Earthquake swarm in Öræfajökull volcano sparks interest

The earthquake swarm in Öræfajökull volcano three weeks ago has sparked interest among volcanologist and geologists in Iceland. As the last earthquake swarm in Öræfajökull volcano was only the third earthquake swarm to take place in the last 20 years. But this was a subject of a news from Stöð 2 (Channel 2) this evening.

While a eruption is not expected any time soon from Öræfajökull volcano. It is clear that Öræfajökull volcano has started the long (?) path to a eruption (question mark, as we all know sometimes volcanoes just skip the long waiting part and go strait to the eruption phase as a surprise to everyone).

News about this from Stöð 2 (Channel 2).

Skjálftahrina í toppgíg Öræfajökuls (Ví, Icelandic, Video in Icelandic, News drama)

265 Replies to “Earthquake swarm in Öræfajökull volcano sparks interest”

  1. hmm, i tried to translate the text from the link into german, with google and now i just can´t stop laughing on it..

    the translation told me, that nobody screams “wolf, wolf” and so earthquakes not taking place there very often… haha.. i love that 😉

      1. oh insted of some completely wrong words and bad grammer, you understand the basics and what they want to tell..

        but sometimes it is really funny..

        when you translate from german “Du hast Kohlmeisen” (you got Birds) to english, you get “you have great tits”.. so, never trust google translation..

        but by the way, it is interesting what happens Öræfajökull!

      2. Hahahah! 😀

        There is something that I am reluctant to say on the other blog because it might cause needless embarrassment. However in the backwaters of volcanic bloggery specific to matriarchal Icelandic culture it is not so awkward.

        These 2 links say it all (deliberately masked by tinyurl for the sake of avoiding notice)

        The situation clearly speaks for itself. Got to love the Italian sense of style. That is all …

        Dare not say another word about it, nor introduce this topic elsewhere. In those other contexts the subject is apt to be delicate and awkward.

        It’s not my country. It’s not my backyard.
        I wish them the best.

      1. ah, it is something like colloquial language in icelandic?

        in that case, in german it dosn´t make any sense.. so a wolf is a quite normal animal… like a cow, or a chicken 😀

        and when i sream “chicken chicken” — nothink will happen (perhaps some will answer, i live in a small village)

      1. Well it’s hard to compare ‘sizes’. It could mean the size of a volcanic system, the size of eruptions, the total volume of a central volcano etc. etc.
        What’s for sure is that Oraefajokull is one heck of a volcano.

      2. I think you are probably referring to what has been the largest historical explosive eruption in Iceland, in 1362. Which had a force of VEI-5, compareable to Mt. St. Helens.

  2. Another silly question I expect. Does magma ebb and flow, or is there any influence that could cause it to happen, at different parts of the globe?

    1. Not that I know of. Edd and Flow is caused by the moons gravitational effect on earth and there is no proven link between the moon (and other objects in space) and volcanic/seismic activity on earth.

      Than and the fact that magma usually has alot higher viscosity than water and as such needs a tremendous amount of energy to mobilize.

  3. Öræfajökull is definitely a big one. The only good thing about it erupting would be that the name is somewhat easier to say. Otherwise it has historically had some very large and destructive eruptions, including the eruption in 1362 which was one of the biggest in recorded history in Iceland.

    Speaking of hard to pronounce names, looks like a new swarm starting at Hellisheiðarvirkjun… more geothermal pumping? It’s in the same area as before. I wonder if it hasn’t been going on since the previous swarm, and that the weather was too noisy to have the small quakes show up?

    Also, in response to the posts on the last topic about “lights” or “smoke” in Jökulsárlón webcam. It is almost guaranteed to just be ordinary clouds at sunset. Depending on the time and exact conditions, low altitude clouds will be very dark while high-altitude clouds will be very bright. For example, a random picture off Flickr that exactly shows this phenomenom:

    The low clouds could be an interesting (to me) type of cloud called orographic clouds, which is (simply put) a cloud formed when air is lifted up over a mountain or hill and cools to form a cloud. I’m not certain of the topology and weather conditions around this area so it may or may not be the case. But, this type of cloud seems frequent in Iceland from what I’ve seen on my trip there and from photographs, as the general climate is conducive to this type of cloud.

