Iceland Volcanoes Growing Restless

Could trigger catastrophic global cooling for several years.

Although Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which caused havoc across Europe two years ago, may be quiet now, activity has been increasing at several nearby volcanoes, says this article on

This includes Katla, which has erupted about every 60 years (the last time in 1918), Hekla, which has erupted about every ten years(the last time in 2000), and Grímsvötn, which had a short eruption last year.

In the 17th and 19th centuries, Eyjafjallajökull eruptions were followed within months by eruptions of Katla, and now again, Katla is growing increasingly restless.

According to GPS measurements, there has been surface movement on Katla as well as bursts of high earthquake activity beneath its caldera, which indicatoes rising magma.

Depending on wind direction and other factors, a major eruption of Katla could cause flooding, poison crops, destroy property, affect air traffic across Europe, and even trigger catastrophic global cooling for several years.

(The Laki eruption of 1783-84 reduced global temperatures by up to 3 C.  Such an eruption today “could lead to between 52,000 and 228,000 fatalities throughout Europe.” See

Increased activity has also been detected in the volcanoes under the largest ice cap, Vatnajökull, where Grímsvötn lies, and just last week we learned that Askja volcano might also be preparing to erupt.

See entire article:

Fun map of Iceland volcanoes:

More about Askja:

and here:

Thanks to Thomas McHart for these links

7 thoughts on “Iceland Volcanoes Growing Restless”

    • I’d expect some activity, smaller eruptions, during some time (weeks/few months) prior to a big one.
      Do you agree?

  1. These are important news, because due to our present solar minimum a large eruption should be expected, as it has happened before during the Maunder and Dalton minima and also the minimum of the beginning of the XX (twenty) century:
    for example
    VEI Caldera name Date
    6 Mount Pinatubo Jun-1991
    6 Novarupta Jun-1912 (twenty)
    6 Santa María C. America Volcanic Arc Oct-1902 (twenty)
    5 Mount Tarawera Taupo Volcanic Zone Jun-1886
    6 Krakatoa Sunda Arc Aug-1883
    7 Mount Tambora Lesser Sunda Islands Apr-1815 (Dalton)
    6 Source unknown Source unknown 1809 (Dalton)
    6 Grímsvötn Iceland 1783-85 Skaftáreldar at Laki
    6 Long Island (PNG) Bismarck Volcanic Arc 1660 (Maunder)
    6 Kolumbo,Santorini Aegean Volcanic Arc Sep-1650 (Maunder)
    6 Huaynaputina Andes, Central Volcanic Zone Feb-1600

    All dates close to the end of the centuries before the minima also had low solar cycles. Only exception: Mount Pinatubo.

    • I’ll throw another one in Mt Fuji 1707.
      Large eruption preceded by a very large earthquake. There has been some minor activity from Mt. Fuji lately.

      We would not want to see an eruption of Fuji in the near distant future given it’s relative proximity to Fukashima Daichii. The nuclear plant is in a parlous state at the moment.

      • Thanks for the update, do you know the intensity (VEI)? It could be considered as occurring during the Maunder minimum, which lasted for nearly 70 years.
        It hope it won’t happen there too, the Honshu area is still shaking.

  2. Etnas spitting and there was a quake off the italian coast recently.and ??santorini?
    iceland seems to have runs of really hectic activity and then a slow down..geomagnetic activitys been up a bit lately, and the sunspot activity earlier gets things stirred too.

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