Yesterday (14.12.2012) from 20:50 UTC until 22:52 UTC there was an minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano caldera. The largest earthquake in this swarm was a magnitude 2,2 earthquake. With the depth of 0,1 km. So it was a shallow earthquake. This is not uncommon for this part of Katla volcano. This earthquake activity has its origin in hydrothermal activity or changes in hydrothermal systems in this area of Katla volcano caldera.
Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. This area has had earthquakes swarms before. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
I do not expect anything special to result from this earthquake swarm. Since it is highly unlikely that Katla volcano is going to erupt in December. It is also a when it comes to earthquakes. Katla volcano has a lot of them during the year and earthquake swarm as this one should be expected to happen every once in a while.
Blog post updated at 10:42 UTC on 15.12.2012.
During the night (on 15.12.2012) there was a swarm of earthquakes far north of Kolbeinsey Island. The distance from Kolbeinsey Island is about 100 to 200 km. What exactly is taking place at this location is impossible to know for now. Since this is far from Iceland and the SIL network. Last eruption is believed to have taken place around this area back in the year 1999, or at least there was an large dike intrusion at that time. What did happen exactly is not known.
The earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island at midnight (00:00 UTC) 15.12.2012. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
Earthquake activity at 09:00 UTC this morning (15.12.2012). More earthquakes have taken place since midnight. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
There is a chance of more earthquakes in this area. It can also be expected that not all earthquake activity in this area is being detected by the SIL network. Due to distance, weather and ocean activity.
Today (14.12.2012) around 12:00 UTC Askja volcano had dike intrusion. This dike intrusion was not in the main volcano it self. But a good distance away from it. But this is in a area that has erupted before in distant past in a fissure style eruption (just lava, no volcano ash). What is the case now I am not sure at the moment. But this dike intrusion was at the depth of 25 to 22 km. So it has long way to go before any eruption takes place. This dike intrusion did also not show any sign of moving upwards according to Rúv News of this event.
Earthquake map from IMO showing the dike intrusion clearly. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
What this means in the long term is impossible to know at this point. But this is one event in a long series of events that started in March 2010. This is going to end with a eruption. Large or small is impossible to know until it happens. What is also impossible to know is when and where such eruption might take place. As is always the case with active volcanoes. There is at least no reason to panic about this. Not now, not ever.
Donations: I am still needing donations to cover my cost of buying 3G hardware for upcoming geophone stations Böðvarshólar (total cost around 1300 DKK, or 29900 ISK). I have got some donations already. But they just cover the cost of UPS and USB card for Skeiðflöt geophone station. But I was fixing technical problems with it. Thanks for the support.
Icelandic News about this
Á annan tug skjálfta austur af Öskju (Rúv.is)
Blog post updated at 23:29 UTC on 14.12.2012