Small eruption confirmed under Iceland’s Katla volcano

July 9, 2011 ICELAND – A glacial flood, probably, from the volcano Katla in Mýrdalsjökull has disrupted the Ring Road (highway no.1), by the river Múlakvísl on Mýrdalssandur in south Iceland, tearing the bridge across Múlakvísl. The road is closed between Höfdabrekka, east of Vík, and the river Skálm, near Álftaver.  The flood is thought be the result of a small eruption underneath the icecap of Mýrdalsjökull, probably in the Katla crater, reports. “At least this is not a large eruption, the Katla eruption people have been waiting for,“ geophysicist Freysteinn Sigmundsson told “If it is a volcanic eruption, it is a small event and possibly only geothermal water.” The Civil Protection Department has issued a warning to people in the area, to beware of sulphurate smell near the river, as it might be poisonous sulphurate gas. The mountain route Fjallabaksleid nyrdri is open for 4X4 vehicles only, and is the only open road in the area. The Álftaver area is being evacuated and preparation for evacuating the camping area in Thakgil. In the past few days, people had actually been speculating about an eruption in Hekla, a different volcano in south Iceland. –Icelandic Review

Graph showing harmonic tremors under the Katla volcano indicating an eruptive release taking place.
 (c) Iceland Met Office                                            video contrib/Luisport
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, High-risk potential hazard zone, Land fissures, cracks, sinkholes, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Small eruption confirmed under Iceland’s Katla volcano

  1. luisport says:

    Newspapaer i Norway says they are evacuating people from an are near Katla due to flooding after an EQ.


  2. luisport says:

    Evacuation of Álftaveri
    Brúin yfir Múlakvísl er farin, segir Íris Marelsdóttir hjá Almannavarnadeild ríkislögreglustjóra. Bridge over Múlakvísl is gone


  3. skywalker says:

    2 quakes at Raoul Island , just north of New Zealand in the last hour 5.1 and 5.8 which makes x6 quakes in this area sofar today over 5,and there was this many yesterday aswell and the day before,looks like something really big is brewing up here


  4. Childoflight says:

    I. Have been watching Katla ever since E15 erupted last year.It has been slowly waking up little by little.It is capable of creating very serious problems not only locally but globally.It’s behaviour is somewhat predictable as historically it has erupted a year or two after E15!If Katla and Hekla erupt together it will be a spectacle!


  5. snow says:

    Hekla ^ Katla, a race betw rabbit and tortoise~ So who will take the lead now? LOL


  6. luisport says:

    Harmonic tremor drop down. New earthquake happen in Katla volcano caldera
    Posted on July 9, 2011 by Jón Frímann
    It seems that on many SIL station around Katla volcano that the harmonic tremor has gone mostly down to background levels, on other stations it continues to drop. This are mostly SIL stations that are at the most distance to the source of the area that this minor eruption took place during the night. But at the moment this seems to be over. The main source of the activity appears to be where the eruption took place in the year 1918, or so scientists think at the moment. According to the news there was an flood wave around 04:00 UTC during the night. When the water meters did show an rise of 5 meters suddenly. Soon after that the bridge over Múlakvísl river was lost in the glacier flood. This did close the main road 1 in this area, that area of the main road is going to remain closed for the next few weeks while they fix the damage done in the flood (build an new bridge).

    Even if the harmonic tremor seems to be dropping. This does not seem to be over, as an earthquake activity did resume from around 13:00 UTC in the Katla. Since then the earthquake activity seems to have been building at slow rate. Tremor plot at 18:23 UTC. The tremor is dropping. It also shows that earthquakes are taking place (spikes the tremor chart).

    Tremor chart from Goðabunga at 18:24 UTC.

    Dropping harmonic tremor on Lágu Hvolar. Earthquakes appear as spikes here. Dropping tremor and earthquakes as before. Earthquakes as they are tonight. The southern part of the caldera is having earthquake swarm, even if it is just a small one. I am waiting too see how this develops. Something larger might happen. But nothing else might happen for an while in Katla volcano. The only thing that can be done is too wait and see what happens in Katla volcano.


  7. luisport says:

    A great video of overflying of Katla


  8. luisport says:
    Scientists are trying to figure out if the flooding was eruption-related.
    Announcements in English and German.

    Seems there were two near-simultaneous floods in Múlakvísl. The first raised the water level to five feet below the bridge floor, the second tore away the bridge, several supports and a chunk of the road. Anyway, the Road Works expects to have a temp. bridge ready in 2-3 weeks, and the police wants to remind drivers that the Fjallabak routes are low-speed roads, and they should stop speeding.


  9. luisport says:

    From what I saw in the news last night I put the location of 3 of the craters at k8 & k9 as in this picture where the eruption in 1918 is considered to have started

    and yes definently think that Katla might erupt now that some of the icecap has been removed, we’ll see in the next couple of hours – day if she picks up the phase in EQ

    The IMO web page says that it was the vents 10, 13 and 14 that ran on the 9th of July 10

    Sorry it wasn’t translated but the first blue word underlined is the measuring equipment at Múlakvísl river, the second is Lágu-Hvolar and the third is a second meter at Múlakvísl, fourth is when the water hit Skálm lower in river
    Vatnshæð = water level
    Leiðni = dirt particles in the (glacier) water


  10. luisport says:

    Overview of current events in Katla volcano and current status
    Posted on July 10, 2011 by Jón Frímann
    Here is an overview of the current events in Katla volcano. This is the short version, as I have not had the time to go over all the data collected so far.

    12 June: On this day I did notice the first harmonic tremor spikes. This tremor spike was small and only noticed on few SIL stations around Mýrdalsjökull volcano. No earthquake activity was detected following this event. At least no earthquake activity that was unusual in my opinion.

    17 to 18 June: The first earthquake swarm took place on this day that I connect to the current events. This earthquake swarm was special and different from the normal earthquakes that I see in Mýrdalsjökull volcano caldera. It was how dense this earthquake swarm was. There was no or little harmonic tremor following this earthquake swarm.

    21 June: New harmonic tremor spike took place in Katla volcano on this day. It was a bit stronger then the first one. But lot smaller then what did happen this weekend.

    28 June: What appears as an glacier earthquakes did appear on this day. Along with normal earthquake activity inside the Katla volcano caldera.

    After this the events of July 8 start, it did end on the 9 July after what is most likely an minor eruption inside the Katla volcano caldera. This event is over it seems and Katla volcano has once again paused. But that has happened repeatedly over the past few weeks. The time between stops is different and it is impossible to know when the current pause ends. It is also impossible to know what happens next time activity picks up in Katla volcano caldera. Currently the earthquake activity continues in the Katla volcano caldera, but there are few earthquakes happening now then earlier this weekend.

    For now all that can be done is to wait and see what happens.


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