Uncertainty level declared at Katla volcano

Today (8-July-2014) a uncertainty level was declared at Katla volcano. This means that people should be aware of the activity that is now taking place in Katla volcano. The most dangerous areas at the moment are the glacier rivers that come from Katla volcano, due the extremely dangerous gases that are in the water coming from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. People should not stop at Múlakvísl glacier river and other glacier rivers that come from Mýrdalsjökull glacier due to this danger. It is also unclear if an larger glacier flood might take place, if it does it is going to happen with no warning at all. Tourist in the area also urged to have there mobile phones turned on in case emergency SMS needs to be sent to people in the area around Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano during the past 24 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Currently [when I write this text] there is little earthquake activity in Katla volcano. That calm might not last, since earthquake activity has had the pattern of dropping off for few hours between peaks in activity. The largest earthquake during the past 24 hours had the magnitude of 3,0. Smaller earthquakes had the magnitude of 2,7 and lower magnitudes.

The magnitude 3,0 earthquake in Katla volcano this morning at 09:18 UTC. This image is released under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC Licence page for more details.

Earthquake activity has been in the same pattern as did happen in July-2011. So far no harmonic tremor has been detected. It is impossible to know if this is going to result in a eruption or not. The risk of an eruption is higher now then normal, but that does not mean that a eruption is going to take place. It is possible to see larger earthquakes from Katla volcano here on my webicorder website. It is possible to see Katla volcano here if it is not too cloudy.

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10 Replies to “Uncertainty level declared at Katla volcano”

  1. Hi john i am hereing some floods have started .does that mean magma near surface melting the ice..if katla blows could it be a big one after all this time with no eruption..could we be affected here in the uk ..thanks again..also how can i donate to you for your great service to everyone..thanks john..

  2. What about the earthquakes under Torfajökull lately? 2.2 just now. I don’t remember seeing that before. What’s the history of that caldera? Wikipedia only says it last erupted in 1477.

      1. As far as I know, Torfajökull is still in the post eruption phase, still slowly deflating, and most of the quakes are tectonic, and mainly caused by the cooling magma.

        So I guess Torfajökull is pretty much out of the question for a few decades. Or at least for our lifetime. 🙂

  3. Any updates on this? Looks like seismicity is somewhat persistent at Katla, and Torafjökull. Been watching it for a while.

    1. This has quieted down in terms of earthquakes for the moment. But uncertainty level is still in the effect for the whole area.

      I will post update on this during the weekend. I’ve been busy with other matters (I will write about that here, http://www.jonfr.com/). There has also been a heat wave in Denmark, making it hard for me to think.

      1. That heat doesn’t sound too fun.

        When you say ‘uncertainty’ level, would that be close to the ‘watch’ level other volcanic monitors such as avo.alaska.edu utilize? Sort of like ‘yellow’? Alaska’s Semisopochnoi volcano is also experiencing similar activity.

      2. I am not sure what level they have in Iceland. I think there are two or three more levels above this, uncertainty level is the lowest one of this warning levels.

  4. I note the quality of these EQ’s are mostly 99% and ranging from around 25km to 0.1 deep. That would seem to indicate the entire length of the vertical conduit is active which would justify ‘uncertainty level’. It would seem Katla is the likely next candidate however I still have a close eye on the systems in Vatnajökull.

    Have they lowered the threat level on Hekla – anyone in the know?

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