Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

Today (28.05.2012) at 11:22 UTC an small earthquake swarm did start in Katla volcano. This earthquake swarm did end at 12:28 UTC. This is small earthquake swarm, both in numbers of earthquakes and in the magnitude of the earthquakes in the swarm. With the largest earthquake having the magnitude of ML1.4. The depth of this earthquake swarm was around 0.1 km, but that gives the depth around 100 meters or so. Following this earthquake there has been some minor disturbance at Álftagróf SIL station. But because it only appears on one SIL station. This change might have its origin in something else. Like human traffic, local wind etc. For the moment I cannot rule that out.


The change in tremor at Álftagróf SIL station. This change in tremor might not be because of Katla volcano. But something else. Please keep that in mind. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

If the tremor changes at Álftagróf SIL station where from Katla volcano. They where highly local and did not show up on other SIL stations for some unknown reason. That has happened before, but the SIL network was not as dense around Katla volcano back then.


Image of the active area in Katla volcano. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

I find it most likely reason for this earthquake swarm where some changes in hydrothermal areas inside Katla volcano caldera. All hydrotheraml areas in Katla volcano are under high pressure due to the glacier that is on top of them. So changes might not happen without some earthquake activity as did happen few hours ago. This is also not in any way a sign that Katla volcano might be about to erupt. This is far too low earthquake activity for such event to be starting. There is an chance of small glacier flood following this earthquake swarm in next 8 to 24 hours. But it is far from certain that is going to happen.

This entry was posted in Earthquakes, Hydrothermal, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

  1. Newby says:

    Jon, thank you very much for continuing to keep us up to date with events in Iceland. very much appreciated.

  2. Jack@Finland says:

    Very nice article, especially in terms of facts vs. speculation.

  3. Advertise notice. I have removed the advertiser Adbrite. It is not returning, as income from it was way to low. All that is left is to remove it from my earthquake web pages. That is going to be done in next few moments.

    Infolinks ads are going to be removed soon. The only advertisers that I am going to use are Google Adsense and Amazon, as they are the only ads that give reasonable amount of income on this blog.

    • Aspic says:

      Jon. A word of encouragment, any mention of your blog on other sites is good, despite any negative comments made. It will increase your exposure and hopefully lead to more hits on your site. Let people build up frinedships and gossip if they want to, it all leads to more traffic in the long term and that is what you need. Just my opinion, hope you take it in the good way that I intended.

      • I am not sure negative publishing is any good. But I can’t do anything about it. So I won’t waste my time on fighting it. I got other and better things to do.

        But thanks for your good words of encouragement.

      • Aspic says:

        Not at all. People who have never looked at your blog will read the negative comments and come to find out what you have to say, just because they are curious as to what the fuss is about, therfore more hits on the site. Trick is to keep them coming back.

  4. Maarten Van Damme says:

    Many thx for the update. I’ve been coming back to this blog almost daily since more then a year, very interesting site. Keep up the good work. Greetings from Switzerland.

  5. KarenZ says:

    OT: Northern Italy has had a large EQ this morning.

    5.8 mag 2012/05/29 07:00:04 44.814 11.079 9.6km NORTHERN ITALY

    (as reported by USGS http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usb000a1mn.php)
    Also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18247659

  6. vittorio says:

    hi Jon,
    long time lurker, from Eya….
    perhaps O.T. (not volcanic matter, nor icelandic)

    two interesting preliminary pics of interpherometry satellite radar analisys (COSMO-SkyMed) performed by ASI-INGV in the area of the first quake (05-20-2012). It seems that there was an uplift, max15cm, in the area around the epicentrum. In accord with reverse faulting along EW/45°dip plane (remeber “beach balls”).
    http://www.asi.it/it/news/cosmo_skymed_occhi_puntati_sul_nord_italia
    http://www.asi.it/files/Bondeno_INGV_interferogramma.jpg
    http://www.asi.it/files/mappa_spostamenti_IREA.jpg

    p.s. now 15 “casualties”

  7. Mafl says:

    Thanks for your coolness, Jon! 🙂
    Quality beats quantity!
    Monthly donation is on the way!

  8. kleinboy says:

    Thank you Jon for your blog, I have been reading it almost dayli for over two years now. Keep up the good job even though you moved away ,will try tó donate something soon.

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