Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Is Iceland’s Katla Volcano Getting Ready To Erupt?

In May of 2010, I wrote of the warnings coming from Iceland’s President that a significant eruption of Katla Volcano was close.

Today, there are reports that the huge Katla Volcano is coming back to life again, showing signs that Katla is getting ready to erupt.

A harmonic tremor has been recorded for two days and small earthquakes have been confirmed at the volcano by the Icelandic Met Office this morning.

It is highly unusual for an eruption in Iceland to occur in the middle of winter but the early indications show Katla is building up power.

Experts are unclear as to whether it is water or magma that is causing this week's sudden increase in activity and the seismic recordings are currently lower than when the volcano first showed signs of a minor eruption last July.

It is believed Katla, named after a vindictive troll of Viking folklore, has the potential to be much stronger and disruptive than the last two Icelandic volcanic eruptions that caused chaos across Europe's air space, grounding flights and closing airports.

Katla is much larger than its neighbouring Eyjafjallajokull – which erupted in 2010 - with a magma chamber about 10 times the size.

Volcanologists warn that if Katla does erupt, the combination of the magma and the large ice sheet covering the volcano could lead to explosive activity and an ash plume for weeks, if not months.

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