Iceland’s Katla volcano rattled by strongest swarm of quakes yet


October 5, 2011ICELANDA sharp series of earthquakes, including a 4.0 magnitude tremor, began shortly before 3 am last night in the northern Katla caldera below Mýrdalsjökull glacier in south Iceland with the first quake measuring well over three points on the Richter scale, according to geophysicist Benedikt Ófeigsson who was called out to the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Ófeigsson said a few other earthquakes measuring around three points on the Richter scale followed but activity then subsided, only to pick up again at 3:30 am and again at 5:30 am, but in both those instances the earthquakes were weaker than during the first series, reports. Therefore, it was not considered necessary to alert the Civil Defense Department, Ófeigsson explained, although the events of the night will be reviewed there this morning. The inhabitants of Vík in south Iceland have drilled evacuation procedures in case of an eruption in Katla, as a glacial outburst from Mýrdalsjökull might flood the town. –Iceland Review
contribution Luisport
This entry was posted in Climate unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Volcanic Eruption, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Iceland’s Katla volcano rattled by strongest swarm of quakes yet

  1. c/o Luisport

    Large earthquake swarm in Katla volcano
    Posted on October 5, 2011 by Jón Frímann
    At 02:45 UTC a large earthquake swarm did start in Katla volcano. I do not know if this an start of a eruption in Katla volcano or not. For the moment it is too early to know for sure. I have to wait few more min before that becomes clear on the harmonic tremor plots. The largest earthquake so far according to the automatic SIL systems is a ML3.9 earthquake.
    It takes a few moments to become clear if Katla volcano is starting a eruption or not. I am going to post updates as this situation changes if I have too.


  2. luisport says:

    New updates this morning…surface deformation on Hierro increased by 5mm over night. The island has now risen 40mm sudden RISE of 10-13 mm on La Palma too?


  3. Raven says:

    Feels a little like the pot is starting to boil Alvin 😦
    Blessings as always and thanks for the amazing Information!


  4. luisport says:

    Jón Frímann says:
    October 5, 2011 at 15:42
    A new large earthquake did happen just now in Katla volcano caldera. It is larger then ML2.9 size given up by Icelandic Met Office web page. I can tell from my geophone at Heklubyggð location (close to Hekla).


    • They had a 4.0 register some hours ago. I just updated the post. That’s the strongest tremor, I think, so far since the unrest begin. Whatever has been building under Katla, as passed a thermal threshold and once the pressure builds- it only more dangerous.


  5. luisport says:

    Sam says:
    October 5, 2011 at 18:01
    05.10.2011 17:46:47 63.656 -19.192 2.3 km 0.7 90.02 3.4 km ENE of Godabunga

    Jón Frímann says:
    October 5, 2011 at 18:02
    The earthquake activity now is stronger then normal from what I am seeing. The earthquake swarm activity is also starting in other areas of Katla volcano caldera.

    For those how where wondering about the eruption prediction. I was trying to use the old sayings about the earthquakes. But those documentations might not have captured what did happen earlier in the process too a Katla volcano eruption.

    But I now fully believe that is what is going on. This just has not been observed in this high details as is done today.


  6. mike says:

    when katla go’s what is that mean to the world?


  7. luisport says:

    Update on Katla volcano earthquake swarm
    Posted on October 5, 2011 by Jón Frímann
    There has not a lot changed in the past few hours since the earthquake swarm did start in Katla volcano. Eruption has not yet started in Katla volcano and when it might start is still a mistery.

    Here are traces from my Heklubyggð geophone. But that is currently the geophone that I have that is closest to Katla volcano. I am collecting donations so I can buy two new geophones. The blog post about that can be found here. I do not expect to have the geophone in place before a eruption starts in Katla volcano this time around. So far the donations are up too 5,410.74 DKK, so I am not far from what I need to collect. I do not have to pay customs of this according to a email I got from the customs office when I did ask about it. But I have too pay 25,5% VAT on this when it gets here. That might be a good amount I think in Icelandic Kronas (ISK).

    One of the large earthquakes. This is not the strongest earthquake in the earthquake swarm that took place this morning in Katla volcano. This is also a double earthquake, that is two earthquakes taking place at the almost the same time. That is the reason for the odd looking wave form on this earthquake trace. This picture is released under Creative Commons licence. See Licence web page for more details.

    A ML3.0 earthquake that took place in Katla volcano this morning. This picture is released under Creative Commons licence. See Licence web page for more details.

    The largest earthquake in the earthquake swarm this morning. Its size was ML3.55 with the depth just short of 1 km. This picture is released under Creative Commons licence. See Licence web page for more details.

