Geophysicist Páll Einarsson said all known eruptions in Eyjafjallajökull have been in connection with eruptions in the neighboring volcano Katla underneath the Mýrdalsjökull icecap. Now that Eyjafjallajökull has started to erupt, Katla might follow.
The volcano Katla hides underneath the Mýrdalsjökull icecap. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Eyjafjallajökull has erupted three times since the settlement of Iceland in the 9th century AD, in 920, 1612 and 1821. All three eruptions were rather small but caused flooding. However, there is a short distance to Katla, Einarsson said, which is a powerful and vicious volcano, ruv.is reports.
“Katla is of a completely different kind […] but they seem to be connected, because all known eruptions in Eyjafjallajökull were related to Katla eruptions and therefore it seems that they might a prelude to eruptions in Katla,” Einarsson said.
“Eyjafjallajökull might to a certain extent work as a detonator for a dynamite explosion,” the geophysicist added. “If it goes off it is like Katla can’t resist it and also wants to join in. Those eruptions can be big and cause extensive damage.”