    It is definitely not an eruption.

    1. There has been dry weather in the last weeks together with some storms. This remobilized ash from the Grimsvötn eruption which is available in vast amounts on the glacier. Last friday we could only see between 500 and 1000m in Kirkjubaejarklaustur – this got better on the weekend and worse again today. The ash even reached the Reykjavik area.

      1. And speaking about unpronouncable Icelandic names…
        Kirkjubaejarklaustur would have been an astounding name if it had been a volcano. It is almost so that I wish that Hekla would be renamed into Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

      2. This is actually not so difficult. Try the google pronounciation, which is not so bad.
        Or do it like the Icelanders which say “Klaustur”. 🙂

    1. I think there is a clear ebb and flow in some circumstances. Look at the eruptive cycle of Etna for the last 3 months. Im think the cause of this is unknown. Little is known about the core of the earth.

  4. Sorry I posted this question twice. (I thought I got the, “I am human” question wrong first time) If It does ebb and flow even very slightly, could this be why some eruptions are so savage, unexpected, and sudden. (sometimes) And others are easier to calculate, monitor, predict, (sometimes)?

    1. Factors which are known to affect the likelihood and force of volcanic eruptions include: age, type, stability, location (in respect of ridges / tectonic plates) of the volcane; and, source and composition of the magma. Estimates are based on a volcanoes known history (most of which is before any detailed measurements could be taken). However, volcanes can change their pattern of behaviour.

      It is not unreasonanle to suppose that ebb / flow or expansion / contraction of magma could have an impact. Magma is considered to affect the movement of the tectonic plates. Plate movement may also affect the stains on magma, at least at a local level.

      But not enough is known about the relationship between factors to be able to predict an eruption with much precision. One of the reasons why seismologies monitor known indicator so closely (earthquake activity, gases emited and changes in mineral salts in local rivers).

      1. Karenz. Thank you for this. If there is ebb and flow what do you think are the possible influences?

      2. I am not an expert. I suppose that factors that could make magma appear to ebb / flow (or expand / contract) are:

        1. variations in heat from the Sun (e.g. known: stronger in summer than in winter)
        2. any variations in rotation of the earth or the earth’s orbit of the sun
        3. any changes in the sun’s magnetic field / gravitational field or our own (if that happens)
        4. changes in pressure from plate movement

        And there may be other factors from within our planet that are not known.

        All pure conjecture on my part. Even if the above do affect the magma, how and how much are unknown.

    2. The explosivity of a volcanic eruption is mostly dependent on the gas content of the magma. The more gas, the more explosive power in the eruption.

  5. Umm….

    Carl and Jack and Raving.

    I took that… “thing” of a spreadsheet, the one with the massive array of numbers that were derived from calculating the difference of the the daily quake counts with incrementing offsets… and took the average of all values for each offset increment.

    This is what I got. I also ran a derivative on the curve to look for nuances in the slope of the curve.

    Offsets that stood out have been labeled.

    This file… that started off as a simple extract off of another more complicated spreadsheet… is now pushing 110 mb in file size.

      1. Well, this is all an exercise in looking for periodicity in the activity along the SISZ.

        I’ve done FFT’s of that data, I’ve run a Periodicity “transform” (the hard way, by brute force), and this is just the latest effort to try and glean some pattern out of the data.

        A week or so ago (maybe three), I put out a plot of the power distribution along the SISZ in Joules per fractions of a degree of longitude. Carl noticed that some of the clusters of energy were eerily similar to diffraction patterns that you usually see when working with light. I concurred with the similarity since I have seen similar things in radar. (beam patterns, grating lobes)

        So… why would something characteristic of wave phenomena show up in seismic energy release? It’s a pretty valid question. I don’t have an answer. I have a pet theory, but that has to do with stress waves (mainly with the San Andreas) . Doing a plot similar to the one I did for the San Andreas doesn’t show anything like that. It does show large segments of the SISZ simultaneously shutting down after some large quakes in 2000. It also show that the SISZ didn’t really give a rats arse that Hekla erupted. It wasn’t until after the large quakes that there was any change.

