Earthquake swarm at Upptyppingar

I notice that there is a small, yet growing earthquake swarm taking place close to a small mountain named Upptyppingar. This mountain is within the fissure swarm of Kverkfjöll volcano but the area is in it self not active volcanically.

Few years ago (2007) there was a earthquake swarm in this area that did have something about 2000 earthquakes over a 48 hour period. The reason why there is earthquake activity in this area is due to magma being pushed up into the bedrock below. This process is something of the same that took place before the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption. But with the major difference that here is no central volcano doing this.

Earthquake pictures from IMO from that time. No map sadly as I forgot to save them or they are stuck on my main computer that holds all my geological data.

Text updated at 03:28 CET on 18.02.2011. Minor error fixes in the text.

69 Replies to “Earthquake swarm at Upptyppingar”

      1. Week 50 2007
        “Hrinan sem hófst austan Upptyppinga föstudagskvöldið 14. desember hélt áfram og voru 1210 skjálftar staðsettir í vikunni. Þeir voru allir litlir. Heldur dró úr virkninni þegar líða fór á vikuna. Þrír skjálftar urðu við Öskju og var sá stærsti 1,5 stig.”

        That lower batch to the south east is east of Upptyppingar the other is Herðubreiðartögl.

        Still not finished my e-mail yet.

      2. It seems to be some kind of symbiotic action going on with alternating swarms for Upptyppingar and Herdubreidarea of Askja fissure swarm.

        Here is a nice paper for the area that bodes not well. I don’t know if anyone has posted it before.
        According to it the swarm in 2007 was very rapid magmatic intrusion into the Upptyppingar Volcano, and it seems like the mathematical modell would give a rise of 20km of magma during the quake-swarm.

        We also now that Prof. Rymer has found evidence of rapid intrusion under Herdubreid from Askja, with accompanying gravitetic changes, that intensified at that time. Interesting indeed. And with gravitetic changes in the Askja Caldera:

        And here is an abstract of the connection between Upptyppingar and Herdubreid/Askja. Some of you can read the entire article.

      3. Lurking, I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s been pretty buzy on the Laguna Salada Fault with a 5.1 today to top it off. The rhetorical question probabaly buzzing around out there is geo land, is how much stress and prodding can the SAF/SJF/EF take before they sound off again.

    1. Looks like we found ourselfs a crypto-dome.

      One idea I got was that it is a reservoir on the connecting intersect between Kverfjöll and Askja, but I might be fishing mightily here (is that a large enough caveat for miss The other lurker?)

      1. This is basalt magma pushing its way up the crust in the area. No crypto dome. But a crater rows if the magma manages to find a way up to the surface.

    1. Corrected now to be:
      18.02.2011 05:42:02 63.927 -19.663 9.7 km 1.6 99.0 7.2 km S of Hekla

      It is at a potentially bad spot, but so far as it is 1 quake there is no worries, I would be worried if it was a chain of them coming with short time in between.

  1. Not a good spot… that’s pretty much in the middle of where that curly cue sweep of quakes occurred in the run up to the last eruption.


  2. Does this earthquake activity have nothing to do with the Askja volcano? It’s almost in it… Kverkfjoll is a lot further away… (I know that the fissure swarms of a volcano can reach very far away from the volcano… but still :P)


    1. I don’t think anyone really knows that.
      Close by you have the Askja quake swarms at Herdubreid and Herdubredartögl, and the distance in between is short.
      But, the scientists say that it is Kverkfjöll not Askja. It might also be some sort of intersection between the 2.

  3. Update on the fundraiser.

    So far I have got 96.41€. But that is 718.60 DKK. That is almost enough for a new 23″ LCD monitor. But that is not enough for a new monitor, two tables (tv + pc). But I am going to see what I can pay for my self next month. If I can find a used monitor I am going buy that rather then a new one if I cannot afford to buy a new one.

    But I want to thank everyone how have supported me so far from the bottom of my heart! 😀

    I get paid by Amazon when every currency that I get paid in gets up to a minimum of 100. So that might be while until I get paid from Amazon.

      1. The total price in euro is 227. Given that everything is still there that I want to buy. I did check on the store today and the PC monitor is still there at the same price. But the thing also is that I am broke so I am going to need to use some of the money to buy food for the last week of this month. This often happens to me. But I have just taken a lone at the bank to cover the last week. But that is not a option now and it is also a bad habit from my point of view.

