Seimic unrest continues to build at Iceland’s Katla volcano

December 2, 2011ICELANDA huge Icelandic volcano long overdue an eruption is showing signs of activity – threatening disruption to air traffic, experts have said. There have been more than 500 tremors at Katla in the south of the country in just the last month. An increase in activity at the site since July has also been causing volcanologists concern, when increasing temperatures and seismic activity caused a flood, washing away a road bridge. The last major eruption at the volcano was in 1918, and caused such a large glacier meltdown that icebergs were swept by the resulting floods into the ocean. Significant activity at Katla – which has a huge 6.2 mile (10km) crater – usually occurs every 40 to 80 years. It is feared when it does eventually erupt, it could be the most powerful activity the country has seen in almost a century. Catastrophic flooding could result as the frozen surface of the volcano melts, sending vast amounts of water into the Atlantic Ocean. Volcano expert Andy Hooper, from Delft University, said although there had been increased activity at the site, it was difficult to predict if and when Katla would erupt. However, he told Sky News Online that the implications for Iceland if an eruption did occur would be “major.” “Because of the glacier on top, massive amounts of ice would melt, washing away the roads. There could also be a big ash fallout on people living in the area and that will affect the farms. There could be big implications for people there. In terms of the rest of the world, it really depends on the weather at the time of the eruption. If Katla erupts, it will erupt higher (than recent volcanoes) and that means the ash will stay around longer – that could impact on air traffic.” A statement on Iceland’s Met Office website warned there was no imminent threat but that “given the heightened levels of seismic activity, the situation might change abruptly.” –Sky Way
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12 Responses to Seimic unrest continues to build at Iceland’s Katla volcano

  1. Amy P. says:

    M 5.0 2011/12/02 06:57 Depth 10.0 km PANAMA-COSTA RICA BORDER REGION
    01:57:43 AM at epicenter
    Moderate but very shallow earthquake near the border in between Panama and Costa Rica
    38 km (23 miles) W of David, Panama and 45 km (27 miles) ESE of Golfito, Costa Rica


  2. richard says:

    Iceland just announced that they will support a Palestinian State. Genesis 12:3 I will bless those that bless you Israel and I will curse those that curse you. Judgment is coming to Iceland just like it has and will continue to come to the United States as well as other countries that turn against Israel.


    • CBS says:

      Sorry Richard but I disagree. The Palestinian people have been treated in a horrendous way. Israel – the country not the people they are not the same – is an Godless state, as most are. Many Jews are disgusted with the blaspheme of using God’s name to defend the treatment of our fellow humans as animals (I think it goes both ways). Do not equate the state and the people as one. I feel compassion for all sides as they have been taught only hatred. Zionism is nothing to do with Judaism. Hamas is nothing to do with Islam – both are incompatible with God’s word. There is no God but God and woe to anyone who puts country or religion before Him.


    • Please remember we are all children of God. There is no judgement coming to Island because their acceptance of a state of Palestine.


    • Andrew Smith says:

      What utter rubbish …. More and more people are emigrating from Israel, having made their own decisions about who is cursed.


  3. Irene C says:

    I might be me, but it seems like Katla is holding it’s breath, just waiting for the right time. Out of curiosity, do geologists or volcanologists have any idea how big of an explosion this could be? Or are they holding their breaths too?



    • CBS says:

      Irene, Katla is not the one to worry about. Iceland has many wonders. I believe Katla could go to VEI4 but it is most dangerous for the locals especially the floods (it sits under a glacier) – the effect on Europe and air travel depends on the wind – ominously the jet stream has started shifting as Alvin highlighted today.

      There are other volcanoes in Iceland that are waiting to go, more ‘scary’ if you will – Iceland is becoming active in it’s cycle. What is far more important bearing in mind is the amount of volcanoes becoming active across the globe. How that impacts us all is a very big question and it could well cool the earth.

      To answer your question Katla is expected to go ‘soon’ but soon can mean a week to a decade – volcanoes are temperamental. She is ready but a volcano understands time different to us. Only God knows.

      Luis has also been monitoring the situation so you will hear if there is something to worry about, however now is Iceland’s ‘quiet’ time as the cold (weight of glaciers) puts volcanoes to sleep (not always but mostly) until spring. 2012 is interesting in this way. At least 2 Iceland volcanoes will go off, Katla possibly being one of them. I would worry more about El Heirro and many other volcanoes that will wake, however worry is not a good choice of words. What will be will be.


      Peace & Love


  4. Tim says:

    “Fire and Ice”


  5. Still bubbling in the ocean but the pace of tremors has slowed dramatically. Here’s a link of the seismic scorecard:


  6. Gen says:

    I did not word my comment properly to convey what I really meant. What I meant was that I was surprised to see Katla reported in the news before it had erupted.

    Same goes for the Merapi volcano article.

    I also notice that more 5 range earthquakes are getting a mention.

    Wondering if the media are at last waking up to all the earth changes that are happening in the world and deciding the importance of reporting them. Just a thought.


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