        It’s possible that Hekla’s 2000 eruption was just another by product of what ever it was that caused the large quakes. Hekla’s general nature is to just pop with little warning.

        Anyway, back to the plots. As I mentioned, the FFT and “psuedo-cycle” attempts didn’t yield too much of interest. Per Jack@Finland, an artifact or signal really should reliably climb above about 3 standard deviations in order for it to really be significant and worthy of further poking at. Nothing has done that yet. Even the spike in the spikes in the “psuedo-cycle” run were a bit narrow for my comfort, and they were still inside the 2 standard deviation range.

        Someone pointed me at a paper dealing with chaos theory and analysis. This is where you start taking off into imaginary numbers (you know, square root of a negative one and all that stuff). My closest experience is in dealing with resonant circuits where you have a “j” operator rather than an “i” operator. It’s similar but different. Anyway, the math is daunting and I’m doing good to remember what to do with a derivative or an integral.

        Raving provided a direction that might allow the detection of a “strange attractor” (one of the keystones of chaos theory) and I was taking a stab at that.

        But as Carl has noted, the sheer quantity of numeric calculations needed in a brute force attempt are massive.

        I’m pretty much done with it for now. I got some oddball peaks, I don’t know what they mean, nor do I know if there is any significance to it. It may just be error data for all I know.

      2. Quote
        “I have a pet theory, but that has to do with stress waves (mainly with the San Andreas) . Doing a plot similar to the one I did for the San Andreas doesn’t show anything like that.”

        Would you get the same “stress waves” in Iceland as it is drifting apart (whishful thinking 😉 ) as you would have in the San Andreas ? I doubt it, I suggest you’d get “strain waves” for want of a better description

      3. In the segment I’m looking at, yes, it’s possible.

        The SISZ is a forming transform fault. (it has even been referred to as such by some of the literature). If it is a transform fault, then that makes the triple junction over near Hengill an RRF type, which is inherently unstable and eventually evolves into an RFF type (under certain circumstances) This would tend to explain why the Hengill area is as noisy as it is.

        The wild part about this, is that would mean that there is a 2nd one up around Bardabunga. (hotspot, spreading center and a triple junction.. yee haw)

        With regards to the “strain waves,” I’m okay with that. The two main plates (NorthAm and EurAsian) are moving apart at about 1.6 cm/yr and change so there is plenty of movement to go around.

        Now the important part…

        THERE IS NO UNDERLYING THEORY that I’m working on. It’s just curiosity.

        This graphic is derived from multiple sources. The two micro-plates are both theoretical entities. (Hreppar and Tröllaskagi, postulated by Sigmundsson et al

      4. The San Andreas fault is a convergent plate boundary, whereas the North Atlantic Ridge is a divergent boundary so stresses & strains might well show a different pattern, especially as magma is closer to the surface for the latter.

        Also don’t forget that you are looking at a very small time frame in geomorphological terms.

      5. @Lurking. Thank you; much appreciated.

        If I understand you correctly, you are looking for a pattern in the amount of energy released by earthquakes in SISZ over a period of time.

        It is sometime since I did physics, etc., but from what I remember, earthquakes release heat, light (and magnetic?) radiation – which have wave characteristics, in addition to stress waves (ripples). So seeing a wave pattern appears reasonable.

        If what you are analysing reflects movement of the plates, it might go some way to explaining why Hekla’s eruption did not have much immediate impact on your analysis. While the plates and Hekla would impact eachother, the plates would have proportionately far more impact on Hekla than the other way round (based solely on the fact that the plates are considerably larger).

