Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Friday, 21 May 2010

Is Katla waking up?

EU Referendum suggests it might be, and points towards this chart - which doesn't tell Mrs Rigby very much, so she went to see if there was anything else.

Katla is, by the way, a volcano next to that unpronounceable one that's been rumbling away and spitting out dust and ash for quite some time. Katla is very much larger than Eyjafjallajökul and
The three times in recorded history when Eyjafjallajökull has erupted, its neighbor, the much larger Katla, has followed suit.
And there's more, from ScienceRay.
Locals believe Katla will erupt in seven days ... because ... Activity at Katla has risen 200% in the last two days.
They should know, they live there.

Here's what's been happening today, 21st May 2010.
Katla has had 4 earthquakes in the last 12 hours! 5 total quakes in the last 24 hours if you count the one that occurred in the very short distance between the west side of Katla and east side of Eyja. This is the most earthquakes I recall seeing at Katla since the March eruptions started at Eyjafjallajokull.

These earthquakes are our built in warning system for an eruption and if this keeps up, we will see action soon. Also, not out of the ordinary for an active volcano, but worth mentioning…quake activity at Eyja has increased greatly over the time period of the new Katla quakes. Keep in mind these are baby sized quakes, but when they are swarming under an active, or soon to be active volcano, it is very serious.
Not far from this pair of volcanoes, and on the same fault line, is another one - called Laki.

Laki erupted in 1783 - destroying crops and killing livestock and people, it's estimated that 23,000 people died in Britain alone. Read about it here, it's interesting if slightly disconcerting.

Oh, and there's Hekla/Hecla too - the one that's lent the name to several Royal Navy vessels.

Hmm, Mrs R certainly isn't clairvoyant, but her 'prediction for 2010' (a family thing on New Year's Day) was that there will be huge volcanic eruptions and maybe even more earthquakes - it was meant as a bit of a joke, she'd have been happy to be wrong. So, can they stop now.



Central User said...

Dear Mrs Rigby,

I know no more than you.

The Icelandic Met Office do however have a regularly updated page on this precise topic.

Currently the page states "Katla is NOT erupting and there are NO indications that Katla is about to erupt." The page was last updated 15 minutes ago and has provided the same narrtive summary for at least the last four days.

Yours sincerely,


Russell McNeil said...

The page you cite from the Icelandic Met Office is basically a template that the Office has been using for the past month or so and provides a graph of the tremors (not earthquakes) in the vicinity of the volcanic activity. The statement there at the top of the page that Katla is not erupting has not been altered in over a month. That notwithstanding, the earthquake page from the same office has been showing a clearly defined increase in earthquake activity along a fault line connecting the two volcanoes. This is precisely the sort of thing that scientists monitor in advance of a new eruption and does suggest that magma is moving into the Katla chamber. The fact that the Office is still silent on this reflects scientific conservatism rather than scientific fact. There has been a swarming of small eathquakes under Katla and along the fault line connecting Katla with Eyjafjallajökull over the past week. It's intriguing and worth watching. Coincident with this the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull is actually deflating. We cannot see what is happening underground, but it is not unreasonable to imagine that there might be a translation underway and a build up of pressures occurring under Katla. It's not at all far-fetched. Katla has erupted historically after Eyjafjallajökull in the past. The signs are that Katla is stirring. It's worth watching closely.

Central User said...

Interesting and informative. Thanks.

Perhaps the world will need an airline or two less in the near future?


Chuckles said...

'there will be huge volcanic eruptions and maybe even more earthquakes'

fire pestilence and destruction, darkness on the face of the land, and the idolaters will be sorely smitten. And over the rest of the country it will be partly cloudy and mild, with a 30% chance of comets.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ Central User.
#1 Thanks. No, nobody's saying Katla is erupting, but they are saying there's movement - earthquakes. These are often a predictor of an eruption but could also be false alarms perhaps because modern equipment is more sensitive.

@ Russell McNeil.
Yes - you say it better. Thanks.

@ Chhuckles.
It was just a bit of nonsense really, but ... Mrs R plans to predict a big pools/lottery win next year!

Russell McNeil said...

Good luck with the pool. We amateurs are lousy vulcanologists. Eyjafjallajökull (E15) has stopped erupting and Katla has stopped grumbling.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ Russell McNeil.
Good, let's hope it stays settled down.