Deep earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

Yesterday (6-June-2014) there was an earthquake swarm of small earthquakes in Katla volcano. The depth of this earthquakes was from 24 to 28 km. None of this earthquakes had the magnitude above 2,0 and the strongest earthquake only had the magnitude of 1,5 in the caldera rim.

The earthquake activity in Katla volcano caldera. The earthquake swarm took place under the rim of the caldera. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Today (7-June-2014) other anomaly activity has been showing up. Few earthquakes have been showing up 10 km north-east of the Vík í Mýrdal village. All of the earthquakes in question are small. There depth is from 18,4 and down to 29,2 km. The activity is inside the Katla volcano system it self, as it stretches out to this area. But this activity is taking place on the rim of the Katla volcano system as it is known today.

The earthquake activity 10 km north-east of Vík í Mýrdal village. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Earthquake activity at this depth is not because of stress changes in the crust. This earthquake activity is most likely due to some changes in the magma inside Katla volcano. It probably does not mean anything in terms of risk of eruption at the moment, at least not while the activity remains on the low levels as it currently is. Given the experience from the minor eruption in July-2011, earthquake activity in Katla volcano needs to be considerably higher then it currently is. It is impossible to know if this deep earthquake activity signals any change in Katla volcano activity for coming months, it’s all just wait and see, same as before.

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