Increase in earthquakes in Katla volcano

Since yesterday (13-July-2019) there has been a increase in earthquake activity in Katla volcano. There are no signs of anything more happening than just this increase of earthquakes.


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

This increase in activity is something to keep a watch for but this has happened before without resulting in a eruption in Katla volcano. There have been reports on high volume of water level in the cauldrons in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. I don’t know if that is connected to this increase in earthquake activity. There is an expatiation that water is going to break out soon and the flood is going to be the largest since 2011. That might increase earthquake activity in Katla volcano once that happens. For now however nothing has been reported in the news of such a event.

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Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

Yesterday (18-February-2019) a earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. This is the first earthquake swarm in Katla volcano for a long time and it is unusual how early this activity starts.


Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 3,0 and other earthquakes in this swarm were smaller in magnitude. Total of ten earthquakes took place in this swarm. This earthquake activity now seems to be over.

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Strong sulphur smell from Sólheimajökull glacier (Katla volcano)

Today (21-November-2018) Icelandic Met Office issued a warning about strong sulphur smell from Sólheimajökull glacier and Jökulsá á Sólheimasandi (connected glacier river) that come from Katla volcano. People are advised to stay away from this area because if the sulphur smell. There hasn’t been any connected earthquake activity with this increase in sulphur smell.


Katla volcano is quiet. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is no earthquake activity and no change has been observed on harmonic tremor plots around Katla volcano at this moment. This is unlikely to change, since earthquake activity has been minimal in 2018.

Katla volcano releases massive amount of CO2 daily

According to new study into CO2 release of Katla volcano the amount released by the volcano is massive. According to the news on Rúv the daily amount released of CO2 is 20 kiloton (1 kiloton = 1000 tons). What is not known today is if this high release of CO2 is constant or if it fluctuates during the year. More reaches is needed into that possible.

I don’t know how much magma is needed for this amount of CO2 release from Katla volcano. What I do know is that it is not little amount of magma inside Katla volcano. Largest documented eruption in Katla volcano had a VEI size of 5. The Eldgjá eruption in 934 was more lava than volcano ash and that was the largest eruption in Katla volcano for a long time. It is not possible to predict an eruption in Katla volcano or any other volcano with good precision.

This makes Katla volcano the 3rd largest CO2 releasing volcano in the world.

Rúv News in Icelandic

Kvikusöfnun í Kötlu (Rúv.is, Icelandic)


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Earthquake swarm in south part of Katla volcano caldera

Today (9-August-2018) an earthquake activity increased in south part of Katla volcano caldera. It doesn’t appear that any earthquake in this swarm reached magnitude 2,0.


Earthquake activity in south part (towards the coastline) of the caldera of Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is unclear why this earthquake activity is happening at the moment. There isn’t anything unusual on harmonic tremor plots at the moment and nothing suggesting that an eruption is going to happen any time soon.

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More earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Today (8-August-2018) at 21:39 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of 3,1 took place in Katla volcano. Second largest earthquake in this activity so far had a magnitude of 2,4. This earthquake activity appears to be ongoing and magnitudes and number of earthquakes is going to change.


Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Green star is the magnitude 3,1 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is no change in harmonic tremor at the moment and that for now rules out any movement of magma inside Katla volcano. This might be connected to glacier floods that are now coming from Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

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Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano, ongoing glacier flood from Mýrdalsjökull glacier

Today (7-august-2018) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 2,9 and other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude.


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

There is also a glacier flood coming from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. This has resulted in dangerous levels of Hydrogen sulfide gases close to Múlakvísl glacier river and the police has asked people not to stop in the area due to a risk of gas build up. The Hydrogen sulfide is at lethal levels in some areas where wind cannot move it.

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Considerable earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

Since early this morning (2-August-2018) there has been considerable earthquake swarm activity in Katla volcano. This earthquake swarm started yesterday (1-August-2018) at low rate but during the night and after a minor stop the earthquake rate increased and at the moment this earthquake swarm can be considered ongoing.


Green star is the magnitude 3,6 earthquake in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake so far had a magnitude of 3,7 and the second largest magnitude has been 2,2. Other earthquakes are smaller in magnitude at the moment. No change in harmonic tremor has been observed at the moment. There is a lot suggesting that glacier water from hydrothermal areas under Mýrdalsjökull glacier are now flooding into Múlakvísl glacier river. I got a report of that over facebook yesterday, but nothing has been confirmed officially at the moment.

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Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

Today (1-August-2018) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 2,5. All other earthquakes are smaller in magnitude. It is unclear at the moment if this is connected to a possible glacier flood from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Currently there are no news on this.


A minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

At the moment it appears that this earthquake swarm is over. But it might start again without much warning since that has often been the style of earthquake activity in Katla volcano.

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Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

During the night of 13-July-2018 a minor earthquake swarm took place in south part of the caldera of Katla volcano.


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

Largest earthquake in this minor earthquake swarm was magnitude 2,9 and the second largest earthquake had a magnitude of 1,9. This earthquake swarm is over but new earthquake swarms might start without warning. July often marks the time when earthquake activity starts to increase in Katla volcano.