Strong earthquake swarm in Katla volcano (22-November-2022)

Today (22-November-2022) a strong earthquake swarm started in Katla volcano at 19:55 UTC. Strongest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw4,4. One Mw3,5 earthquake was recorded with several smaller earthquakes. Magnitudes and number of earthquakes are changing. This is an updated text of the earthquake magnitude.

Three green stars in Katla volcano caldera along with few red dots that show smaller earthquakes.
Green stars in Katla volcano showing the locations of the strongest earthquakes. Picture from Icelandic Met Office.

What is going on is unclear at the writing of this article. At the writing of this article I am not seeing any change in harmonic tremor, but that might change without warning. I’ll post updates if anything more happens in Katla volcano.

Added: I added the donate buttons back if people want to support my work. I had to remove them because of a increased fraud risk in October and that might be ongoing risk.

Article updated at 21:16 UTC.
Article updated at 23:06 UTC.

9 Replies to “Strong earthquake swarm in Katla volcano (22-November-2022)”

    1. Normally this would mean inflation is happening. But I think this is just ice building on the GPS antenna since I don’t see this on other GPS stations around Katla volcano. Suggesting a interference on the GPS antenna.

      1. Interesting, i haven’t looked at the GPS.

        The conductivity is rising steadily (but slowly) in Múlakvísl, almost 300 Microsiemens/cm now, and the M1.8 this morning was at 5.2 km depth.

      2. Sometimes old material (volcano ash) gets into the rivers and a cauldron empties it self. There’s nothing on harmonic tremor and they are all in the background noise levels. For now everything is quiet in Katla volcano.

  1. No, I’m not suggesting anything dramatic is happening, like the upstart of an eruption. But I do believe all activities are linked, and part of a much longer event. What we are witnessing are constant stresses of an active volcano that will most likely have an eruption within years, decades, maybe centuries.

    It’s true that loose material (ash, dust) gets swept along with both melt water and rain. There has been heavy rain in the area which suggests that conductivity could be linked to it. But still, this is the highest conductivity registered in 6+ months, and no other station around M.jökull follows the same pattern.

    1. Looking at the water data I don’t see anything out of order. When something is going on the conductivity at this station in Mýrdalsjökull glacier goes quickly above 600u/cm. Now its just at 300u/cm or less. There is always some geothermal water going into that glacier river, sometimes its more and sometimes less of it. Best of my understanding of what the experts say.

      1. True. 300 is not very high.

        But about the GPS stations, and possible vertical displacement. Austmannsbunga is the only station within the caldera of Katla. Should we necessarily expect to see deformations on the other stations that are far from the caldera?

  2. Yes. Those are going to be north-south and east-west displacements. Those have not yet happened or what is more possible. Katla volcano is as inflated as it possibly can inflate and once an eruption starts, there’s going to be a large deflation event happening (with strong earthquakes quickly following that deflation).

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