At least four volcanoes could erupt at any time in Iceland

  • Katla, on the other hand, can possibly burst with devastating and dangerous consequences.
Feb 7 2017

Iceland is an island of many volcanos, and according to one of our most prominent geologists, at least four major volcanos are due. Three of them, Hekla, Bárðabunga and Grímsvötn are quite large but unlikely to cause danger or harm to anyone, but Katla, on the other hand, can possibly burst with devastating and dangerous consequences.  One indication geologists look at when trying to predict an eruption is the number of earthquakes in the volcano's sleeping crater or earthquakes near the volcano. Apparently, some unusual earthquake activity has recently occurred in all of those volcanos. Also, most of them are past the interval between eruptions based on previous patterns over a time span of centuries.

Danger when the volcano is under a glacier

Three of those volcanos are under glacier which is a dangerous combination when extremely hot magma and fire meets an extensive layer of ice. The danger in the situation regarding the volcano Katla is the huge volume of water that will flow in a rather short time to the shoreline carrying everything with it that is possibly in the way. The force is of monumental size and devastating for everything in its path. There are many stories from the last Katla eruption in 1918, even within the memory of some families.  A possible eruption in Katla is something everyone should be aware of who is traveling the south coast from Sólheimasandur all the way to Kirkjubæjarklaustur village.  Also, anyone traveling during summer north of Mýrdalsjökull. There is no guarantee where the flow will find its way. 

In recent years Iceland has had large flows and melting ice from eruptions

Only in 2010 did Iceland have an eruption that caught the attention of the world as the ash from Eyjafjallajokull stopped flights in the northern hemisphere.  Some people expect Katla volcano to have similar effects or even more.  But the most important thing here is for visitors and tourists visiting tourist attractions in southern Iceland to be aware of the potential danger and follow guidelines and stay tuned.

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