Today (19.04.2017) a strong earthquake swarm started in Katla volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had magnitude of 3,0 and 3,1 other earthquakes that happened where smaller in magnitude. This is the strongest earthquake activity in Katla volcano since January 2017 when a magnitude 4,3 earthquake happened. No harmonic tremor was detected following this earthquake swarm.
The earthquakes that I detected on my geophone in Heklubyggð show that the largest earthquakes was a mixed type of volcano earthquakes. This means that magma was responsible for today’s earthquake swarm. It was reported today in the news that this earthquake swarm took place away from all major hydrothermal areas inside Katla volcano caldera. The area of activity is close to eruption area of 1755 and a minor eruption close to current earthquake area in 1955 (didn’t break the glacier).
The main earthquake with the magnitude of 3,1 in Katla volcano. The trace is filtered at 4Hz due to high wind in the area. This image is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see CC licence for more details.
This earthquake activity might just be a early signs of more activity to come. Since current pattern of activity has been going on since August-2016, with minor drop in activity between January to April. How this evolves depends on many factors that cannot be predicted due to lack properly documented earthquake history. Scientists know some details of Katla volcano eruptions behaviour, but those accounts are not fully accurate due to lack of knowledge at the time, currently the best documented eruption in Katla volcano is from 1918.
Article updated at 20:41 UTC. Correction made to the information about strongest earthquake. I recalled that detail wrongly.
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