Since the new year starts at different time for people reading my blog. I want to wish everyone a happy new year 2011!
My new years break that I going to take is going to last from 31. December 2010 and until 3. January 2011. Unless something major happens in Iceland and the current quiet time ends with a lot of noise.
A few of my readers reported today in comments that they did see a small ash plume or something of that nature today over Eyjafjallajökull volcano. While I stress that this is still unconfirmed at this stage it might well have happened.
There are two options that might explain what did happen today. One is that a ash was moving due to wind in the area. But this happens quite a lot during the dry times in the winter and summer. The second option is that a older magma from the eruption earlier this year was on the move and made a small eruption that did go unnoticed on the seismometers around Eyjafjallajökull volcano. I do not know how long this event in Eyjafjallajökull volcano today is supposed to have lasted. But it appears to have been for several hours in the longest.
But other then this it appears that Eyjafjallajökull volcano is mostly quiet. But some deep earthquakes have started again in the past few weeks. But so far they have not been increasing in numbers so a new eruption is not expected at this time by me or the experts.
Here is a short update on what did go on in Iceland over the Christmas. In all there where few earthquakes in Iceland during Christmas. The main reason for this was a major storm that started in south Iceland on the 25th of December, it lasted until 27th of December in some parts of Iceland. The wind was topping 47m/s in strong winds. But the average wind speed was about 32m/s I think.
Around 17:02 UTC on the 25th of December there was a ML2.77 earthquake in Krísuvík volcano. Far as I can tell by the wave form this earthquake was mostly tectonic in nature. But it is impossible to know if the main source of this earthquake was the magma that is collecting in Krísuvík volcano or not. But activity continues in Krísuvík volcano as it has been doing in the last few weeks before. This earthquake was followed by 20 or so smaller earthquakes in the same area.
Due to the strong storm there where few to no earthquakes recorded on the late 25th to 27th of December. But the storm did simply hide all the minor earthquake that might have been taking place.
The ML2.77 earthquake in Krísuvík at 17:02 UTC at Heklubyggð geophone station. The storm noise almost drowns out the earthquake signal. This plot is filtered at 4Hz as a cut off frequency.
The ML2.77 earthquake in Krísuvík at 17:02 UTC at Hvammstangi geophone station. A normal level of noise can be seen both sides of the earthquake. No storm noise is presented in this plot, as it had not started in north of Iceland at this time.
A few deep earthquakes where seen in Eyjafjallajökull volcano over the same period. At current it is hard to know what they mean in the long term. But it is clear that Eyjafjallajökull volcano continues to make a little rumble and has not quieted down at current time.
Here is the last activity update before Christmas starts. As I did expect a deep earthquakes have started again under Eyjafjallajökull volcano. So far the main depth is about 10 to 15 km. So far nothing indicates a immanent eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. But it is wise to keep watch on the deep earthquakes that have started to re-appear under Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
But Eyjafjallajökull volcano is not the only volcano making earthquakes. There are also earthquakes taking place in Grímsfjall volcano and in Esjufjöll volcano. The continues earthquake swarm in Krísuvík volcano. But this is the same that has been going on in previous weeks in that area.
There has also been some minor earthquake activity in Grímsfjall volcano. A signal that Grímsfjall volcano is getting ready for a eruption in the year 2011 maybe.
There has been a lot of earthquakes in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ). But the largest earthquakes in the last 24 hours did get the size ML3,0 according to the automatic SIL system that Icelandic Met Office runs. The size might be subject to a review later on.
But other then this it has been quiet in Iceland earthquake wise and volcano wise. But when the most frost was going on over Iceland there was a lot frost earthquakes taking place. But those events are false earthquakes and are due the fact that freezing water appears to crack the ground, sometimes with considerable force. The frost needed for this to happen has to be below -10C far as I understand.
I am going to take my Christmas break from 12:00 UTC on the 24th of December (2010) until the 27th of December (2010). While this break is on comments might be held longer in the moderation queue then normally. If anything major happens, I am going to post information about it when I can in this time. But unlike us humans nature doesn’t care about our days off. But I am hoping for a quiet Christmas in Iceland like everywhere else.
There is going to be special Christmas blog post tomorrow for all those Christmas greetings.
After a few months of a period of stability in Eyjafjallajökull volcano after the eruption ended on the 28th of May 2010. There seems to be more instability starting again in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. This instability can so far only be seen on GPS sensors around the volcano. So far the inflation that is starting at medium rate, about 5mm on every 24 hours or so. This is clear when a early results (not error corrected) are checked from Icelandic Met Office GPS network. The trigger for the current instability appears to be a sharp deflation that took place in Eyjafjallajökull volcano few days ago.
Picture is from Icelandic Met Office, copyright of this picture belongs to them. Click on the picture for higher resolution.
Automatic GPS data from 21st of December 2010. The GPS station name is THEY and is on the south slope of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The sharp deflation appears clearly on the GPS automatic data (not error corrected) and is followed by a sharp inflation period that is currently ongoing. I got a email from a expert that tells me that volcano ash can interfere with the GPS signal. But this does not change my opinion on that a inflation is about to start in Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
It currently remains unclear if this inflation period in Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to continue. At current time the inflation in Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to continue. It is also clear that today Eyjafjallajökull volcano is few weeks from re-starting the eruption, as it has not inflated enough to do so. But what is unclear is if this inflation and inflow of new magma under Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to move around older magma that currently is higher up in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano plumbing after the eruption started earlier this year. For the moment the only that can be done is to wait and see what happens next.
In the news today here in Iceland there is a small news about the volcano ash moving from the strong northern wind that is currently taking place in Iceland. Today NASA took a good picture from this in orbit. This ash is still creating a lot of issues for people in the area affect by the ash cloud.
Picture NASA. This picture is suppose to be from today. I have not been able to find the full size picture of this ash moving from the wind out to the ocean. You can also see a lot of sand moving because of the wind out to the ocean as well.
Here is a high resolution image of the Hekla volcano system earthquake yesterday. The earthquake was located in south-east part of the Hekla volcano system. But that area has been having earthquakes for few months now, starting few years ago. I am unclear on why this is happening in Hekla volcano system. But sometimes Hekla volcano erupts in fissures (crater row eruptions). But not from the main volcano.
This earthquake was small like the earthquakes before him, registering only at ML2.43. The depth was 10 km. It was only 15.4 km away from my geophone. But that is the reason why it appear so clearly on my geophone.
Small weather news
Here is the view from my apartment in Hvammstangi earlier today. This is due to a storm that is coming from the north of Iceland. The winds are strong and the snow is on the move due that. The frost is only about -3C. But with the wind it goes down to -20 to -40C.
Due to technical and space issues. I am not going to setup a new geophone station at Thorgrimsstadir today. Currently I am looking for a new location for the new geophone station in the area of Hvammstangi with the people I know that might be interested in housing this type of hardware.
I however hope to get a geophone station at Thorgrimsstadir up and running in about one year time or so. At least I hope so.
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