        Pure supposition on my part – may be more analysis of the plate movements over a much wider area than Iceland.

      6. If you wish you can look at what I wrote earlier about wave motion of energy in the SIFZ between the Hengill Sprungur area and Hekla. There you also have Lurkings stunning plot that I theoretisized the hell out of.
        Don’t give a crap about the heated argument that followed though. To many people said to much in affect. If I remember I started the discussion about 1,5 months ago.

      7. Lurking:
        As you yourself said, there is only two instances that jump out massively, the day 1252 and 1414.
        Allowing for slightly lower numbers you have the day 59 and 920.
        The cirka 850 to 950 is interesting, not because it is massively deviating from normal, but out of being deviated from normal (0) for such a long time.
        I do not have a clue what the cirka 850 – 950 is significant of, but it is interesting, in many ways more so than the 1252.
        Just out of curiosity I wonder what would happen if one binned together the days in to groupings of five or ten days? I think that one then wouold see “events” clearer from the noise. But, I am not shure what the hell I am seeing 🙂

    1. Lurking. Just to say thank you for giving me an understanding of the cumulative plot. My work schedule dictates the amount of time I can spend on this site so I can only thank you now.

      1. Not a problem. We all learn here, and some of what we see makes little sense when we first look at it.

    2. Yes, thank you. [smile]

      I had placed a short comment to your plot in that sea of responses to the previous thread.

      Seems that you now have a firmer understanding of Poincaire sections and phase portraits, although at the expense of much effort. Sorry about the non apparent result AGAIN [wince]

      The results are interesting. It takes time for the gains to sink in and know where to take things further.

      The earthquake plots per hour after the tsunami event (posted in the Eruptions thread) is Wow!!

      Interesting to see if that trend holds if only the lower ?? continental (postal) states are considered. If that were so, it would strongly indicate that great quakes trigger many little quakes elsewhere over a protracted decay interval.

  6. Well first of all I needed to find out how to say Öræfajökull
    Now does this Icelandic lady Gudrun pronounce the name well? Do you have different dialects in Iceland?
    This is another tongue twister to add to Irpsit’s list of “Icelandic names to tease news readers ” 🙂

    Next I needed to know what this mountain looks like. I looked at all the clips of Öræfajökull on youtube. Oh my! To walk up needs bravery and a lot of hard work. To ski to the top also is hard but coming down is quicker. I settled for this clip as the idea of sitting in a vehicle was more pleasant than sitting in a snow storm outside. Also this clip shows some good crevasses!.

    These 4 x 4s are awesome!

  7. I rarely apart from the swarm Öræfajökull there is another earthquake on the island from 11:00 h
    could be that they have a problem IMO?

  8. OK….why is volcano being published as volcane? Once is most likely my typo…but the rest?

  9. The largest and most violent volcano eruptions in Iceland were from:
    – Oraefajokull 1362
    – Askja 1875
    – Katla, many historical eruptions, for example 1755
    – Hekla, several historical eruptions, the largest being that of 1104
    – Probably, some from Bardarbunga and Grimsvotn (in 1477 and 1783)

    All were probably comparable to Mt St Helens and Pinatubo. It is quite difficult to say which one was the largest of the ones above. Sources do not give a consensus about that.

    I think Oraefajokull has the biggest potential for a future violent caldera-forming eruption, because it is such a tall volcano, with a large base. Its eruptions are rare, but close to the hotspot, so they have a great potential for very large eruptions. Other potentially large eruptions could come from long dormant volcanoes such as Hofsjokull (which is very large), Tungnafellsjökull (very close to the hot spot) or from Godabunga.

    But this said, I think Oraefajokull is still a long way from eruption, but it could erupt sometime in the next decades, as a future peak of activity in Icelandic volcanism comes in this next century. I wouldn’t worry with Askja, Hekla and Grimsvotn, because of recent violent eruptions. But Bardarbunga and Katla could be due for large eruptions in this century, after a long sleep.