        It is impossible to know about the used market however if everything is still there. But I hope so.

      2. The competition between the big super market chains is much harder there. It think the same is true for electronics.

      3. Jon – if you can overcome your ire at Google and replace their text ads, if everyone regularly clicks on the ads just to take a look (not necessarily buying anything) it will earn you money – with amazon we have to actually make a purchase.

      4. JulesP, The thing is with Google is that then they would just accuse me of click fraud. I have read about that on few web sites that have had many users click there Google Ads.

      5. Not necessarily Jon – because I suspect you have significant amounts of traffic from people who are tourists, contingency analysts, or just people who are interested in searching for information about Iceland and volcanoes, and some would genuinely buy stuff.

        Depending on the offer involved, the average conversion rate is somewhere between one in 100 to 1 in 1000 – so you would be needing to have an awful lot of click volumes before they could or would determine anything approaching what they would term click fraud.

        The other thing I would suggest is that you look for affiliate advertising networks (not Google or Amazon) many of whom will pay per lead (i.e per site visit). To get a really accurate idea and guide you better I would need to see your Google Analytics data (there is a wordpress plugin for this) to see what searches are bringing people to your site. That way we could figure out what terms casual visitors are using to visit this site = what they would be most likely to buy/ be interested in. If you would like some extra help pm me.

      6. @JulesP, If you have any suggestion for a good network just let me know.

        The Google Analytic counter is a new one and does not give the whole picture. But the stat-counter has been here from start and gives a better idea how people come here.

        The search terms change, given what is going on in Iceland and what is in the world press at the time.

  4. Jón:
    You are getting there.
    Just let us know how this evolves.
    Don’t buy garbage. Get your monitor first, and then wait for the next opportunity to get what’s missing.
    I wished I could help more, but these are my lean months.

  5. Hekla:

    During the next hour you will all be able to see a perfect example of the “Hekla-Borehole-Transient”.
    Ie, where the Burfell goes in one direction, and the rest go in the other direction.

    I’ll send an example to Jón, and he might post it…

  6. @Jón:
    When I lived in Salzburg we used to go to Germany to buy this kind of stuff.
    My friends up there tell me they still do so.
    But Freilassing or even Munich is so close that the trip was worth the difference in prices. I don’t know from Kopenhagen (is there where you are?) how expensive it would be.
    But this may be a stupid South American advise.

      1. What a lovely place to live!
        Congrats, Jón.
        Maybe you should try Kiel. The smaller cities at the border usually are more expensive. But you could do some research on the internet, you know it better than me.

      2. I am not going to live in Sonderborg forever. But maybe for the next 5 to 10 years (depending). Germany is a option for the next time I move. But that is too far away to plan in detail at the moment.

        But drafting plans is all good in my books.

        At the moment I am going to focus to setup my new home here in Denmark.

      3. Jón það er verið að stinga upp á að ef verðlag í Þýskalandi er mikið hagstæðara þrátt fyrir ferðalagið, að þú kíkir á verslanir í Kiel í stað þess að fara bara rétt yfir landamærin, þar er oft dýrara heldur en aðeins fjær.

        Ég legg til að við Íslendingarnir fáum að styrkja þig á þinn reikning hér heima, þú yfirfærir aurinn sjálfur og færð eitthvað meiri gjaldeyri fyrir þar (við borgum alltaf ákveðna þóknun fyrir hverja yfirfærslu, í Paypal er það í formi hærra gengis), amk. þess virði að skoða það.

      4. @The other lurker, Told in english so everyone understands.

        I do not know if I an can get to the stores in Kiel. But those are not special border stores that have special discount, among other things as I understand. There I can also pay in danish kronas.

        For those in Iceland how want to support me the bank information is this.

        Bank: 1105-05-402376
        ID number: 160780-4369

        This should be good enough to support me from within Iceland. Thanks for the support! 🙂

        Note to Renato Rio: I did misunderstand you a little. The danish is getting into my language base and it is confusing stuff and is going to do so for the next few weeks.

