Saturday, July 9, 2011

Katla, the volcano in Iceland, begins?

View of the Katla volcanic site from a webcam

Last night there was a small flood of melted glacier water from the Myrdallsjokull glacier that sits over the Katla volvano . It took out a bridge on the Ring Road around Iceland but that initial flood is now subsiding. A flight over the volcano has shown only cracking of the ice at the moment.

View of the caldera at Katla – the ice is covered with ash from the earlier Eyjafjallajokull eruption.

There were a series of earthquakes around the caldera in the last 24-hours, though these too now seem to be subsiding.

Katla quakes in the last 24 hours (Icelandic Met Office )

There have also been some strong harmonic tremors under the glacier, which leads me to believe that this is just Katla clearing its throat, and in the next few days it may have a more powerful eruption. The search and rescue teams are out, and access is now restricted to the area. We’ll see how this plays out.

UPDATE: After a little quiescence after the flood, the earthquakes have resumed their pattern, again focusing in the southern edge of the caldera. So, despite others thinking that this may be all that happens, I rather believe that we are only at the beginning.

Quakes in the past 24 hours, taken at 13:34 Eastern US.

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