h/t to Scarlet Pumpernickel for keeping watch on volcanic things while I was off playing at the Atlantis launch.

There are several of the indicia of a pending eruption at Katla. There is an earthquake storm that’s been building:

myrdalsj 9 July 2011

myrdalsj 9 July 2011

Original Image Site – Live

And there has been a jökulhlaup on Mýrdalsjökull (where the ice cap melts from below and makes a flood / rapid rise of the river) as discussed in this article:


small earthquakes in a line across the caldera though.
Some have a depth of less than a km, and are, most likely, just the ice shifting,
but there is steady activity down to 10-15 km depth, suggesting some magma movement.

Police are warning of strong H2S odour on the sands, and possibly lethal concentrations of the gas in low lying areas nearby.

(Katla is the volcano, Mýrdalsjökull is the glacier on top of it)

So Katla is clearing it’s throat… how much it will sing is yet to be seen. So we get to wait and watch…

Historically, Katla has let loose a few years after Eyjafjallajokull (eye-ya-fa-yal-a-yo-kul more or less) and it’s just about time. The linked article also says that the ion concentration in the water shows it to be of volcanic origin:

The river is rising, not clear when it will peak at this stage, water conductivity is high, indicative of high concentrations of ionic salts, and geothermal origin.
I used to take samples of the river water, for the hydrology group, using a boom off one of our trucks, hanging off the bridge across the river. Checking on salts and solutes.
Every time I’d swear the damn sulphide smell got stronger, we had instructions to cut the wire and leave fast if the smell spiked and the river started rising.

So, IMHO, “this bears watching”…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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14 Responses to Katla?

  1. Pascvaks says:

    Additional info at –

    This is all we need! No money! No Oil! No Gas! No Shuttle Follow-On! No NASA (that’s worth a flying fig)! Twenty-Six US/NATO wars around the globe. No Credit! No money of any real value! No Leadership in the WH or any Department! No congress in the Congress! Senile Senators! Currupt Representatives! Government Employee Unions! Corporate Leadership that can’t manage their way out of a soggy wet paper bag. And what starts happening? Cooler weather all over the world! 7+ earthqaukes popping all over the Pacific! NewsCorp being ripped apart by howling wolves and AGW/Anarchist idiots. And MORE Icelandic eruptions!!! I’m telling you, if this doesn’t stop right now, I’m going to tell the whole World to go to hell and take the wife to the Beach.

    PS: Hope the Launch was AOK!

  2. You could do worse, Pascvaks! (Unless the water is cold).
    The situation does look somewhat gloomy.
    Ditto the launch EM.

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.dv.is/frettir/2011/7/9/hlaupid-i-mulakvisl/ More photos of Katla flood.

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/hau.gif Hekla also firing a bit on the shaking :P http://www.ruv.is/hekla Hekla webcam

  4. R. de Haan says:

    Great to be on top of developments.
    Until now Katla activity is rather small so we’ll have to wait for the bigger fireworks.


  5. vukcevic says:

    R. de Haan
    Great to be on top of developments.
    bedroom – yes, volcano – not so.

  6. Verity Jones says:

    I noticed the activty at Katla yesterday. Let’s hope it is not the big one.

  7. R. de Haan says:

    very funny, thanks

  8. The earthquakes in the region have been gradually focusing down to three regions, one half-way between Katla and Eyjafjallajokull, the grouping that you showed above, and which caused the jokulhlaup, and a third nearer the coast. This focusing started in about April, and has now continued even after the flood today, so I rather doubt that this is over.

  9. I have now tried to put the “focussing” of the earthquakes around Katla in perspective, see


  10. Pascvaks says:

    Great piece. Let’s hope everyone takes the appropriate precautions.

    PS:Tried to cmt at your site but couldn’t get anything to take. Not sure how. Getting hard to “read between the lines anymore”. Bet a 6yr old could do it the first time through. Tried to us the “WordPress” link that I have here at chiefio. No sale. Wouldn’t do. Your site said WordPress said I didn’t exist. Maybe they know something I don’t. ;-)

  11. I checked and comments are allowed, so I have no clue why they aren’t going up. Sorry!!

  12. Pascvaks says:


    Sorry, didn’t mention Metheusala’s grandfather made my Ol’ HP?

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