      1. More to the point, they magma-reservoir that has been active during (at least) the 2 last eruptions is between Hekla proper and Burfell/Isakot.
        What happens is that when Burfell goes negative it is in a contractive phase as mountain pressure increases, then the others have to give way and expand at the same time.
        Think of it as labour, when the woman has contractions a certain part of the female anatomy expands… You get the drift…

        The same is probably true for Hella borehole too, but to get the inversees of that one we would need a borehole up at Hengill proper. The wild swings at Hella should have an oposite around there, unless of course the laws of dynamics are on vacation. That is why all those large green swings are unimportant for Hekla, they belong to Hengil.

        Heres a mapp of the stödvar (measuring devices) with the boreholes marked out.


    I live in a land of… some would call them “rednecks,” but that term fits me just as well. Let’s just say that they are unique.

    Yesterday, I’m out driving around on service calls and I wind up behind a pickup truck. Scrawled across the rear window of the pickup truck, is the phrase “I love þoþy.” I swear… that’s the way it was spelled. I don’t think that whoever wrote that, realized that their stylized ” b ” was the icelandic ” þ “.

    I quietly chuckled and went about my business.

    1. Ehm, is that a person named Boby and the name is misspelt more then just the use of theistikons, or is it a misspelt part of the female anatomy, or might it have been misspelt and misstheistikoned version of “I love Poppy”… Or might it be a sportsman known as Poopy and it is misspelt? So many questions on a sunday.. 🙂

      And how in the name of Fudgepuck the Elder do you spell misspelt? Ehm… Sigh…

      1. Nah… just a stylized “b” that for all the world… looked like an Icelandic letter.

        Tossing it at Google translate, it barfed. Dropping the “y” I get that. Depending on how he (the god) was rendered, you can get an idea of what was intended (he also gets the head of a Baboon in some incarnations) “In this (Ibis) form, he can be represented as the reckoner of times and seasons”

        So.. maybe the person doing the writing is trying to drop a hint.

        “Pop the question or I’m going to eviscerate you.”

  8. @Jón, @The other lurker
    My fault, Jón, I can see I didn’t make myself clear.
    Thanks, the other L for the translation 🙂

    My only hope is that when the next Icelandic volcano goes it doesn’t happen when the weather is so nasty, like we’ve seen with Etna today. (Or, better saying, like we have NOT seen). 😉

  9. An interesting article I saw in Hawaii News Now: Lava lake at Kilauea has reached one of its highest levels ever:

    The video shows some of the crater action. It’s a good thing that Icelandic is not the native language of Hawaii. Every vowel in a word is pronounced, i.e., Kilauea is a five-syllable word!!! (Hawaii has four.)

    1. Nah, not really. Just Hekla having a bit of fun teasing us.
      It is when Burfell goes into the negative with a 100 or so and the others go 50 or more into the positive it is time to run for the shelters (if you live close by that is). The largest movement sofar was a +/-25 transient, I called that one an aborted eruption. But, I still think that Hekla is really close. Ie, anything from 1 hour to 3 years before erupting. On the other hand, that is no news.

      CAVEAT: Physicist, not volcanologist.

  10. and another thing!

    there were two quakes in the Örafell volcanic system today

    Saturday 04:51:39 63.960 -16.554 12.2 km 1.4 99.0 8.8 km SE of Hvannadalshnjúkur
    Saturday 04:51:39 64.008 -16.604 1.1 km 1.5 40.98 3.9 km ESE of Hvannadalshnjúkur

    Tremor chart for further observation:

    Subglacial and ice-contact volcanism at the Öraefajökull stratovolcano, Iceland.
    Öraefajökull, Iceland’s highest peak, is probably Iceland’s most violent volcano. A major silicic eruption in 1362 was Iceland’s largest historical explosive eruption. It and another eruption during 1727-28 were accompanied by major jökulhlaups (glacier outburst floods) that caused property damage and fatalities.

    Öraefajökull is a broad glacier-clad central volcano at the SE end of the Vatnajökull icecap. A 4 x 5 km subglacial caldera truncates the summit of the basaltic and rhyolitic volcano. The largest-volume volcano in Iceland, 2119-m-high Öraefajökull was mostly constructed during the Pleistocene. Holocene activity has been dominated by explosive summit eruptions, although flank lava effusions have also occurred.

    1. There was one earthquake in Öræfajökull volcano. What you are seeing is the manual review and the automatic detection by the SIL system.

