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Icelandic Volcano Katla Aviation Risk Upgraded to Yellow

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posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 11:15 AM
Afternoon, ATS!

Many of you will remember the chaos that the nigh-unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull caused back in 2011 when it effectively shut down most of European airspace for more than a month back in 2011. Well, this little rock in the middle of the Atlantic may be at it again:

Following a fresh series of tremors at Katla in South Iceland this lunchtime, the Icelandic Met Office has raised the status of the famous volcano on its ‘Aviation Colour Code Map for Icelandic Volcanic Systems’ from green to yellow. “An intense seismic swarm is ongoing since yesterday morning (29 September) at Katla volcano. An intense pulse, the largest one if compared with the previous activity, started today at 12:02 (30 September) with several earthquakes around magnitude 3 or larger,” reads the website.

It's not unusual to see some seismic activity during the summer as the glacier capping Katla melts, but it seems that we may be heading towards something more significant. Over the last 24 hours there's been a big uptick in tremor swarms and a few +3mag shakes for good measure, and for this first time this year activity is being detected in the caldera itself.

This follows a period over the last couple of months where increased conductivity and gas levels (signs of increased geothermal activity) have been detected in the out-flowing rivers from the glacier.

The last recorded violent eruption of Katla (meaning Kettle or Cauldron, and also a girl's name in Icelandic) occurred in 1918 before any seismic monitoring was in place so there is no data to indicate if this is pre-eruption activity or just some moody rumblings, but Katla erupts violently roughly every century.

If it does erupt and break through the glacial cap, it might be a good idea to reassess any travel plans, she's a big one

This may amount to nothing, but I really like volcanology so thought I would share with you all.

Mýrdalsjökull seismic activity chart
Source Article
Jon Frimann's independent tracking site

Bonus round - People trying to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull
edit on 30-9-2016 by Revolvacron because: adding video

edit on 30-9-2016 by Revolvacron because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 11:28 AM
Back in 2011, I remember reading that Eyja-whatever erupting could be a precursor to an eruption by Katla.
Looks likes they may have right.

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 11:35 AM
I hope she blows, not because i want doom, but because there will always be some amazing footage of the eruption.

Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption

edit on 30-9-2016 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-9-2016 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 11:44 AM
a reply to: AndyFromMichigan

There's a lot of speculation about how interconnected all the volcanoes in Iceland are, as well as why Iceland is as volcanically active as it is. Bárðarbunga, which erupted at the end 2014 over the course of 3 months, is part of a system that stretches for over 200km. The distance between Katla and Eyjafjallajökull is a lot shorter than that, roughly 23km as the crow flies.

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 11:45 AM
a reply to: Mianeye
Yeah that's what I'm excited about! Though, I am supposed to be going to the UK in a couple of weeks so.....

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 11:48 AM
a reply to: Revolvacron

Well I think as Iceland straddles the mid atlantic ridge and is growing east and west simultaneously due to plate tectonics then surely it's a gimme all the volcanoes are connected (even if not directly the lava/magma will all be coming from the same area)

On a side note, I hope not for a week or two i'm booked to fly to Scotland next w/end.

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 11:52 AM
a reply to: johnb
Aye that's where I'm heading too. It's not just the divergent plate boundary as a factor though, there are a couple of theories that take it a bit further:
Plume Theory
Hotspot Theory

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 03:18 PM
a reply to: johnb

Back in 1780s Laki erupted. It was a fissure between two volcanos stretching across the surface of Iceland. The sulfur dioxide hit England first then mainland Europe. There is a great Nova special about that event. That event changed the weather patterns for not only Europe but also India! The deaths were pretty gruesome as sulfur dioxide combines with moisture in your lungs and creates sulfuric acid.

Here is the Wikipedia entry explaining in more detail: Laki.

If something like that happened with Katla in our modern times... it would be biblical in proportions. So yeah, good pictures, but mega deaths not much so.

PS - New word of the day: Phreatomagmatic



a reply to: Revolvacron

edit on 30-9-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: givin props

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 04:26 PM
I do'nt hope she blows....
after 100 years overtime and still an heavy ice-cap over her...
it could be an VEI 5 (if she goes in full eruption....)
would mean an volcanic winter in the northern hemisferes...
a reply to: Mianeye

edit on 30-9-2016 by ressiv because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 07:47 PM

Laki is crazy to read about. Within record, it's the most destructive volcanic event humanity has experienced. It affected seasons worldwide. Froze the Thames, obliterated summer across Europe.

According to Ben Franklin, at the time:

During several of the summer months of the year 1783, when the effect of the sun's rays to heat the earth in these northern regions should have been greater, there existed a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America. This fog was of a permanent nature; it was dry, and the rays of the sun seemed to have little effect towards dissipating it, as they easily do a moist fog, arising from water. They were indeed rendered so faint in passing through it, that when collected in the focus of a burning glass they would scarce kindle brown paper. Of course, their summer effect in heating the Earth was exceedingly diminished. Hence the surface was early frozen. Hence the first snows remained on it unmelted, and received continual additions. Hence the air was more chilled, and the winds more severely cold. Hence perhaps the winter of 1783–4 was more severe than any that had happened for many years.

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