Possible minor eruption in Hamarinn volcano yesterday. Update on Katla volcano

There appears to be more in this new hydrothermal activity in Hamarinn volcano then at first sight. It seems that this actually might have a eruption in Hamarinn volcano (Bárðarbunga volcano). If this event is confirmed, this is the first eruption in Hamarinn volcano since the year 1910.

This also mean that there is a chance of more activity in this area in coming weeks or months. But when it might happen is impossible to know.


The new cauldrons are marked with a “X” on this map. Copyright of this picture belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This eruption was really small and did just last for few hours. But it was able to melt a lot of ice and create rather large glacier flood from Vatnajökull glacier. If the activity resumes in this area this is going to repeat it self in terms of glacier flood.

Icelandic News about this event.

Innskot af kviku (Rúv.is, Icelandic)
Eldgos gæti hafa brotist upp við Hamarinn (Vísir.is, Icelandic, Pictures)
Fundu nýjan sigketil (mbl.is, Icelandic, Pictures)

Sigketill við Lokahrygg (Icelandic Met Office, Icelandic, Pictures)

Update on Katla volcano

Here is a short update on Katla volcano. There have been repeated short burst of harmonic tremors taking place inside the Katla volcano caldera. This harmonic tremor spikes have been small and they are hard to see on the harmonic tremor graph that Icelandic Met Office has on-line. Other then this it has been quiet so far in Katla volcano.

161 Replies to “Possible minor eruption in Hamarinn volcano yesterday. Update on Katla volcano”

  1. RUV news: earthquake downgraded:
    Shockwave Kippur in Katla
    “Earthquake in boilers was observed at the Icelandic Meteorological Office suggest that the size 3 at the tenth time this evening was far less than originally estimated. The web service is that the source was 6.1 km east of Goðabungu. Weather recalculate the strength quake and it proved to be 0.3 in size. a size 3 was in the Katla at almost thirteen minutes, cleared ten in the evening. The sources were 6.1 kilometers east of Goðabungu.”
    http://www.ruv.is/frett/skjalftakippur-i-kotlu

  2. There is a continuous emission of some kind of gray smoke from the edge of Mýrdal glacier, as seen from the webcam.
    The location is right at the glacier’s tongue, where ice still appears white, differently from the rest of the glacier that acquired this grayish hue due to Grimsvötn ashes.
    Could be fog (there was plenty this morning forming a sinister moving pillow crawling across the valleys, but now the skies are blue and only the smoke is visible, which seems to be emitted from the melting tongue. Interesting stuff, and spectacular view of this apparently harmless volcano.

    1. Renato, you should follow the webcam for a while. First, volcanoes don’t smoke before an eruption, only after. Clouds form often over the top of glaciers, even in absolutely clear weather around. I can assure you that, because I live close to these Icelandic volcanoes and see this everyday from my window!

      Second, if you wait 10 mins, clouds will change its appearance, while smoke retains its column appearence coming always from the same spot (like in Eyjafjallajokull that has been steaming for over an year).

      If you look now at Katla webcam, you can see the clouds hanging above the glacier, and not coming from it. Just be patient and don’t rely in what you see in the webam in that instance. Wait, and see some mins later.

      1. Yeah, I’m used to those tricky views.
        Didn’t think it was an eruption, though, only thought it could be from geothermal waters. I waited more than 10 minutes and the column was there, always from the same source, then I went to sleep.
        I tried to grab a shot, but when I paste it to Iview, the cam keeps going. Weird. RUV’s cams are about the only ones I can’t keep still pics from.
        Thanks for the feedback. It was a magic sight, though.
        You’re lucky to see those things live. I keep wondering about the silence. It must be terribly silent there. I miss the silence in Rio.
        Best

  3. Also from me a very happy birthday wish, Jòn! Enjoy your day.
    ( and thank you again for your work on this blog, in the middle of all your personal questions and troubles!)

  4. I say, Jon, What does it mean when your Helicorder goes into te Red? I know it’s usually Wind & Background noise that cause lots of needle Movement, but I was just wondering what could cause a Red Peek?

    Hope all is well. Rob Kindle

    1. On the page it says:

      Green line = no data recorded / coming in
      Black line = normal data recored
      Red line = local earthquake recoreded. Noise sometimes creates red spikes.
      Orange line = Telesismic event has been detected.

      This time it is noise rather than an earthquake because there is a lot of noise surrounding it and the shape doesn’t look like real earthquakes that I’ve seen on there before, and of course there is no earthquake listed on IMO for that time. 🙂

    1. John happy birthday! Please tell me the name of the closest station of katla caldera. Thank you for all the info you give us!

  5. I think the Hamarinn and grims area might start a bit more today, just a hunch and hopefully wrong. Probably seeing something that is not there in the tremors

  6. Saturday
    16.07.2011 11:14:13 63.631 -19.146 1.1 km 0.7 77.04 5.2 km E of Goðabunga
    Saturday
    16.07.2011 11:14:01 63.635 -19.124 1.1 km 2.1 90.01 6.2 km N of Hábunga
    Saturday
    16.07.2011 09:38:43 63.631 -19.207 5.6 km 1.9 52.92 2.3 km ESE of Goðabunga

  7. Happy Birthday Jon-you share it with my mum 🙂 Thank you for this blog, very informative and a wonderful advert for iceland and the geological wonders of our planet.

  8. Happy Birthday Jon, and congratulations for your work and excellent blog!
    Hope you have a wonderful day and have lots of fun.

    Two more 2.0 earthquakes in Katla, this morning. And some increase in tremor in some stations on the south side of Katla. Red line goes up, while the green and blue go down.

    I am more confident that we should expect an eruption of Katla sometime within the next months.

    RenatoRio: I followed the Katla webcam for a while. It is clouds over there. If you are in doubt, please follow the webcam for a while. If it would be smoke, it would keep its column appearence, while clouds change much over time. Clouds form over the top of the glaciar, even if the weather is clear around.

    1. This increase appears more in stations around Eyjafjallakokull, but now I saw also similar increase over other stations in South Iceland, so it’s probably weather related.

  9. Cool 🙂 think i might have just witnessed an earthquake on the katla cam. The few low level cumulus clouds don’t appear to be moving very fast so im guesing from that the winds are very light, there for the slight shaking im putting down to a quake.

  10. Happy birthday to you Jon!

    I have a question regarding Hekla, the tremors are increasing if I can read it correct, it also seems like there is more activity on the helicorder?

  11. I think it’s just wind and other noise on Jon’s geophone. You can check the wind speed on the link at the bottom of the geophone page.

  12. I for one am predicting some more quakes around the Myrdalsjokull area later this afternoon, continuing into tomorrow. But this is just my opinion! 😀

    1. I agree, some interesting activity around; would not consider it a particular cause for concern at the moment.

      Also: Happy Birthday Jon! I forget to say it in my last post! 🙂

  13. That 2.1 quake has now been downgraded to 0.7

    I think Katla will stay sleeping for Jon’s birthday… 😉

      1. Where this whater came from? It’s melted from the heat of volcano or from rain?

    1. Hopefully that’s the heat of the sun melting from the top, if that much melt happened from below there would have been a full eruption I think.

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