      What is intresting however is the fact that Öræfajökull volcano is having increased earthquakes over the past years. Because like Eyjafjallajökull volcano it normally is a quiet volcano when it comes to earthquakes. But at current time it is still going to be a long time until Öræfajökull volcano erupts (30 years ?).

      1. How do you know? There are no historical records of the 1727 eruption and yes, the time between the 2 historical eruptions was about 400 years, but that is no valid argument for predicting a future eruptions since it’s only based on 2 eruptions. And for a fact we know nothing about the build op sequence for this volcano since it last erupted (as said) in 1727 when there were no recordings or what so ever.

      2. Pieter, I did use this same way when I was looking at Eyjafjallajökull volcano before it erupted. You also have to consider that there is low earthquake activity taking place in Öræfajökull volcano at the moment. Currently there are stronger swarms in Esjufjöll volcano (they happen at random).

        Öræfajökull volcano like Eyjafjallajökull volcano is old. I believe that the age is something about 800,000 years old.

        I do not have it confirmed. But I think that the earlier eruption before the one in the year 1362 was about 900 years earlier. I do not remember where I did read it (or I might just be confusing stuff together).

        But what worries me in regards to this area is the increased activity there over the past 10 years or so. As Esjufjöll volcano have also been showing increasing activity earthquake wise.

        Snæfell volcano that is the most east volcano in that volcano zone has not shown any signs of coming back to life. But it is considered dormant volcano.

        About Öræfajökull volcano.

      3. I have found records of the earthquake activity at this location since 1995. The year with the most earthquakes was 2005 which had 18 earthquakes throughout the year. But on average only 5 earthquakes per year occure. I wouldn’t really consider that as a sign of reawakening. (Theistareykjarbunga has way more earthquakes for example)

      4. I kind of agree with Jón here.
        I think we would see an increase in quakes before an eruption would occur. It would probably take quite a lot of fracturing Ö and E to start. The sad thing is that we have no GPS-plotting to look at, so we do not know if anything is happening at the root of those 2 volcanos.

        Theistareykjarbunga is a completely different type of volcano. Most of the quakes in it are purely tectonic since it sits ontop of the riftzone.
        Second of all, T is also affected by what happens at Krafla. During the inflation K, T has a large subsidence together with Askja.
        I must though agree that I am almost in love with Theistareykjarbunga, just imagine newscasters trying to pronounce it, and ontop of it is the volcano with the largest lava potential of them all. It is just sexy…

  11. Update on the fund raising. The total so far is 148.71 euro, but that is 1.108, 60 DKK. That is good for a new PC monitor. But I still lack the money for two tables for my tv and my pc monitors and keyboards.

    But I want to thank everyone for the support how have helped me so far! I am really, really tankful for the support and the help that you have given me here.

    1. I agree, but then Hekla have been a fast riser ever since the last eruption, allready in 2006 it was passing the levels of both the 1991 and 2000 eruptions. Back then the MET gave a warning that they expexted it to blow within 3 years maximum.
      Ibviously that date has passed, but I would say that it still stand. The pressure by now is large, the increase goes on, we have had hydro-events, a few quakes has started to come, and now we have had a couple of episodes of the transients. The transients have been to weak sofar to lead to an eruption, but I think they are a powerfull sign of us getting close to an eruption.
      I do stand for my anywhere between 1 hour and 3 years. But… I would say that the one hour is a bit over the top, but then, who knows since it is the average run-up time for Hekla. 3 Years I think is a bit much to. I would say that it probably will go within the year. And that is why I monitor it closer than any other volcano on Iceland.

      1. That appears… after rummaging though the page source to get to the actual photo and doing some zoom/color filtering and enhancements… to be station BUR that took a quick and sustained transient.

    1. Short answer, no.
      Longer answer, If I remember correctly there is one for Askja, but it is not publicly available (I think Jón might have more info about that one). I also think that Rymer has one over at Herdubreid, but I am not sure of that.
      The one who would have a definite answer would be our penultimate Super-lurking Godess of GPS:es… But then she is not known to talk to us mortals often, and then only about the status of her own GPS:es.

    2. I don’t think that there is. There are GPS stations close by because of other volcanoes nearby but not specially for Askja volcano. But last year there was a harmonic tremor spike in Askja volcano following a swarm of deep earthquakes.

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