Less than 2 years after March 2010 eruption of Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, seizmologists warn that one of Iceland’s largest volcanoes – Katla is sure to erupt in the near future and its blast could be the strongest in Europe in 300 years. With Katla’s eruption imminent, economists are speculating that its effect on the worldwide markets could be detrimental.
Katla lays hundreds of metres under one of Iceland’s largest glaciers, just to the east of the recently erupted and significantly smaller Eyjafjallajökull. The volcano’s crater is 10 km (6.2 mile) in diameter but it’s the huge sheet of ice that covers it that’s the main cause of concern. If Ketla erupts and the ice melts, billions of gallons of water will come flowing down Iceland’s east coast and into the Atlantic Ocean causing catastrophic flooding worldwide.
More than 500 tremors were registered in and around the caldera of Katla in just the last month, an activity which indicates imminent eruption. Katla is a very active volcano with eruptions of various strengths coming every 13 to 95 years. When it erupted in 1783, the eight months long activity generated so much ash, hydrogen fluoride and sulphur dioxide, one in five Icelanders and half of all livestock on the island died. This eruption also changed the Earth’s climate. Will Katla’s 2011 eruption be just as or more catastrophic?