An earthquake of the magnitude 2.7 hit just north of Goðabunga in Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which covers the volcano Katla in South Iceland, around 8:30 am yesterday morning. It was part of a swarm of minor earthquakes. The second-largest had a magnitude of 1.8.
Mýrdalsjökull. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
The Katla area has been rather quiet in the past weeks. There was more activity in the area in the spring when two small glacier outbursts flooded the river Leirá in Kötlukriki and Emstrur, to the west of Mýrdalsjökull, ruv.is reports.
The seismic activity then subsided and GPS monitors showed decreasing tension in the lithosphere.
Yesterday’s quakes were not connected with any volcanic activity and there has not been any increased flow in glacial rivers originating in Mýrdalsjökull.
However, glacial water in the vicinity has smelled of sulfur, according to geophysicist Benedikt Ófeigsson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, such as in the river Jökulsá at Sólheimasandur and Leirá in Kötlukriki.
Katla has been monitored closely by scientists since a major glacial outburst, possibly caused by a minor volcanic eruption underneath Mýrdalsjökull, tore a hole in the Ring Road in South Iceland in July 2011.