Reports have spread warning of an imminent eruption of the Katla volcano in Iceland, close to Eyjafjallajokull which erupted in 2010.
The Sunday Times reported that Katla is “set to blow” after scientists recording escalating CO2 emissions from the caldera – although the same scientists have distanced themselves from claims that this means an eruption is due.
The volcano, which translates to “kettle” or “boiler” sits in southern Iceland, close to the remains of the volcano which produced so much hot ash in 2010 it grounded air traffic across the continent.
Volcanologists have reported that Katla is due to erupt as they discover between 12 and 24 kilotons of carbon dioxide is released from the volcano each day, indicating imminent activity.
A team of scientists wrote in the Geophysical Research Letters journal: “Katla, a highly hazardous subglacial volcano which last erupted 100 years ago, is one of the largest volcanic sources of CO2 on Earth, releasing up to five per cent of total global volcanic emissions.”
Sarah Barsotti, co-ordinator for volcanic hazards at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said: “There is no way of telling when it will erupt, just that it will.”
Katla last showed significant activity in August 2016 when Iceland felt earthquakes of 4.2 and 4.5 on the Richter scale.
It historically erupts in no longer than 95-year intervals, and was previously active in 1918, almost exactly a century ago.
At the time of writing, Katla volcano is currently described as being in a “normal, non-eruptive state” according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office
If you are currently planning on travelling to Iceland, please speak to your travel provider and find out what would happen if your holiday was cancelled due to an eruption if it should happen soon.