Guest Videos: Waiting For Katla (May 5, 2023, 2152 UTC)

May 5, 2023, 2:52 a.m., Pacific: Per today’s IMO report (autotranslated), they have lowered the alert back to GREEN but are closely watching Katla.

Update, May 4, 2023, 4:14 p.m., Pacific: Reassuring updates from a nonscientist —

— and the seismologist:

More from the PNSN about volcanic earthquakes, including tremor and what it signifies. In Iceland, because of the ice atop some volcanoes, glacial floods are also signs of an eruption.

Update, May 4, 2023, 10:22 a.m., Pacific:. They went to Yellow today.

Here is the Icelandic Met Office’s report, autotranslated. Also, an Iceland Monitor story.

Found another good video, too; it’s from 2021:

Relax — it’s not in Icelandic. He is speaking English much better than I could speak Icelandic, plus you get the authentic pronunciation of all those place names.

Also this, from a seismologist there:

Original post

I think that’s Katla; it’s labeled “Katla” on Wikipedia, anyway, although the photographer calls it “Iceland.”

This subglacial volcano in southern Iceland was discussed at the same March 17th IMO science meeting that reviewed recent unrest at Askja.

The boffins noted unrest at both volcanoes but not enough to increase the alert level at either one.

Real-world Katla is impressive, though I have only just started looking into it this week. (The Netflix film is just some fiction.)

Let’s get a feel for it today with a couple of videos that were done several years ago, during an episode of more intense unrest than Katla is showing at present.

This backgrounder to a Reykjavik Grapevine article is from 2016:

I’m not sure which of these articles it might have been.

Of note, Katla is not a supervolcano, despite what the guy from Extreme Iceland says in that video.

It is large, certainly, and it does have a respectable number of VEI 3, 4, and 5 eruptions on the GVP page, but VEI 8 is a whole ‘nother thing.

This layperson suspects that this is especially true in the setting of a spreading ridge/mantle plume.

The next video, also from 2016, is a Dickinson College volcanologist discussing Katla.

Finally, here is what Raw Reykjavik found when it interviewed people living near Katla in 2019:

More information:

  • Iceland Met Office post on the 1918 VEI 4 eruption.
  • Wikipedia (English) on Katla
  • Wikipedia (Icelandic, auto-translated) on Katla.

Updates, if any:

  • Iceland Met Office: Icelandic; English
  • London VAAC

  • Featured image: ChrisTd via Wikimedia, CC BY 3.0

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