Expecting a glacier flood and possibly of a eruption from Grímsfjall at any time

According to the Icelandic news today geological scientists in Iceland are expecting a eruption and a glacier flood from Grímsvötnum at any time and without a any warning. But last week they did detect harmonic tremors on the SIL station that is on Grímsfjall volcano. It is not known if the harmonic tremors where created by water or by magma.

Currently the Grímsvötn lake is full and is ready to burst at any time without warning. Because of that scientists and Iceland Met Office have increased the monitoring of Grímsvötn and Grímsfjall volcano. It has been six years since the last eruption at Grímsfjall (2004) and it only where six years before that eruption (1998).

Iceland News. Please use Google translate.

Enn skelfur jörðin undir Vatnajökli (Rúv.is)
Búast við hlaupi hvenær sem er (mbl.is)

25 Replies to “Expecting a glacier flood and possibly of a eruption from Grímsfjall at any time”

  1. Jon, in the context of this, care to comment on the nature of the 2.3 EQ? It would more likely appear to be diretly related to magmatic intrusion and/or the effect of that on the ice.

    Also, this may have been commented on already, but is there any kind of consensus on the VEI and quality of this pending eruption.

    1. There isn’t any way know that before a eruption starts.

      The earthquake that was ML2.3 (or ML3.0, I have been getting confusing information as of late) was low period earthquake. But I did record it at my Hekla station. It indicates that magma was the source of that earthquake.

    1. @Pieter, I did record this earthquake on my own geophone. That is why I am able to know this. But the earthquake had a strong signal at 1Hz. But that is quite unusual for a earthquake this small.

      1. Thanks for your response, but actually I ment where is this statement of the Icelandic geologists based on? About the possibility of an eruption/flood in the near future.

  2. use the links that Jón gave in his original post, then copy & paste into Google translate….they don’t show up in the english versions.

  3. About VEI, Grimsvotn tends to be explosive, so I guess a VEI 2 or 3. Grimsvotn has the potencial for much larger eruptions. But this next one I think it will not be a big one because the volcano has been erupting so often in recent decades, and there hasn’t been a large earthquake yet. It can however afect the flights in Europe for some days.

    I think Katla or Bardarbunda will erupt more violently, when they do.

  4. Jon, the 3.1 at the NW rim of the Katla caldera was 19.8 km. Was wondering your thoughts on this.

    With all this high EQ activity starting at TFZ, then Reykjanes Ridge, then N of Langjökull / Hofsjökull and then Grimsvotn heats up and Katla has increased EQs running deeper, are there discussions taking place that center on this as being evidence of major tectonic movement taking place?

    1. That was a fake earthquake, due to a ML3.8 earthquake under Blöndulón lake. This sometimes happens in the automatic SIL system for some unknown reasons.

      1. That 3.1 EQ I mentioned under Katla was upgraded to a 3.5. If it was a fake, I am wondering why it was upgraded?

      2. Well the first one which was at only 100 meters depth is most likely only ice moving.

        The second one needs more confirmation since it only shows a Quality of 30.69 which would indicate that both location and strenght migh be revised quite heavily.

      3. It is still a fake earthquake. As a ML3.1 and Ml3.5 earthquakes show clearly on my helicorders on my earthquake monitoring web page. This is a ghost in the SIL system. You can tell by the low quality the earthquake gets.

    1. I’m sorry but where do you see these earthquakes? Because it has actually been relatively quiet today..

      1. @ Jón – The EQ Isis is referring to was at 1.1km depth. Isnt there a hydrothermal plant in the area and that the cause of this EQ could have been just that? Hydrothermal in nature? Or can tectonic EQ´s appear that shallow?

      2. In this area there is only a hydropower plant which is served by the dam which builds the lake.

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