Scientists warn of severe flooding if powerful Katla erupts
Iceland may be about to experience one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions it has seen over the last 100 years, according to scientists. But this would be a different event to last year’s eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. The signs indicate that the eruption may occur hundreds of metres beneath one of the country’s biggest glaciers, and the flooding would be catastrophic.
Katla is a volcano with a 10km-wide crater. An eruption would melt its frozen surface, sending vast volumes of water that could be the equivalent of the world’s largest rivers combined cascading across the little-populated flood plains of Iceland’s east coast and into the Atlantic.
“There have been more than 500 tremors in and around the caldera of Katla just in the last month, which suggests the motion of magma. And that certainly suggests an eruption may be imminent,” Ford Cochran, an expert on Iceland at National Geographic.
[pictured: Katla’s last eruption in 1918]