Magnitude 4,5 earthquake in Katla volcano

Today at 22:18 UTC (26-July-2017) a earthquake with the magnitude of 4,5 took place in Katla volcano. A earlier earthquake happened at 22:15 UTC and it had the magnitude of 3,2. The magnitude 4,5 earthquake was felt in Vík í Mýrdal and nearby area.


The earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

A considerable number of smaller earthquakes have been happening in the last hour. There is nothing at the moment that suggest an eruption is about to happen. There is no magma signature on the tremor plot at the moment. With total of 55 earthquakes having happened in Katla volcano over the last 48 hours.

Update 28-July-2017

Current 24 hours have been quiet in Katla volcano with no major earthquake activity taking place at the moment. This is normal and was also observed last year when a sudden increase in earthquake activity took place.

Here is a over-view of that activity, from earliest earthquakes on 29-August-2016 until 29-September-2016. More articles can be found on Katla volcano activity during that time period just by searching. This are the articles when the most activity took place.

Katla volcano earthquake activity update (29-August-2016)
Magnitude 3,9 earthquake in Katla volcano (25-September-2016)
Heavy earthquake activity in Katla volcano, high conductivity in glacier rivers (29-September-2016)
Katla volcano update at 10:48 UTC (30-September-2016)

This article is going to be updated as needed.

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Article updated on 28-July-2016 at 00:26 UTC.

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

20 Responses to Magnitude 4,5 earthquake in Katla volcano

  1. Bobby Kindle says:

    4.5 is a startling measure. If this turns out to be nothing more than a deep crack in the ice, I will be surprised. There has been a lot of activity of late. As you have stated before; “Something is going on”. But until a pattern emerges, the results we can only guess at.

    I also wonder if there are any sinkholes in the icecap too like last time. We will have to wait. Thank you for your speedy update sir.

  2. Diedre says:

    I’m wondering if this will cause a jökulhlaup, or is part of the lead up to one. I know Katla is well known for them.

    • Jan B says:

      Likely yes. The question is when…

    • Henk Weijerstrass says:

      In 2011 a jökullhlaup from Katla blew a bridge, just 11 kms from Vík, from its foundations and placed it somewhere on the Mýrdalssandur…

  3. Wedge says:

    Looks like GLP is being attacked at the moment. Haven’t been able to get to the Iceland Rift thread there for awhile.

    Thanks for the updates, Jon.

    • GLP? I’ve never heard of it.

      • Andy says:

        GLP, GodLikeProductions. Awful site – you’re missing nothing Jon. They label themselves a conspiracy site. You do science, they do not!

      • I have heard of GodLikeProductions and they are in wired conspiracy nonsense. I never go there but for some reason this website is semi-popular there.

      • Wedge says:

        There are informationally valuable threads on GLP-particularly on the Icelandic volcanoes/EQs and their updates-it’s where I found out about YOUR site Jon, and your email updates! GLP is not ‘only’ conspiracies and UFO aliens. There is real, late breaking news, usually with source links so a reader can verify whatever events are being discussed. The Iceland Rift thread is loaded with real information, links to scientific websites/universities/government with papers and real-time monitoring. The best thing about the thread in my opinion-you can ask a question, and have it answered with respect and clarity for the layman. There are now 1,461 pages of information just on Iceland’s volcanoes and earthquakes.
        If you don’t like the GLP conspiracy threads or topics, you don’t have to ‘click’ on their links and read them! Isn’t freedom grand?!

      • @Wedge, I don’t read them. Long time ago I did read sites like this, that was back in the days of 2002 – 2004. But then I learned and learned some more and stopped going to those websites.

        I do check sometimes where the traffic comes from and if I recall correctly. GodLikeProductions threat that mention my website are one of those doomsday ones or a like.

        I have no plans on going back to reading sites like this. I’ve grown out of them long time ago.

  4. Saara R says:

    Katla earthquakes have usually been quite shallow, now there seems to be a lot happening around 1-10km depth. Any thoughts?

    Also, hydrology readings look interesting. Múlakvisl conductivity is now 218.5 and rising.

    Sure, nothing at this moment suggests that an eruption is imminent, but the Met office’s statement that there’s nothing to worry about..? Well, if I lived in Vík, I’d worry…Eq’s this size seem to be a rather recent (2016-) addition to Katla’s repertoire.

  5. There are now confirmed report (and was mentioned in a comment with a older article) that Múlakvísl smells more of sulphur then before. This has happened before and was common last year during the earthquake swarm activity that started in August-2016.

  6. zyfly says:

    Looking to see how and whether this cycle is escalating over 2016 episode and signs that Katla increasingly cannot contain this amount of pressure. But as Bobby K said well, looking for a steady pattern to evolve before we move beyond the speculation phase. If I am correct, we need a lot more EQs over 4 along with Harmonic Tremors and GPS readings, all of which could come suddenly as she is hypothetically 10 months pregnant.

  7. Jenneke says:

    Looking at the tremor at station Austmannsbunga, the frequency seems to be going up. The blue tremor (lowest frequency). Dear Jón, could you please explain again which tremor to look at? I thought the lowest frequency? And is this the station to look at? Closest to Katla? Thanks!

  8. Saara R says:

    I too noticed that the AUS tremor frequency graph has changed a bit.
    Also, I haven’t noticed much discussion about conductivity. In the article linked, it said that around 190 is still considered somewhat normal at this time of year. Now, the conductivity is 280 and a while ago was 297. Can we agree that this is a more unusual reading.

    There hasn’t been much eq activity today and SIL stations look normal, though. For now, at least, things are quiet if not exactly calm.

  9. There is really bad weather in this area at the moment with strong winds. It explains the change in the tremor graph that is appearing. This strong wind also masks small earthquakes in Katla volcano. It appears that Katla volcano is quiet at the moment.

  10. Jenneke says:

    Ok Jón, thanks. I didn’t know the weather is so bad at the moment. I feel a bit stupid cause I have been following Katla since 2014 and always knew about weather tremor 😉 Well, I am keeping an eye on her!

    • Henk Weijerstrass says:

      Hello Jenneke, arrived today at Kerlingarfjöll and because of the strong winds it was quite difficult to put up the tent. The same as this morning in Blonduós, breaking it down.
      Now at 20:22 hrs (22:22 dutch time) the wind has quited down.
      Outside temp. now is 9, 9 degr. C.

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