    Another volcano with very violent pre-historical eruptions (but now long dormant) is Tindfjalljokull, which some thousands years ago was the tallest volcano in Iceland, but it collapse during a large caldera-forming eruption. It is close to Katla. If it erupts again, it could be very big also. It has always been very quiet, but occasional earthquakes show it is still active.

    Then, we had the extremely large lava eruptions in the past from Hengill and Langjokull, and also from Laki, Veidivotn and Eldgjá, which rank in the world top of lava volumes. Krisuvík has also erupted large volumes of lava but not as much. From these, I think the most likely to erupt next are fissures near Hamarinn, Krisuvík and Langjokull (Prestahnukur) because of recent earthquake swarms.

    1. I forgot to say. I think we will also see sometime in the next years or decades a fissure eruption happening close to Askja, to its northeast, near Herdubreid, because of the recent activity there. But this I think would be a fissure eruption, and would be not large, unless it is fed from magma from the north part of Bardarbunga fissure region.

      1. It is interesting to say that for Tindfjallajokull (close to Katla and Eyjafj.), Tungnafellsjökull and Hofsjokull (close to Bardarbunga): these volcanoes were apparently active during Holocene, but their last eruption date remains unknown. Their activity is probably explosive, since they are glaciated and do not show any lava fields. Something similar to Katla, Eyjafjallajokull and Grimsvotn.

    2. I generaly tend to agree with you.
      I do though hold that Hekla could have a really massive one regardless of having erupted heavily and repeatedly in the last decades.
      I am not saying that it is likely, it is rather unlikely, but I do think that Hekla could have a caldera forming event through rapid subsidation due to weakened rough above the magma-reservoirs.
      As I think we have started to understand, she has a whale of system of reservoirs. Last count of the magma-reservoirs that had been found be various scholars was above 9… I think she has 3 differet together with some sills, dykes and that humongous fissure, but still enough to make a rather nasty thing if the “roof” “fell down” after a larger than normal effusive eruption.
      Can she have a larger than normal effusive/explosive eruption? Well, without a doubt, she is filled much more now than she was at either 2000 or 1991 eruptions.
      But, this is unlikely and speculative in the extreme.

  10. Interesting, Jón . In that case, I’ll just repeat something from another thread, because the Vestari Saudahnjukur SIL ( is still showing the tremors getting noisier and noiser (a progressive trend over the past month, now). From all your replies last time, I unterstand that that this is close to Snaefell, which is linked via fissures to Öræfajökull. I still can’t quite understand how you can have such a trend without any sign of noticeable earthquakes, but it might be worth keeping an eye on. There also seems to be a declining periodicity to the trremor amplitude, but that might be my imagination…

    1. The activity spreads via stress-wave transients, which are good in inducing new quakes at locations already close to breaking.

      1. Jack, this may be a really crazy question, but… if the activity is spreading via stress-wave transients, and IF Carl’s wave theory was correct, could the activity in the Hengill area possible trigger Hekla if she was ready to go?

      2. I think no, as the quakes are quite far away and not very strong. See my other comment below about those M3+ quakes…

      3. Denise-Marie:
        I do not think so, if this had been going on at the other side of the Sprungur main fault then it would probably have caused an eruption.
        Helisheidarvirkjun is on the wrong side of the tripple-junction.

    2. Most of the quakes are of low to low-ish quality and of the 329 quakes currently listed for the Hengill area over the last 48 hours, the IMO have investigated no more than 26 (those with a quality of 99.0). No doubt we’ll get an explanation of all this in some scientific papers in a few year’s time. 😉

  11. Those man made quakes from the geothermal plant have been going on how long? Meaning, how long has this plant been there? If it’s one thing we humans are good at is making laws. One of those laws is the Law of Unintended Consequences. You get my drift.

  12. Wow!…. Whats going on? … never seen that many quakes over such a large area. Be interested to hear anyones theories…

  13. As of this writing 333 quakes on the Reykjanes peninsula in the last 48 hours and still swarming! If this is mainly man made it seems way out of control to me. Can anyone sort out approximately how many of these might be man made, how many accidentally set off, and how many probably unrelated?

