are unfounded and not based in facts. I do keep records of comments (that don’t go spam box because of false positives) to protect my self against people like you. How make false claim in my regards. It does not happen often. But as you are now proving, it does happen.

    2. Sorry, but this is annoying. This blog is Jon, the donation is voluntary. Who can donate or want to donate. What or what he will use the donation does not matter.

  11. My last post got lost hmmmm, but i was offeering transport an help for this program.
    And dont call my a paranond person thanks.
    You can call me jón in 8564512

    1. What happens on your computer is not a problem of mine. But none of your comments have gotten lost because of this blog or deleted, it’s feature, setup or connection to the internet or anything that can make a comments being lost.

      All other complains in such nature are going to be ignored from you now on.

      To all other. Do not call this number. It is legal and according to it is registered to a company in Reykjavík. I am not going to call this number.

      1. Jon we are all perfectly happy with the way you run the site, I wish I were in a position to donate and if my situation changes I will. There is a saying here whenyou are harassed online (let alone on your own website) – DFTT Dont Feed The Troll, if you dont respond they eventually give up and I would delete his posts if I were you, and block his IP address. He doesnt seem to have a genuine interest, just looking for a beef at someone.

  12. Back to volcanoes – todays thermal satellite feed is showing a build in temperature in the Askja area, I have looked back through the clear sky images and cannot find any this intense – does anyone know if this is seasonal temperature rise? I would not have thought so at that altitude and proximity to the glacier nearby.

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