Ongoing earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano

On Friday 22-January-2021 an earthquake swarm took place just east of Grindavík town. This earthquake activity then stopped but resumed at midnight on Sunday 24-January-2021. All of the earthquakes where small in magnitude and only few did go above magnitude Mw1,0 in size.

Yellow dots east of Grindavík town on Reykjanes peninsula. Few blue dots showing earthquakes that are older then 1 day.
Earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The earthquake swarm that started on Sunday lasted for 12 hours according to Icelandic Met Office website. There is no change in GPS location data (can be viewed here) and there is no change in harmonic tremor. Currently there is a bad weather in Iceland preventing automatic detection of small earthquakes all over Iceland.

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Earthquake in Kolbeinsey island

Yesterday (24-January-2021) at 09:16 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,1 took place in Kolbeinsey island. Two unconfirmed earthquakes with magnitude of Mw2,5 and Mw2,6 took place at 17:37 UTC and 19:06 UTC.

Green star at the edge of the image shows the location of Mw3,1 earthquake of Kolbeinsey island
Earthquake in Kolbeinsey island shown by the green star. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The area is remote and it is difficult to know if there has been any more earthquake activity there. There is also a storm going on and has been going on for last several days and that limits detection of small and remote earthquakes in Iceland.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Yesterday at 23:31 UTC (16-January-2021) an earthquake with the magnitude of Mw3,1 took place in Katla volcano. Last earthquake of this magnitude was in November 2020. No other earthquake activity has been detected since the earthquake yesterday.

Green star in north-east caldera of Katla volcano. Few minor earthquakes around the green star. Earthquakes west of Hekla volcano in South Icelandic Seismic Zone.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There has been slightly more earthquake activity in Katla volcano in December 2020 and in January 2021. Currently there is nothing suggesting that an eruption is about to happen in next few months to week. Earthquake activity remains too low for that too happen based on past experience (minor eruption in July 2011). I am not expecting any major changes in activity in Katla volcano for the next few weeks to months. Nothing might happen all year and that would be perfectly normal for this volcano.

Strong earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano

Today (10-January-2021) at 03:15 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,1. This earthquake was felt far away as Reykjavík. A swarm of small earthquakes is currently ongoing in this area. This earthquake activity is in the Reykjanes volcano.

Green star north of Grindavík town. Groups of small earthquakes north and east of Grindavík town on the map little from the coastline. Earthqukake activity in Krýsuvík lake and in Hengill volcano.
The earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Over 100 earthquakes have happened in this area for the last 48 hours. Most of them are small, less than magnitude Mw1,0 in size. There are not many earthquakes with magnitude over Mw1,0 currently in this earthquake activity. There is no sign that magma has started to find a way to the surface. Currently the magma remains in the crust. GPS data suggests that there is some type of change going on but I am unclear what that means. The GPS data can be viewed here.

Earthquake activity continues in Reykjanes volcano

Today (07-January-2021) two earthquakes with magnitude of Mw3,1 and Mw3,2 took place in Reykjanes volcano. A swarm of smaller earthquakes is currently ongoing in the volcano.


The earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity has been going on for one year. Inflation was detected on 21-January-2020 by Icelandic Met Office and it has continued since then. Area of activity is now larger then it was at the start of this activity. There is currently no sign that an eruption is about to start but that might change without warning.

Strong earthquake swarm far north of Iceland

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year even if current situation is difficult in the world.

Current break in eruptions is the longest in 60 years according to expert in the news from few days ago. It is not possible to know when this break of eruption in Iceland ends.

Today (04-January-2021) an strong earthquake took place far north of Iceland. Largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mb4,7 according to EMSC (information here). Icelandic Met Office did register this earthquake at magnitude of Mw3,6. Few other earthquakes where recorded with magnitudes from Mw2,5 to Mw3,0 but exact magnitude is difficult to know for sure due to distance.


Green star far north of Iceland is the location of the earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is some uncertainty of location due to distance of the earthquake from any seismometer network. I don’t know if any more earthquakes have happened due to location and only largest of earthquakes are being registered by Icelandic Met Office and other seismometer networks.

Article updated at 22:14 UTC.

Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano and earthquake activity on Reykjanes ridge

Today (29-December-2020) an earthquake swarm took place in Reykjanes volcano. This was just small earthquakes but the amount is considerable. This earthquake activity happens because of magma inflation in this area.


Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Reykjanes ridge

Today (29-December-2020) and earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,1 took place on Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake was far out in the ocean. Only one other smaller earthquake seems to have happened in that same area after the largest earthquake. Otherwise there has not been any more earthquake activity today out on the Reykjanes ridge.


Earthquake activity on Reykjanes ridge. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Minor earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Today (17-December-2020) a small earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. This is a minor earthquake swarm with total of just eight earthquakes recorded. It is little unusual to see this earthquake activity in Katla volcano in December since this is normally the most quiet time of the year.


Minor earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw2,9 and all other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. I am not expecting any more activity in Katla volcano. That might change without warning since this is a volcano.

Strong earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (21-December-2020) at 11:38 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,9 took place in Bárðarbunga volcano.


The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake had two earlier earthquakes with magnitude of Mw2,4 and Mw2,8. Smaller earthquake activity seems to have stopped or happening at slow rate at the writing of this article. Currently Bárðarbunga volcano has an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 to Mw5,0 every few weeks since end of the eruption in 2015. This pattern doesn’t seems to be changing.

Landslide in Seyðisfjörður town damages houses, people evacuated

Over the last few days the town of Seyðisfjörður in eastern Iceland has been dealing with several landslides. During the night of 18-December-2020 a landslide moved a house of its founding and damaged it. Risk of landslides are also in other towns in eastern Iceland. I don’t know anything useful about landslides but the situation has turned bad in eastern Iceland. The reason for the landslides is heavy rain in the area and rain has been more than 200mm during 24 hours according to weather reports. Currently there is no change in the weather forecast until Saturday when the rain is expected to stop. After that there is expected that snowing is going to start as the weather cools in eastern Iceland. Icelandic Met Office website in English.

Icelandic News

Landslide and rain alerts continue in East Iceland (Rúv.is)
Aurskriða hrífur hús með sér á Seyðisfirði (Rúv.is, Icelandic) – News report on landslide moving a house off its foundations.

Update at 14:43 UTC

New images from Seyðisfjörður town show the damage that has happened in this landslides during the night. Images can be found in this Icelandic news.

Húsið hefur snúist hálfhring – Myndir (austurfrettir.is)

Article updated at 14:43 UTC.