    1. Pumping of water is opening a crack or fault line below, and something’s cooking there? Looks interesting, but no M3+ quakes yet. If we start to see M3+ quakes, then I’ll be worried about the activity…

    2. I think they tried a deeper than average hole and got a “Hot contact of the third degree”.
      It is well withing the Hengill fissure swarm. My suggestion is that they actually succeded in injecting water into a crack that lead into the fissure itself and what we are seeing is chock-waves withing the Hengill dyke…

  14. Cripes Lurking, its looking like iceland is really suffering indigestion! (thanks for the great plots)

    1. I think they may have discovered another fault.

      There is a diagonal set dropping down to around 14 to 16 km south of 64°N, I did a quick time v depth plot and it does not have an upwards trend, so no, they haven’t found Godzilla yet.

  15. Should read “…14 to 16 km deep south of…”

    And do note that these are mostly low quality quakes.

    1. Well, that’s always possible.

      I do know that the EPA (in the US) and the governing bodies (per State) go nuts over fracture gradients and set strict guidelines over what well injection pressures are allowed to be at.

      Exceed the fracture gradient and you can pop the rock. This is generally done intentionally for hydrofracking operations.

      Here, I don’t know. I do know that this is along the plate boundaries and that the over all trend is for the plates to move apart, so there is a lot of stress already present in the underlying rock.

    1. Seems like its over – for now.
      Reminds me of playing russian roulette – all bets on red!

  16. Wow, man made earthquakes causing natural earthquakes. Hope it stops at some point and without any serious damage.

  17. Long time reader first time commenter. Jon, you’ve made this blog into quite something here. When journalists and other academians start referring to it for updates, then it has become bigger than itself. Double kudos on keeping the blog clean of the non-scientific 2012-mongering.
    Ive been meaning to comment for a while now, but I always thought I’d only post if I had something useful to contribute. After about a year of waiting I honestly feel like an engineer amongst scientists (kinda like Howard amongst a bunch of Sheldons, for those familiar with the show). This recent swarm has piqued my interests and I just couldn’t hold back. The best thing I can do is probably some data analysis, but I trust you lot have got that covered quite well. Irpsit, where do you get your historical data from? Any chance I could play around with some numbers? Im particularly curious about the periodicity of M2+ quakes around Katla, and their relationship to the interesting activity SE outside the caldera.
    I know the man-made quakes (and natures response) are small in magnitude, but could they possibly add up in terms of strain? From what I gathered from previous discussions, the quakes around Hengill MAY trigger activity across the SISZ towards Hekla. Could these small ones add up? Also, Ive noticed the raw borehole transients tend to get erratic-y after this made made activity takes place. Any relationship or am I a monkey enchanted by a spinning wheel? Sorry for the long (and possibly dumb) post, I promise if I’ll word-limit if I get to comment again.
    Thanks in advance!!!

  18. Crazy swarm at Hengill. How can man made pumping of water trigger earthquakes just during the night?

  19. Can’t find anything in the news about the activity at Hellisheiðarvirkjun yet but will keep looking as it is bound to cause comment. In the meantime, here is an article about a meeting in Vik to discuss the probability of an eruption:

    “Discusses the probability of eruption

    Crowded íbúafundur in Vik i Myrdal. Photo: Bjorn Malmquist.Crowded íbúafundur in Vik i Myrdal in the evening, to discuss the situation in Myrdalsjokull probability of eruption there.
    The meeting began at eight in the evening in Leikskalar, the community in Wick, where Magnus Tumi Gudmundson jarðeðlisfræðingur went over the history of fuel metabolism in the boilers and the additional functionality that has been under Mýrdalsjökull recently.

    About two hundred people were at the meeting. In the case of Magnus stated that the land has not Mýrdalsjökull risen sharply recently, however, has been landris the Katla caldera itself.

