Information about Katla volcano

Katla (meaning “Kettle”) is one of Iceland's largest and most active volcanos. Situated in south Iceland, Katla is partially buried underneath Mýrdalsjökull glacier and has a summit of 1512 metres.​

Geography

The volcano sits within Katla Geopark, a nature reserve covering 9542 square kilometres (roughly 9% of the country), stretching east from Hvolsvöllur to the black desert sands of Skeiðarársandur, and south from Vatnajökull to Reynisfjara beach. The area contains such natural attractions as the neighbouring ice-cap and volcano, Eyjafjallajökull and the Craters of Laki, in Vatnajokull National Park.

Activity

Of all the volcanoes in Iceland, Katla is of the greatest concern to the Icelandic people, having erupted roughly twice per century since 930 AD. As of the present day, Katla’s eruption is long overdue. Over recent years, scientists have measured an increase in seismicity and an inflation of the volcano’s caldera—clear warning signs that an eruption is on its way. The last eruption to break the glacier ice was in 1918, unleashing five times the amount that Eyjafjallajökull—its closest volcanic neighbour—did in 2010. 

Precautionary measures

Local residents receive routine evacuation training for the day Katla erupts. All mobile phones within the scope of a broadcast tower will receive an electronic warning alerting them to the present danger. Afterwards, farmers must shut down their electric fences, allow their cattle to escape to higher ground and, finally, hang a notice on their door stating that they have moved to an evacuation centre in Hella, Hvolsvöllur or Skógar.

When Katla finally erupts again, days of ashfall, tephra clouds, lightning and glacial flash floods are expected to impact the environment immediately. Past eruptions have even caused tidal waves, a concern for the residents of Vik who live in the potential fallout zone. Given the wind direction, it is also a high possibility that Katla’s ash cloud might affect European air travel, as Eyjafjallajökull did at the beginning of the decade. National TV station, RUV, constantly updates Katla’s activity at www.ruv.is/katla.

Services near Katla volcano

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Attractions nearby Katla volcano

Mýrdalsjökull

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Katla

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South Iceland

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Fimmvörðuháls

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Móði

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Magni

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Sólheimajökull

Solheimajokull is a beautiful outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull icecap. Solheimajokull is a rugged glacial tounge riddled with crevasses and specta...

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Bláfjöll

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Þakgil

Photo from: Þakgil and Remundargil Canyons - Beautiful Hidden Gems in South-Iceland. Þakgil ('Roof Canyon') is a hidden cany...

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Þórsmörk

Nestled between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull is Þórsmörk (Thor's V...

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Laugavegur hiking trail

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Markarfljótsgljúfur Canyon

Photo Credit: Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Borvan53. Markarfljótsgljúfur is a canyon in Iceland's southern Highlands, west of ...

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Stórasúla

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Stakkholtsgjá

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Kvernufoss

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir. Kvernufoss is a waterfall with a drop of 30 metres (98 feet) in South Iceland. Considered a h...

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Skogar Museum - Skógarsafn

Photo from the Skógar Museum Skógar Museum is a cultural heritage museum in south Iceland. Located near one of the most popular waterf...

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DC3 Plane Wreck

The DC Plane Wreck is a famous site located within the black sand desert of Solheimasandur, South Iceland. The wreckage is a particularly beloved sp...

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Sólheimasandur

Solheimasandur is a vast area of sand and gravel along the south coast of Iceland, between the cliffs of the interior and the modern shoreline. It was...

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Skógar

Skogar, in South Iceland, is a popular destination for travelers. It has a population of about 20 people, features a regional museum and and is close ...

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Skógafoss

Skógafoss is one of the country’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of 25 meters (82 ft) and a drop o...

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Tours near Katla volcano

Small Group South Iceland Glacier Hike, Waterfalls & Black Sand Beach Tour

Do not miss this exploration of the South Coast, with an included glacier hike. This tour is......

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8 Day Winter Self Drive | Ring Road & Golden Circle with Northern Lights Hunting

Make the most of your time in Iceland with this 8-day winter self-drive. Circle the entire......

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South Iceland & Snowmobile Adventure | Day Tour

Come along on a thrilling experience where you’ll go for a snowy ride on Mýrdalsjökull, an......

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Lakagigar Day Tour by Super Jeep

Jump aboard a Super Jeep and see some spectacular, unique, little-travelled locations in......

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The 'Full Monty' Private Helicopter Tour

Visit Iceland's most astonishing natural highlights with this private helicopter tour of......

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The 'Full Monty' Helicopter Tour

Visit the best of which South Iceland has to offer with this soaring helicopter tour; exploring......

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South Coast Sightseeing | Glaciers, Waterfalls & Black Sand Beaches

Explore Iceland's picturesque South Coast to the fullest with this fantastic sightseeing tour,......

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