A series of tremors were recorded around the volcano Katla yesterday, none of them giving any indications that an eruption is imminent.
RÚV reports that two quakes were recorded very close to Katla; the first, in the early evening and measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale; the other, coming at about 23:30 last night, and measuring 2.2. There were also reportedly two quakes measuring greater than 3 on the Richter scale yesterday afternoon, with the largest measuring 3.3.
However, the Icelandic Met Office emphasises that there is nothing unusual about tremors of this size in this area. As such, there is as yet no reason to panic about any impending eruptions.
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.