An article published in the national British newspaper, The Guardian, today, detailing the possible eruption of the Iceland volcano, Katla, is a prime example of the media over reacting, yet again.
It is true that a recent increase in cluster earthquakes led scientists to question whether an eruption was starting. However, research flights over Katla suggest that the most likely cause of the small earthquake, which have since subsided, was geothermal melt-water pouring down into a heated crevasse.
Magnus Gudmundsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, who has been monitoring Katla, explained to Icelandic media that increased levels of heat under the glacier and more regular earthquakes could be a long-term warning of an eruption; however, there are no immediate signs to be concerned about.
Furthermore, so far this year there have been numerous media-led eruption ‘scares’ surrounding two other Iceland volcanoes; Bardarbunga and Hekla. Nevertheless, neither has yet resulted in an eruption.
Photo: Oli Kristinn – http://flickr.com/olafur