A powerful 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit the center of the Katla caldera today at 15:14.
The major earthquake which hit the subglacial volcano was followed by a second 3.0 magnitude quake one minute later and a dozen smaller quakes.
The earthquake swarm rattling Katla volcano since several days is intensifying.
Today’s powerful quakes follow a wave of activity in the past couple of weeks. On Monday and Tuesday the volcano registered several large earthquakes, following a wave of activity at the beginning of January.
The volcano is under close supervision, as the volcano has erupted very regularly every 60-80 years. The last eruption took place in 1918, making Katla long overdue for an eruption.
Katla, which is hidden beneath Mýrdalsjökull glacier, competes with the giant volcano Bárðarbunga, located beneath Vatnajökull glacier for the title of Iceland’s most powerful and dangerous volcano.
It is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, and while it is somewhat less powerful than Bárðarbunga, an eruption of Katla could pose greater threats to civilians, not least due to glacial flooding caused by a sub-glacial volcanic eruption, but also the challenges posed by the ash cloud generated by such an eruption.
According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office there are no signs of increased volcanic activity.