Tag Archives: Katla

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.”

eyewitness

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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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…”

ModernSurvivalBlog.com


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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Katla Update: 6 Eartquakes In The Last 24 hours

At 7:03 this morning the first powerful earthquake shook the ground at the Katla volcano in Iceland. Just 10 seconds later a second, but smaller, earthquake, occurred. So far there has been 6 earthquakes within the last 24 hours.

“It is interesting to note the buildup of earthquakes on the East-Northeast rim area.”

Modern Survival Blog


The activity in the area around the Katla volcano in Iceland seem to be increasing. In the last 24 hours there’s been a total of 6 earthquakes, that might be a sign of a giant eruption underway.

The Modern Survival Blog reports:

Friday, 11-June-2010, 07:03 this morning, an earthquake shook at the Katla volcano in Iceland.

10 seconds later, a slightly larger magnitude earthquake struck.

10 minutes later another earthquake trembled followed by yet a fourth earthquake hours later.

As I was writing this, a fifth earthquake just popped off!

Update: Now a sixth earthquake has gone off – this one though, way over on the western edge of the glacier area – lots of excitement today…

Increasing frequency?

The Modern Survival Blog have been monitoring the earthquakes at Katla since mid May.

These six earthquakes are the most in one day so far.

There is no evidence of swarming at this time – but it could definitively be the beginning of a swarm.

Anyway, it is interesting to note today’s rapid occurrence of earthquakes.

Katla, that historically erupts following the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull  – which first erupted April 14th –  is about 10 times more powerful, and has the potential to cause worldwide disruption.

An increasing frequency in the earthquake activity might very well be an indication than the eruption of Katla is near.

But time will tell.

Number of earthquakes up 151% this year

“The number of magnitude 5.0 to 6.9 worldwide earthquakes are showing a significant increase so far this year during 2010, and are up 151 percent compared with the same range and time span of earthquakes since the year 1900, as of this independent analysis, 25-May-2010,” The Modern Survival Blog writes.

The number of magnitude 7.0 to 8.9 worldwide earthquakes appear to be on track, or slightly increased from historical averages.

Magnitude 4.9 or less is analyzed, partly because they generally cause little or no damage.

“One could make a logical argument that earthquake detection technologies of the early 1900’s were not what they were decades later, and certainly not as advanced as today, therefore skewing the numbers. That is a valid argument. This would be particularly true when it comes to detecting and recording relatively small earthquakes which require higher sensitivity through more advanced technology.”

This is partly why this survey not compare earthquakes below magnitude 5.0. Earthquakes above this level were fairly easy to detect, even a century ago.

The data used in this analysis has been collected from the USGS (United States Geological Survey) going back to to the year 1900.

This report have averaged the number of earthquakes since 1900 in each magnitude range, and have also averaged the same data over the last 10 years. It is then compared this with the data of current earthquake statistics so far in 2010.

* Earthquakes of magnitude 5 – 5.9 have increased by 139 percent compared with same range of earthquakes over the last 10 years.

* Earthquakes of magnitude 5 – 5.9 have increased by 163 percent compared with same range of earthquakes since the year 1900.

* Earthquakes of magnitude 6 – 6.9 have increased by 130 percent compared with same range of earthquakes over the last 10 years.

* Earthquakes of magnitude 6 – 6.9 have increased by 140 percent compared with same range of earthquakes since the year 1900.

However, scientist are not able to conclude with certainty if the earthquake frequency is, in fact, increasing or not, because there’s not enough historical data.

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On

“From our human perspective with our relatively short and incomplete memories and better and better communications around the world, we hear about more earthquakes and it seems like they are more frequent,” J. Ramón Arrowsmith, a geologist at Arizona State University, says.

“But this is probably not any indication of a global change in earthquake rate of significance,” he adds.

“Coupled with better communication, as the human population skyrocket and we move into more hazardous regions, we’re going to hear more about the events that do occur,” Arrowsmith assumes.

However, Stephen S. Gao, a geophysicist at Missouri University of Science & Technology, says:

“Relative to the 20-year period from the mid 1970′s to the mid 1990′s, the Earth has been more active over the past 15 or so years.”

“We still do not know the reason for this yet. It could simply be the natural temporal variation of the stress field in the earth’s lithosphere.”

h/t Birgitta Höglund

Related by the Econotwist:

Katla Update: 2 Earthquakes In 3 Hour

Katla Now Rumbling – Ready To Blow?

Volcano Ash Can Send The Earth Into “Deep Freeze”

More Mysterious “Monster Fish” Comes To Surface

Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth

Mother Earth On Crack

Stunning Volcano Pictures

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