Katla Iceland's second larger volcano to erupt soon
May 27, 2010 12:37 PM EDT (Updated: May 27, 2010 12:44 PM EDT)
Katla is another volcano in Iceland and scientists and the president of Iceland are warning it’s about to erupt. Katla is much larger
Eyjafjallajökull, and if you remember the havoc it caused, this one will be far worse in terms of disruption of air traffic.
Thousands of flights were cancelled when the first volcano erupted but on April 22 for the second time, the historical pattern was for the third
eruption to be Katla the bigger volcano to erupt.
There is a connecting chamber between the two volcanoes and with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull the chances of Katla erupting go way up.
The increase of seismic energy is associated with the inflation of Katla which according to seismologists indicates that an eruption of Katla is
likely, and that Katla’s failure is eminent.
If Katla erupts, which is now likely, the president of Iceland is warning airlines to make plans now. The criticism by Iceland's president is a
warning that had earlier plans been made by Europe, airline delays might not have been so significant. Earthquakes can be expected as well.
Volcanic activity at Katla, the big sister of Eyjafjallajokull which has historically erupted in sequence with the smaller volcano, has increased 200%
in recent days, and experts are concerned it may soon blow:
"A report from the University College London (UCL) institute for risk and disaster reduction has outlined that "An eruption in the short term is a
strong possibility'. In its initial research paper it said: 'Analysis of the seismic energy released around Katla over the last decade or so is
interpreted as providing evidence of a rising ... intrusive magma body on the western flank of the volcano.' Seismic readings of the volcano indicate
the tremors around the area have increased substantially. Four earthquakes were detected near Katla during a 12-hour period on May 21st, more than at
any other time since the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruptions first occurred in March. Three earthquakes at the Katla Volcano were reported by the
Disaster and Emergency website Hisz.rsoe.hu on Sunday evening. The tremors may have been due to ice movements within Mýrdalsjökull glacier or magma
movement under the volcano. The last earthquake to take place at the volcano was recorded yesterday morning."
Warning signs have been posted near the base of the glacier which caps the Katla volcano (top) Inset (above), the last major Katla eruption, in
In related news, NASA has observed massive phytoplankton blooms in the north Atlantic which it believes are directly related to Eyjafjallajokull's
ash cloud (sorry, I misspoke about this - scientists don't believe they're related, at least not this season).
Here's their photo (see green and blue swirls in top half of image):