On Wednesday September 14 staff members of the Icelandic Met Office and the Geological Institute of the University of Iceland took a helicopter ride to the top of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, home of Katla Volcano. The purpose of the trip was maintenance and installation of new equipment to monitor the volcano, which has shown increasing signs of activity in recent months.
Equipment in Austmannabunga in Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Photo Martin Hensch.
The group checked GPS meters that the institutions have put in place and also tested out earthquake meters that were put in place in connection to the research project Volcano Anatomy and have gathered data on the glacier for a while.
The Icelandic Coast Guard brought the equipment to the top of Enta Mountain, north of the Katla crater. New batteries were put in place and communications with the earthquake monitoring center. After that the group went to Austmannsbunga Mountain, to the north east of the rim of the crater. Communications were established to the earthquake center, allowing real time data to stream to the Met Office from both of those centers of observation. The data will be part of the earthquake measuring system of the Met Office and will be important in locating earthquakes in Katla.
Helicopter brings equipment to Enta Mountain. Photo: Iceland Mer.
Katla last erupted in 1918, except possibly for some small volcanic outbursts under the glacier.