There is currently no shortage of volcano news coming from Iceland at this moment. The newest volcano to make the news is the Krísuvík volcano. Small area of Krísuvík volcano have been inflating during the last few months with following micro-earthquakes swarms in the area where the inflation takes place. This process started last year (2009). But then the inflation was 30mm (3 centimeters). But last winter a process of deflation started and lasted until early spring this year (2010). But then it started to inflate again. I am assuming that the current levels of inflation is something similar to the inflation that was seen in the year 2009. The area in question is south-west of Kleifarvatn lake.
The inflation is currently taking place on the depth of 3 to 4 km according to geological scientists. This intrusion of magma is also having effects on geothermal features present in the area. But that makes new hot springs and makes current hot springs more active and warmer, it also changes them and often dramatically. It might also create new hot spring areas where no hot springs where before. This inflation process has been followed by a swarms of micro-earthquakes in the area where the inflation is taking place.
According to the news the Icelandic Met Office has alerted the Icelandic Civil Protection Authorities about the changes in this volcano. Two new GPS stations have also been installed in the area to monitor the inflation that is currently taking place. At current time scientists are not expecting a eruption in the area any time soon. But as history has shown that can change without warning and quickly. The authorities and IMO have increased there surveillance in the area due to this inflation. If a eruption takes place the type is going to be a Hawaiian type of eruption, unless a fissure opens up under water or in the ocean. Last eruption that took place in Krísuvík volcano was in the year 1340.
Icelandic news, in Icelandic. Please use Google Translate (at your own risk)
Grannt fylgst með landrisi við Krýsuvík (Vísir.is)
Telja eldgos ekki í uppsiglingu en ástæða að vakta svæðið vel (Víkurfréttir)
Channel 2 news video (flash) about this activity. In Icelandic.
Updated at 23:52 UTC on the 30th of November 2010. News video added and name error fixed.
According to Icelandic news there is little water in small streams that come from Hekla volcano. This lack of water in streams from Hekla volcano is often looked as indicators that a eruption is going to happen in coming months. This phenomenon has happened before a eruption took place in Hekla volcano, the last one that took place in the year 2000. But according to old news article (in Icelandic, pdf) (from the year 1995) this phenomenon was also observed before the big eruption in the year 1755. But I do not know if this happens always (it seems to do so. But I don’t have it confirmed) or just before some eruptions.
There has been drought in the area. But that might explain in part this lack of water in streams coming from Hekla volcano. But the rest of this lack of water might be related to changes in the area before Hekla volcano starts erupting. Far as I know there has not been any study into this phenomenon and why this happens to Hekla streams months before eruption takes place.
Hekla volcano does not give many long term signals on when it might start erupting. But far as this one goes, this might be the best signals we can get on the impending eruption in Hekla volcano. When the eruption might take place is impossible to know at current time.
Vatn er lítið í ám og lækjum nærri Heklu (Vísir.is, Icelandic)
Low Water Levels Indication of New Iceland Eruption? (English, Iceland Review) – Thanks to Erik at Eruption blog for this link!
Blog post updated at 04:19 UTC. A english news added.
A earthquake swarm that started out small earlier today has grown and is now a earthquake swarm with considerable size. According to automatic data from IMO and the SIL network the largest earthquakes have reached ML2.2 in size.
This area is known for a lot of earthquake activity. So this swarm is not a surprise. But this type of activity happens regularly in this area.
I have finished updating the geophone network computer. Everything is now back to normal and the webicorders should now update normally.
There are minor issues remaining on my geophone network computer. But that is related to lack of hard disk space. That issue is going to be fixed on later date.
I am going to perform a system upgrade to the Geophone network computer tonight. This upgrade is simple. I am moving from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. This update should not take any longer then 2 to 5 hours if I am lucky.
Let’s just hope that there is no big earthquake activity while this upgrade takes place. As everything is going to be off-line while this update takes place.
