Glacier flood confirmed from Mýrdalsjökull glacier

It was confirmed at around 22:00 UTC that a small glacier flood has now started from Mýrdalsjökull glacier (Katla volcano). At the moment the glacier flood is small. It is unclear if this glacier flood is going to remain small and run it course as it is or if it is going to increase in next few hours. Reports have been coming of strong sulphur smell in the area of Múlakvísl on Mýrdalssand area (desert area south of Mýrdalsjökull glacier).

Civil protection authority in Iceland have closed down few tourist roads and limited access to certain areas for time being due to this glacier flood. I strongly recommend that people follow those closers since change can happen in Katla volcano without warning and the closer people are to the volcano the less time they have to get away from it if an eruption starts.

This article is going to be updated as needed.

Update on Reykjanes peninsula earthquake swarm (Fagradalsfjall mountain)

Since 26-July-2017 there has been a earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula close to a mountain called Fagradalsfjall. This earthquake swarm has been one of the larger ones in the area in recent years. Total number of earthquakes that have been detected so far is well over 600 at the writing of this article. There is some magma involved in this earthquake swarm, it has stayed deep in the crust and there are currently no signs of it moving upwards more then it already has at this point. This makes an eruption extremely unlikely, unlike what some news reports about this earthquake swarm might suggest an eruption is not imminent in this area of Iceland.

Earthquake activity close to Fagradalsfjall mountain for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake during the last 24 hours is a magnitude 3,2 earthquake that took place at 05:56 UTC. In 1968 a magnitude 6,0 earthquake took place in this same area. I don’t know if that is going to happen now, what is a risk is this earthquake swarm increasing again from current drop in activity. This area is in part a rift valley and plate interaction can get complicated and last for a long time. With quiet period between high periods of activity. At this moment the earthquake activity in this area is decreasing, that does not mean it is over yet, just that a decreasing in activity is currently happening.


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Increased risk of glacier flood from Mýrdalsjökull glacier (Katla volcano)

Icelandic Met Office has issued a warning about increased risk of glacier flood from Múlakvísl that comes from Mýrdalsjökull glacier (the glacier on top of Katla volcano). Upon checking reports about increased smell and detecting higher conductivity on sensors, police in the area have confirmed with Icelandic Met Office that unusual high amount of water is in the river at the moment.

Currently conductivity in Múlakvísl is 290μS/cm and is stable at the moment. This suggest that a cauldron is about to empty it self of melt water and resulting in a glacier flood.

It is possible to monitor conditions in Múlakvísl here on Icelandic Met Office website.

I will update this article as needed.