Tag Archives: Eyjafjallajokull

Iceland: Volcanic Update

It’s not only the sun that’s heating up, so are the volcanic activity at Iceland. According to the Modern Survival Blog, ash could begin to reach parts of Scotland as early as Tuesday followed by Britain, France, and Spain while a powerful Icelandic volcano named Grimsfjall (“Grimsvotn”) continues to erupt there at the Vatnajökull ice cap – Europe’s largest glacier.

“First estimations show this is 10 times larger than the 2004 eruption.”


One observer says, “There was no warning at all…approximately 20 minutes from first quake to eruption.First estimations show this is 10 times larger than the 2004 eruption.”

There were some expectations that the next eruption at Grimsfjall/Grimsvotn would be stronger, due to increased bulging inflation in the area, but the powerful explosion and ash plume reaching as high as 25 km, caught many out, the ModernSurvivalBlog writes.

A curious observation followed the initial quake swarm and eruption. Once the magma reaches the surface, the quakes typically stop.

With Grimsfjall/Grimsvotn, another earthquake swarm persisted to the east.

There is also renewed earthquake activity to the south, at the Katla volcano region, which itself is a time-bomb waiting to unleash its fury.

Locally, the immediate threat is ash-fall, which this time is of a heavy consistency.

Threats of glacial water flooding persist due to the intense volcanic heat melting the ice.

Further away, European air traffic control are working with Meteorology Offices to determine the path of the ash cloud and the impact it may have on European air traffic this week.

One year ago, much of European air traffic was shut down for 6 days from another Icelandic volcano that blew its top (Eyjafjallajokull), leaving countless stranded travelers and a dent in the economy.

Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Iceland, says:

“We see some signs that the power is declining a bit, but it is still quite powerful,” adding that the eruption was the most violent at the volcano since 1873.

The potential disruption during the upcoming week will depend on the atmospheric wind patterns, and the ongoing strength of the eruption itself.

Related by the Econotwist’s:

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Scientists Gather Around Katla, Volcano Giant Close To Eruption

A sudden grouping of earthquakes at and around the volcano Katla in Iceland during the past 24 hours is cause for concern. Approximately 50 earthquakes have suddenly popped around the region, according to the Modern Survival Blog. The most alarming is that the last 6 have rumbled right beneath and within the Katla volcano caldera  itself – the most caldera quakes in one day since this author began monitoring the Icelandic volcano 7  months ago. International geologist is now setting up new equipment in the area.

“If that wasn’t enough cause for concern, earthquakes are also rumbling around the volcano that erupted last April (Eyjafjallajokull), the one that shut down European air traffic for several weeks.”


A few weeks ago, Eyjafjallajokull began showing signs of activity once again, the activity being new earthquakes. Having been mostly quiet since the eruption ended early last year, Eyjafjallajokull may now be indicating that it has more in store for us, the blog reports.

However, of greater overall concern is the Katla volcano.

The Katla Eruption of 1918

Reason being, it has the potential to explode with up to ten times the force of that of its neighbor, Eyjafjallajokull.

“The last Katla eruption was during 1918, 92 years ago, and is way overdue for its next wake-up call.”

The average time between explosive Katla eruptions has been 52 years since it erupted in 30 AD. Katla has erupted 38 times since.

Since May, 2010, approximately 132 earthquakes have rumbled within the Katla caldera.

The concentration of these earthquakes appear to be located in three general areas, as shown in the following image.

The largest concentration looks to be near the eruption of 1755, with nearly an equal number located near the eruption of 1918. There is also a build up of quakes along the northeast rim.

“We know that it is only a matter of time before this volcano blows its top. The explosion could be the biggest we’ve seen in a long time around this planet. Katla has exploded with a VEI 5 in the past (that’s pretty big).”

According to ModernSurvivalBlog.com,  new detection equipment has been installed around the Katla; Eyja region.

“If accurate, this could explain some of what we may be seeing. My own experience tells me that newly installed systems (any industry) take a while to tweak out issues. We’ll see how this plays out. Apparently just days ago, new, more sensitive seismometers (and more of them) have been brought online having been installed around Katla and Eyja, and financed by the British Geological Survey. The reason for the British funding for the new seismometers and software is to give better clues and more advanced warning before Katla does eventually go ka-boom. Even they know its history.”

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Katla Could Be 100 Times – Not 10 – More Explosive Than Eyjafjallajokull

The current thinking and assumption is that an eruption at the Katla volcano in Iceland may 10 times as powerful the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, but the fact is that Katla have the potential to become 100 times more explosive.