The earthquake that happened this morning at Hamarinn volcano appears to have magma signature in it based on what I see in my own wave data. The size of this earthquake was ML3.5 according to automatic SIL data. The automatic depth of this earthquake is 1.1 km. This data is a subject to a review by Icelandic Met Office.
So far this has been a single event and no aftershocks or other earthquakes have happened in Hamarinn volcano. That might however change. But sometimes large earthquake swarms take place in Hamarinn volcano. But this volcano is known for a lot of earthquake activity at times.
There are no indications of a eruption starting in Hamarinn volcano.
Other earthquake activity
The earthquake at Hamarinn volcano appears to have started a earthquake swarm in Herðurbreiðartögl. But the area must have been at breaking point anyway and the earthquake that happened in Hamarinn volcano might have just acted as a trigger.
There have been earthquake not far from Kolbeinsey island volcano. The strongest earthquake got ML3.3 by the automatic data by the SIL system. But due to the distance this is a underestimate in size of the earthquakes taken place at Kolbeinsey island volcano. I am not sure if the earthquake swarm that was taking place there has stopped or not, as small earthquakes are not detected by the IMO SIL Network.
Currently there is a quiet time taking place in Iceland. This sometimes happens. It does not mean that all activity has stopped. But it just means that the most of the earthquakes that are taking place are so called microearthquakes and that they are less then ML3.0 in size. But the thing about microearthquakes is that they are not useless, as this (pdf, English) report from Icelandic Met Office shows.
While it is quiet as it is I am going to relax a little. So that I can take on the busy times better.
It appears that the earthquake activity at Blöndulón and in Esjufjöll volcano has not stopped completely. The earthquake activity at Esjufjöll volcano started on the 20th of October 2010. The first week there where about 70 earthquakes recorded by Icelandic Met Office, the following week there was continued activity but there where fewer earthquakes taking place in Esjufjöll volcano at that time. But the activity had not stopped completely. When this is written there are clues that there is a new earthquake swarm about to start in Esjufjöll volcano. I must point out that so far the earthquake swarms in Esjufjöll volcano have started out slow before they pick up the in size and numbers of earthquakes.
The earthquake activity under Blöndulón lake (man made lake) continues. The earthquake activity is intermittent since it started. But the largest earthquakes that have happened under Blöndulóni lake have reached ML3.8 in size. But the largest earthquakes where felt in nearby farms (up to 80 km away far as I understand). It seems that the earthquake activity continues at this location. But with long stops in-between each earthquake swarm. I do expect the earthquake activity to continue there for coming months. But sometimes it happens that earthquake swarms in the areas outside the main faults take a long time to finish. The longest earthquake swarm that I know of lasted for almost two months. This earthquake swarm at Blöndulón lake might well do something like that. But only time is going to tell us what is going to happen in that area.
As you may have noticed. I have placed two ads from Amazon (as Google Adsense was not working) UK on my web site. I try to have ads as low key as I can have them. I am going to add Google Adsense ads to the blog when it starts working.
Next weekend I am going to add ads to my webicorder web site. I am going to use the same low key approach as I do here. I do hope that the ads don’t bother people. As I know that annoying ads sometimes drive away people from reading blogs and even big web sites. I do want to prevent that from happening to my blog and web site.
Thanks for the support.
I have been monitoring the GPS station at Grímsfjall volcano. After the earthquakes that took place in Esjufjöll volcano few weeks ago something interesting started to happen at that GPS station. It started to move in north direction.
Due to the location and lack of activity in Esjufjöll volcano there are almost none GPS stations around that volcano, and there are not many SIL station in this area. So getting insight into what is happening in Esjufjöll volcano is hard. But given the GPS station at Grímsfjall volcano it seems to that Esjufjöll volcano have started to inflate. It is hard to know exactly by how much at current time. But it appears to enough to have effect on the GPS station at Grímsfjall volcano.
This is given that Grímsfjall volcano it self is not having any inflation south of the GPS station on it’s own. At the moment it is hard to know what volcano is responsible for the northward movement. Only time is going to tell us the truth in that matter.
Grímsfjall volcano GPS data (automatic, Icelandic)