Published January 5, 2017
A tremor measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale was recorded just west of the Katla volcano early this morning, RÚV reports. This was followed by several small aftershocks.
As reported, Katla has been “overdue” for an eruption for some time now. “On average the time between eruptions is 50 years but now the volcano hasn‘t erupted in 98 years,” earthquake hazards coordinator at the Icelandic Met Office Kristín Jónsdóttir told RÚV. “There will be an eruption, it‘s only a question of when.”
However, the current seismic activity around Katla does not indicate an eruption is imminent, professor of geology Páll Einarsson told RÚV.
“Katla is a powerful volcano and we should never forget that,” he said. “However, there is nothing in this recent series of events that indicates especially that volcanic activity or an eruption is imminent. People ask, when will Katla erupt? My response is it erupted in 2011. We just didn’t notice it.”
Here, Páll refers to the glacial flooding which came from four ice cauldrons in the southeastern part of the Katla volcano that year, resulting in no loss of life but the destruction of a bridge over Múlakvísl.
As such, while technically speaking it is only a matter of time before Katla erupts, the latest recorded activity in the region does not indicate an eruption is imminent at this time. The Grapevine will keep readers updated on any new developments as they arise.