Fresh earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Today at 12:19 UTC an earthquake swarm started in Katla volcano. This has been mostly normal earthquake activity for Katla volcano, with earthquakes that are small in magnitude and most not reaching magnitude 2,0. Largest earthquake took place at 15:57 UTC and was a magnitude 3,0 and at magnitude 16:12 UTC and had the magnitude of 3,3.

The earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is difficult to know if this earthquake activity was due to change in hydrothermal systems that exist in this area or due to magma or gas pressure changes. No harmonic tremor changes have taken place following this earthquake activity. Since the largest earthquakes happened the activity has quieted down considerably. This earthquake activity or a new one might start without warning in Katla volcano.

42 Replies to “Fresh earthquake activity in Katla volcano”

  1. I notice that the depth of the 3.3 mag quake in Myrdalsjokull is given as zero in the Met Office earthquake table. Any significance to this?

    1. The depth being listed as zero may mean that the earthquake happened at sea level. What is the elevation of Katla?

  2. When I see Katla comparing to Eyja it is such a beast! it would be huge if something happens.

  3. End of summer melt water priming hydro-thermal farts. I’ll get excited when Jon starts talking about magma but we can wait more than a life time anything significant to happen under all that ice.

    1. The problem is that we never know which lifetime. 1918 was the last time and that is 98 years ago. Statistics also tell us that Katla erupts every fifty years on average. And it is a significant connection to eruptions in eyjafjallajokull. You know 2010. Say no more………

      1. One should not overlook the Katla eruptions of 1955, 1999 and 2011. Just because these eruptions weren’t strong enough to break the ice cap doesn’t mean they did not happen.

      2. The 2011 subglacial eruption of Katla swept a 134 meter long bridge from its foundations.
        When I walked on that bridge I wondered why the road led to the ocean, till I suddenly realized that it was the dissappeared bridge I was walking on! What a power those forces of nature have!
        In 2 weeks time the Icelandic authorities built a replacement wooden bridge which carried all (!) traffic. A remarkable piece of engineering!

      3. Yes Z that is true. But we can assume that there has been many many of these minor eruptions that has gone unnoticed during the past past centuries due to lack of equipment and surveillance.
        It is 50- 100 years between large eruptions.

      4. You are right, of course, Jonas. But because of the lack of historical data, we can only speculate.

  4. Another little swarm with largest quake having a magnitude of 2.6:
    14.09.2016 11:26:19 63.659 -19.148 0.1 km 2.6 99.0 5.4 km ENE of Goðabunga

    1. Good read.

      I myself accidentally stumbled into some articles about the ‘invisible hand’, tectonic ( magma traveling below the surface on a collision course up a rifting fault) triggering and modulation of an eruption. Or to know when a large eruption (like BB) has truly stopped. Nowadays new radar techiques are available to study ground motions better than before to monitor potential ‘danger zones’ in surprising places.

  5. Earthquake warning about SISZ. Something seems to be going on there. I’ll look at it in a moment. First I have to go the store before it closes down.

  6. Looks like Bardarbunga is awake again:
    Thursday 15.09.2016 04:19:58 64.659 -17.471 2.4 km 1.6 99.0 3.4 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Thursday 15.09.2016 04:17:28 64.613 -17.484 4.4 km 1.7 40.95 3.7 km SE of Bárðarbunga
    Thursday 15.09.2016 04:14:54 64.679 -17.458 3.1 km 3.5 99.0 5.5 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Thursday 15.09.2016 04:13:48 64.689 -17.380 3.8 km 1.6 61.67 8.9 km NE of Bárðarbunga

    1. Normal activity. This type of swarm activity in Bárðarbunga volcano happens once a week. If I wrote about it every time I would not write about anything else.

  7. Saturday
    17.09.2016 08:22:08 64.058 -21.417 4.6 km 2.7 99.0 2.5 km NNW of Hellisheiðarvirkjun

    17.09.2016 08:15:28 64.059 -21.416 4.4 km 2.5 99.0 2.6 km NNW of Hellisheiðarvirkjun

    17.09.2016 08:05:54 64.057 -21.419 4.6 km 2.2 99.0 2.4 km NNW of Hellisheiðarvirkjun
    17.09.2016 08:04:33 64.058 -21.417 4.6 km 2.6 99.0 2.5 km NNW of Hellisheiðarvirkjun

    1. Hellisheiðarvirkjun is a major geothermal plant; those quakes are associated with the reinjection of hot water back into the hydrothermal system. Regular occurrence around there.

      1. I thank it was Coldplay water they injecteren.
        Ik know back then when Carl from VC was still commenting here that what thee were ding there was highland dangerous, because pumping hot water in or close to a magma chamber could trigger an eruption in the nearby volcano and could pose a threat to Reykjavík.

      2. Ik think it was cold water they injected (and then the rest of my reply; stupid smartphone!)

  8. And the 3.8 was followed by this one
    Sunday 18.09.2016 20:45:52 64.622 -17.416 2.4 km 1.6 99.0 5.7 km ESE of Bárðarbunga
    and Katla keeps its low rumble up with :
    Sunday 18.09.2016 18:04:03 63.648 -19.218 2.4 km 1.3 90.01 1.8 km ENE of Goðabunga

  9. Earthquake activity in Hengill volcano is going up and there is no point for me to write about it at the moment. Since it would go outdated almost soon as I finished it.

    Looking into writing a article about Bárðarbunga volcano.

  10. A 3.6 near the power plant, didn’t expect that!
    Also a similar depth to Bards 3.7EQ 26 mins earlier (Bard 4.5km depth)
    No I don’t think they are related before anyone says anything!

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