“Imagining the impact of a Katla eruption on a scale of ten times worse than Eyjafjallajokull is bad enough, but when considering an impact of one hundred times worse, one begins to cringe…”


The fact is, the magma chamber beneath Katla is large enough to produce a VEI 6 eruption. The chamber has a volume of about 10 Billion cubic meters and the caldera has an area of about 42 square miles (108 square kilometers), the ModernSurvivalBlog reports.

Last weekend there was an unusual high activity of earthquakes around the Katla volcano in Iceland, with 6 earthquakes in 24 hours.

This weekend it’s only been one earthquake in the area, so far.

But at the Modern Survival Blog they’re providing us with even more scary information:

100 – Not 10 -Times As Powerful

“The current thinking and assumption is that Katla will possibly be as powerful as ten times that of the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, which is a reasonable expectation given the fact that the 1918 Katla eruption was indeed about ten times as powerful as Eyjafjallajokull,” the blog post points out.

But here’s the real deal:

Volcano explosiveness is ranked on a scale from 0 to 8 (Volcanic Explosivity Index – VEI), and each increase in number represents a ten times increase in explosiveness (logarithmic scale).

The total volume of ejected material also known as “tephra (the fragmental material, regardless of size, produced by volcanic eruption), as well as plume height are the most important criteria factored in to VEI.

The recent Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption in Iceland was ranked on the low end of VEI 4 and released about 140 Million cubic meters of material , of which about 80 Million cubic meters went into the atmosphere by way of the ash plume.

It affected aviation in the region for weeks, translating to global transportation issues of both human and cargo, and had a measurable negative economic impact.

Now; Imagining the impact of a Katla eruption on a scale of ten times worse than Eyjafjallajokull is bad enough, but when considering an impact of one hundred times worse, one begins to cringe…

The Bad Habit Of History

The 1918 Katla eruption has been ranked VEI 4+ and VEI 5, ejected 700 Million cubic meters of material, was about ten times the explosive power as Eyjafjallajokull, and nearly comparable with the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Katla erupting in 1918.

Katla erupting in 1918.

“The fact is, the magma chamber beneath Katla is large enough to produce a VEI 6 eruption. The chamber has a volume of about 10 Billion cubic meters and the caldera has an area of about 42 square miles (108 square kilometers). The total volume within the magma chamber, if completely filled and ejected, could touch the bottom range of a VEI 6.”

When Katla erupted in 934 AD, it produced one of the world’s largest known lava flows which amounted to 18 Billion cubic meters while also ejecting 5 Billion cubic meters of tephra.

This put it solidly within VEI 5 and would certainly have been VEI 6 if some of the enormous amount of lava had ejected as tephra instead, according to ModernSurvivalBlog.

Whether Katla goes off as a VEI 4+, 5, or 6, it will have a significant impact on today’s world.

Regardless of the scale, air travel will be severely impacted, particularly in Europe, which will ripple down through the economies of the world. Localities in the path of the ash plume will likely endure regional crop and livestock failure from ash fallout, as well as the threat of poisoning from inhalation.

“History favors a probable VEI 4+, maybe VEI 5 type of event, however a VEI 6 worst case scenario will bring significant devastation in that it will be much wider spread.”

“It will surely have a global impact as temperatures could drop enough to cause wide spread crop failures while our weather is effected from such a large volume of ash ejected into the stratosphere. Having said that, even a VEI 5 could also cause a world wide temperature drop depending on which end of the VEI ‘5′ scale.”

The Eyjafjallajokull eruption, April 2010.

The Eyjafjallajokull eruption, April 2010.

Katla historically erupts following the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull (which erupted 14-April and went on for 10 days).

Katla’s volcanic eruptions have ranged in duration from 13 days to as long as 120 days, while the last three Katla eruptions have been between 20 and 28 days.

“We will not know the answer to the question of 10-times or 100-times until it happens, but in the mean time, if I lived nearby, I would stock up with some extra food and water just in case the disruption is bad enough.”

“We all know that it will happen, it could be tomorrow or months from now, but the clock is definitely ticking,” the ModernSurvivalBlog writes.

Original post here.

Related by the Econotwist:

Volcano Ash Can Send The Earth Into “Deep Freeze”

Katla Update: 6 Eartquakes In The Last 24 hours

Katla Update: 2 Earthquakes In 3 Hour

More Mysterious “Monster Fish” Comes To Surface

Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth

Low-Oxygen Zones In Oceans Worry Scientists

Mother Earth On Crack


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Filed under International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics