View of the
volcano at Katla, Eyjafjallajokull
is a volcano in Iceland. It is
situated to the north of Vík í
Mýrdal and to the east of the
smaller glacier Eyjafjallajökull.
Its peak reaches 1,512 metres (4,961
ft) in height and is partially
covered by the Mýrdalsjökull glacier
with an area of 595 km² (230 sq mi).
The caldera of the volcano has a
diameter of 10 km (6 mi) and is
covered with 200-700 metres
(660-2,300 ft) of ice. The volcano
normally erupts every 40–80 years.
At the peak of an eruption in 1755
the flood discharge has been
estimated at 200,000–400,000 m³/s
(7.1-14.1 million cu ft/sec); for
comparison, the combined average
discharge of the Amazon,
Mississippi, Nile, and Yangtze
rivers is about 266,000 m³/s (9.4
million cu ft/sec).
The last major eruption occurred in
1918, although there may have been a
couple small eruptions that did not
break the ice cover: one in 1955
and another 1999. Since 930, 16
eruptions have been documented. The
Eldgjá canyon is part of the same
volcanic system. It is thought that
Katla is the source of the Vedde Ash
(more than 6 to 7 cubic kilometers
(1.4 to 1.7 cu mi) of tephra dated
to 10,600 years BP) found at a
number of sites including Norway,
Scotland and North Atlantic cores.
The last eruption in 1918 resulted
in extending the southern coast by 5
km due to laharic flood deposits.
The present volcanic respose since
1918 is among the longest known in