Iceland volcanoes might be back soon and strong

Well I am not sure that this is yet that dramatic, but it is beginning to look as though it might be, and so it is worth putting up a shot from the Icelandic Met Office about earthquakes in the Myrdalsjokull (Katla) region that I just noticed has happened in the last 24-hours {around 17 June}, actually at about 5:30 pm local time, on the 17th. The stars denote an earthquake greater than 3 occurring, and there has been a growing focus of the earthquakes around the Katla site over the past four months, some of which I had noted earlier. These now appear stronger and even more focussed.

Earthquakes in the last 24 hours {around 17 June} around the Mydralsjokull site (Icelandic Met Office )

Historically, the Katla volcano, under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, has erupted around 18 months or so after the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Eyjafjallajökull went off in April 2010, and you may recall that it shut down European airspace for several days. Katla produces much larger eruptions, so if the pattern holds, we may be in for some fireworks around September-October 2011. Katla has the potential to generate Volcanic Explosivity Index 5 eruptions, similar to the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1981. Katla’s last major eruption was in 1918, and it has averaged about 50 years between eruptions over the last 1200 years. Keep an eye on the news about Icelandic earthquakes, as they can indicate magma moving prior to a volcanic eruption.

 

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