    A ML2.94 earthquake in Katla volcano this morning. This picture is released under Creative Commons licence. See Licence web page for more details.

    So far it has quieted down in Katla volcano. But that does not mean a lot. As magma can go on the move at any time. Without any warning at all. So monitoring Katla volcano is important with that fact in mind. According to Iceland Met Office, this is the largest earthquake swarm in Katla volcano caldera since the year 2002.

    I am expecting more strong earthquakes to take place in Katla volcano. But it is impossible to know when a new earthquake swarm might start in Katla volcano and how large and long it is going to last. For the moment, it is just wait and see.


  8. luisport says:

    Earthquake activity in Katla volcano October 20115.10.2011

    Heightened earthquake activity is presently occurring in the Katla volcano, southern Iceland. Earthquakes are taking place within the volcano’s caldera, which is covered by the Mýrdalsjökull ice-cap. The current period of unrest began in July 2011, when a short-lived glacial flood burst from Mýrdalsjökull in connection with increased seismicity. Since then, several hundred micro-earthquakes have taken place within the area of the caldera. The enclosed graph shows how the ongoing activity compares to earlier episodes of seismic unrest at Katla in 1999 and 2002-2004.

    In the early hours of today, 05 October 2011, an intense swarm of earthquakes was registered in the Katla caldera; the largest of these earthquake had a local magnitude of ~3.7. Most of the ongoing seismicity is sourced at shallow (< 5 km) depths.

    There are presently no measurable signs that an eruption of Katla is imminent; however, given the heightened levels of seismicity, the situation might change abruptly. Monitoring teams at IMO are following the ongoing activity closely, and sensor-based networks around the volcano ensure that all seismological, geodetic, and hydrological changes are detected.

    Historically, Katla is one of Iceland's most frequently erupting volcanoes. The last eruption to break the ice surface of Mýrdalsjökull occurred in 1918, and it lasted about a month.


  9. Gen says:

    Quake near Australian hotspot.

    2.2 05 October 2011 @ UTC 09:47:27 05 October 2011 @ 20:47:27 -38.392 145.881 1 km depth AUST Near Korumburra, VIC. Significant.


    3.5 05 October 2011 @ UTC 17:06:17 06 October 2011 @ 04:06:17 -33.724 117.164 12 km depth AUST Near Kojonup, WA. Significant.


  10. 5.4 magnitude earthquake just struck the Mid-Atlantic Ridge south of Iceland—-


    • luisport says:

      4.8 2011/10/05 23:02:13 57.973 -32.550 10.0 REYKJANES RIDGE
      5.4 2011/10/05 23:52:20 57.883 -32.563 10.1 REYKJANES RIDGE
      5.0 2011/10/06 00:03:04 57.929 -32.363 10.0 REYKJANES RIDGE
      5.6 2011/10/06 00:39:33 57.884 -32.563 10.2 REYKJANES RIDGE


      • kristoffer94 says:

        and the 5.6 magnitude was only approx. 890 km from the coast of Iceland(Reykjavik)

        I think Katla is soon going to blow


  11. Iceland’s massive volcano Katla appears on the brink of a major eruption just days after officials confirmed they had detected the start of eruptions over the summer.

    Measuring devices this morning have picked up a large earthquake swarm, usually a tell-tale sign of a potential volcanic eruption.

    The Icelandic Government last month announced it was increasing monitoring Katla, which is one of Europe’s most feared volcanoes, following a consistent and strengthening spike of tremors and quakes.

    And last week, officials at the Iceland Meteorological Office confirmed a series of smaller eruptions had occurred in July strengthening fears of an imminent, much larger, eruption.

    Evidence gathered by geophysicists showed the magma had risen to the height of the glacier ice above the volcano causing it to melt.


  12. Gen says:

    Just an interesting observation. The opposite side of the globe to Korumburra, Vic is Atlantic Ocean level with Spain. That would make Macquarie Island in the southern ocean south of Australia just about opposite Iceland. Will be interesting to see if a quake happens there soon.


  13. kristoffer94 says:

    this earthquake occured almost 1 hour ago

    Magnitude: 4.7
    Date time:: 2011-10-06 23:53:04.0 UTC
    Location: 58.17 N ; 32.33 W
    Depth: 33 km
    Distances: 865 km SW Reykjavík (pop 113,906 ; local time 23:53:04.2 2011-10-06)
    858 km SW Hafnarfjörður (pop 22,289 ; local time 23:53:04.2 2011-10-06)
    768 km E Nanortalik (pop 1,509 ; local time 21:53:04.2 2011-10-06)


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