Deep earthquakes in Katla volcano yesterday (09-July-2017)

Yesterday (09-July-2017) there was a minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. Deepest of the earthquakes in this swarm had the depth of 28,9 km, the most shallow of the earthquakes that happened had a depth of 21,1 km. At this depth it is only magma that can create earthquakes.

The earthquake activity in Katla volcano during the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Since the earthquakes yesterday Katla volcano remains quiet with no oblivious sign of increase in earthquake activity. It is worth noting that it doesn’t seem that Katla volcano goes over 100 years between eruptions. If an eruption does not happen this year it might happen next year. There is a lack of data, but research on time between eruptions suggests that maximum quiet period between eruptions is 100 years. I don’t know if there is any error margin on that number, there might well be one.


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25 Replies to “Deep earthquakes in Katla volcano yesterday (09-July-2017)”

  1. Wow been following this for ages as it is super interesting. Wouldn’t the katla volcano being late for an eruption on a geological timescale produce less but more intense earthquakes? Also is there a possibility of it not happening in a human timescale say 100-200 years?

  2. The behavior of Katla is similar to that of Mauna Loa.
    It swells before erupting.

  3. This can’t be good. I’m seeing harmonic tremor changes on SIL station around Katla volcano. No activity in terms of earthquakes at the moment but that might change.

  4. No magma movement detected. This does however seems to be some type of tremor event (a pulse?) or a earthquake swarm that didn’t appear on the SIL network. At the moment I don’t know what is the case.

  5. Which station data are you looking at Jon?

    Are you watching grimsfjall, godabunga and husbondi?

    1. The SIL stations around Katla volcano. Grímsfjall and Húsbóndi are too far away to see this change. Only Goðabunga shows a little change at the moment, but everything has calmed down again.

  6. The GPS data for austmannsbunga is showing a significant amount of movement in comparison to others. What’s your view on this jon?

  7. These sudden spikes in tremor, though not frequent, may indicate an eventual eruption if they keep happening. Especially if they get closer together. Either way it is very interesting. I am checking your Webicorders 3 times a day!

    1. My webicorders are not good at looking for tremor. Icelandic Met Office SIL stations tremor plots are best for that lookout.

      My webicorders are best for looking out for earthquake activity. It is going to be interesting to see how an eruption appears on my webicorders once it happens.

  8. Jon there seems to be a wave pattern God and Habunga and then a slight jump what your thoughts?

  9. As per your kind advise, I have been checking the Icelandic Met Office for earthquakes in Katla, & there seems to have been some minor earthquakes near the centre of the glacier. [link:

    Nothing has shown up on your Webicorders though so maybe, as you say, this is just a passing storm. I am in no way good at this sort of thing! So I shall let you examine the data, & look forward to your updates. 🙂

    1. The earthquake at 22:26 appeared clearly on the Hekla geophone. Poorly on Böðvarshólar geophone (does not appear on the line). The problem is reading them on the webicorders in all the noise I also record. Any earthquake larger then magnitude 1,5 from Katla volcano appear on my Heklubyggð geophone, it is closest to Katla volcano, distance is about 55 km.

  10. It shows as a 2.5 at 22:26 followed by :
    Thursday 13.07.2017 10:27:04 PM ( 22:27:04 63.644 -19.126 0.1 km 2.7 99 6.2 km E of Goðabunga

  11. An uneasy quiet spell. Even Yellowstone has gone quiet after an active June.

  12. Piton de la Fournaise entered into eruption at one o’clock this morning.

  13. Nice move Scots ya had ta say it, now look what you’ve done!lol.

    1. Normal tectonic activity. This might be a rift valley activity, for this area this is little activity. Nothing to worry about at the moment.

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