Magnitude 3,2 earthquake in Katla volcano

Today (29-November-2016) at 19:55 UTC a magnitude 3,2 earthquake took place in Katla volcano. The strongest aftershock so far had the magnitude of 2,7. No other activity has appeared in Katla volcano following this earthquake at the moment.

The green star shows where the magnitude 3,2 earthquake took place in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquakes in Katla volcano happen due to magma changes, mostly pressure changes in the magma chambers that have inflated the volcano over a long period of time. Recent increase in earthquake activity suggests that new magma is flowing into the magma chambers at shallow depth inside the caldera. That is increasing the pressure levels and the earthquake activity at the same time.


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58 Replies to “Magnitude 3,2 earthquake in Katla volcano”

  1. The swarms this year seem to be happening all over the place. It’s very hard to say where exactly in the caldera the pending eruption will take place!

  2. Thx for all the updates.

    Are there any known meltwater cauldrons in the Katla caldera, and are they being monitored, somehow?

    1. This is nonsense on biblical scale. The fact is that the universe does not care about the human race, the human race cares about the human race and that is about it.

    2. I feel like I need to wash my browser after visiting that site.

      A lobotomized cormorant would talk more sense.

      1. This is rather awful, it is in line with other conspiracy / new world era nonsense out there.

        This people have also not discovered the rule of thumb that larger eruption last for as shorter time (even just few hours) and smaller eruptions last longer (up to several weeks or months). I don’t think this people are able to know this, since that requires them to read actual science literature on this subject.

    1. That sometimes happen, they do recalculations before the earthquake is added to the final database. They might also have switched the value from ML from Mw magnitude.

  3. Interesting earthquake WSW of Goðabunga area. A magnitude 0,8 earthquake happened at 0,1 km depth. I saw that earthquake on my geophone in Heklubyggð. What is interesting about this earthquake is that it had magnetic (magma) properties and was a long period earthquake (volcano earthquake). This is a unusual location for a such earthquake.

    Details on earthquake types in a volcano, USGS:

  4. Getting close, wouldn’t you say. I reckon she’ll go quiet from now until next summer when she’ll finally blow her lid…

  5. and another one, right in the middle where it all started. It is starting to look like a 5-day cycle ?

  6. Today, a tight swarm including a 3.1. It seems that lately there have been fewer earthquakes, but decrease has been mostly microquakes. Earthquakes of 2 and over still keep coming. Conductivity in Múlakvisl has also dropped significantly at the same time, being now below 100.

    Question of the day: could this mean that the type of Katla earthquake activity is changing?

      1. No, there is little chance of that earthquake activity drops as the meltwater drains. Based on experience from other volcanoes, that normally results in increase in earthquake activity.

  7. Sorry for the slow update this weekend. But I had a server problem with my FreeBSD server that I’m working on repairing at the moment. That server has my earthquake counter, minecraft server and other things that I do in a computer.

  8. Jon what has happened to graphs on the Icelandic Web site they have all gone blank?

  9. Meanwhile at Fedgar-station…
    Last night the seismograph there recorded something (for me) extraordinary.
    Best seen from 2 to3 UTC. There were ‘pulses’, lasting around one minute with a four frequency.
    After 5 UTC the signal was the strongest with a shorter frequency.
    During the night within the mentioned time, there were 3 eq, that took place some km SV of Landmannalaugum, not that far from Hekla. Is that still Torfajökull area?

    1. is there something going on with that station?, lines seem to have thickened out
      , like a unrest or something?.

  10. Is the earthquake activity at katla linked to atmospheric air pressure i.e the last big 3 mag happened at a lowish recording of air pressure and the one before that happened on the 29th Nov also at a period of lowish air pressure. My theory is that the glacier is floating or barely floating on a bed of meltwater and low air pressure allows the glacier to pop up slighty creating an earthquake. We are now currently coming into another period of low pressure so it will be interesting to see if it happens again.

    1. Please explain how a change in atmospheric pressure can affect plate tectonics or rifting volcanoes.

    2. No. Rock pressure is many, many, many times higher than atmospheric pressure. The pressure is so high at round 1 km depth that rock start to act like a plastic like material.

      1. I’m guessing that a build up of magma is already present under Myrdalsjokull glacier? Then any release of pressure on this cauldron of magma from the weight of the glacier including low atmospheric pressure taking some of the weight off could cause some of this pressure to be released as earthquakes??
        The last two 3 magnitude earthquakes match periods of low air pressure.
        Except for this to hold true then the next 2 or 3 magnitude earthquake should take place again now when air pressure is dropping again. So I probably will have egg on my face.
        We’ll see anyway. Lol.

  11. I’m guessing that a build up of magma is already present under Myrdalsjokull glacier?
    Then any easing off of the weight of the glacier including atmospheric pressure could cause earthquakes from the build up underneath (even no matter how small the reduction in weight)??
    The last two 3 (shallow) magnitude earthquakes occurred at periods of low air pressure.

    Now for this to continue it would mean that another that another 2 or 3 magnitude would/should occur now again as air pressure is dropping again (at present).
    Probably will have egg on my face now and it won’t happen. Lol.
    Anyway live and learn.

  12. Off-topic,

    This why I don’t use Facebook comment or have Facebook like buttons on my websites (all of them). This also the reason why I don’t use Google Adsense any more. I restrict the information that flows trough this website. I can’t block everything (that’s impossible), but I can and I do limit the flow of it. That befits my readers and my self in the long run. 🙂

    1. I know. Facebook, Google, and all of these social media sites are really creepy!

      1. They use extensive algorithms to monitor everything that is done on them. Google Adsense does the same, but for some reason Google doesn’t seems to due the same in-depth (it appears, but that might just be a lie) into people.

        This also creates the awful filter bubble that many people get trapped in.

  13. If an earthquake In Katla caldera above 2.5 happens today (7-12-16) or early tomorrow we have a regular interval indeed of 4 days.


      1. Referring to my previous comment…it now seems that the changes in Katla’s activity are not just glitches but look more like a new pattern in activity (way less microquakes & lower conductivity in glacial rivers). Any thoughts on this?

      2. Lower conductivity might just be because of the weather (heavy rain). What used be snow time of the year (most years) is now just rain due to how unseasonally warm it is in Iceland at the moment.

        I don’t know about the drop in earthquake activity at the moment. That has happened before and might not mean anything, but normally earthquake activity drops in December in Katla volcano. Why that happens is not known.

      1. Jack probably lives in the UK, I did notice last week where I live (Somerset) during the night it was -5c here & +7c in Reykjavik.

  14. There are a lot of sharp spikes on both AUS and GOD drumplots. What might be the cause of this?

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