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July 27, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Katla Volcano: The Latest

Just last week I blogged about the issuance of new postage stamps from the Iceland Post company celebrating the Eyjafjallajökull eruptions (celebrating?). I mentioned too how small but nearly continuous earthquakes at the site of Eyjafjallajökull’s sister volcano Katla were keeping volcanologists, geologists and residents anxious about a likely imminent eruption. Experts expect the coming Katla eruption to be monumental and to even possibly have an effect on global climate; volcanic ash to 100,000 feet (mid-stratosphere) is within reason. There is good reason for concern: Previous eruptions from Katla, dating back to 920 AD, have been classified as explosive with voluminous lava flows.

As of yesterday, a spike in quake activity resulted in more quakes in 36 hours than in the entire previous month. This is likely a sign that the subsurface magma is on the move and rising to the surface.


It’s estimated that the magma under the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier is on the move and is responsible for the increase in seismic activity over the past couple of days. Image: Wiki. 

 

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