    It was also noted that geothermal activity have recently been increasing in the southeastern part.”

    1. As an entirely amateur observer who knows next to nothing!

      Whatever they are doing in the Hengill area to trigger these quakes, I would suggest that they need to stop and take pause to make sure they are not setting in motion a chain of events that could lead to an awakening of the volcano there, or a similar unwanted event.

      The quakes seem to be very deep and very numerous – so a pause of activity to make sure swarms don’t now occur by themselves and a detailed risk assessment of the activity so far might be prudent. From a corporate stand point, they need to weight the costs of damages if something went wrong vs. losses from temporarily suspending the operations.

  20. Good grief!!!
    @ Lurking
    Many thanks for the plots of this new activity. It is so interesting and causing me so many questions that cannot be answered. I do feel however this has been quietly brewing for the last few months. There has been a lot of activity shown around Hengil. But of course there are so many factors involved in this area.
    Thank you also for your more complex plots. I am having some difficulty getting my head round this advanced mathematics stuff, but I understand what you, Raving, Carl et al are investigating. This morning’s activity may well send you back to the drawing board on this! Poor Lurking. I will send you some headache Pills! 🙂 I personally think there should be periodicity. The earth seems to work as a complex engine involving many different scientific factors and “Random” does not sit well in my concept of “Engine”.

    This morning has left me at a loss . What can I say about this swarm on the Reykjanes peninsular? Simply… there are a lot of quakes caused by……..?

    As Jon usually ends his posts…… I sit back and wait and (Hopefully) see!

  21. They have had a power outage at Mosfellsbær in the night. I do not know whether that has been restored yet or not, but it may be contributing to lack of news updates.

    Translation by Google & link:

    “Power in Mosfellsbær

    Power is part of Mosfellsbær and instead may turn Grafarvogur currently. Work is under repair information from Reykjavik, and it is expected that electricity will be restored within the hour. Rafmagnsleysið due to high voltage breakdown in the distribution Energy.”

    Maybe Icelanders can she more light on this?

    1. I’m in Scotland, but just a thought, with lots of natural fracturing happening could the circulation of geothermal water stop as the water is diverted into the fractures.

      1. this is about electricity blackout.

        the electricity in Mosfellsbær and someparts of Grafarvogur went out due to failed high-current string.

  22. Spoke too soon as usual. Here is a bit of news about the swarm:

    Translation by Google and link:

    “Twitching of Hellisheiði

    Some 250 mild earthquakes have been twitching at Hellisheiði from about midnight. According to the seismic shift Meteorological Office is likely skýringinin that is being pumped cold water wells in the area of ​​Energy Cooperation, Stanford University and foreign partner institutions oven.”

    1. Also:

      Translation by Google.

      “Twitching of Hellisheiði

      Some 250 mild earthquakes have been twitching at Hellisheiði from about midnight. According to the seismic shift Meteorological Office is likely skýringinin that is being pumped carbon dioxide into wells in the area of ​​Energy Cooperation, Stanford University and international co-operative.
      This is part of the so-called CarbFix project. Carbon dioxide, which was previously confined to animals, is returned back to the place to release it into the atmosphere.

      This technology hopes people to fully utilize the mótvægisaðgerð the greenhouse effect. The biggest spurt of the night was about 2 in size”

  23. More about Carbfix here

    and news about the progress of the project is here >

    I am not sure they expected such a reaction, if indeed the quakes are due to extra injection of material into faults. On a cursory look at their news I see no mention of earthquakes either happening or the possibility of instigating ‘quakes. I presume this will have been discussed and evaluated in the safety aspects of the project.
    I await with interest to see what transpires both from Iceland’s rocks and human explanation and discussion.

  24. Someone tickled mother earth and she twitched. Thank god she wasn’t all coiled up where someone tickled her, cause that might have warranted a kick 🙂

    1. On a more serious note. Do you think you can do a controlled relief of a more dangerous rift zone like with controlled avalanches using dynamite to avoid a bigger one at an unknown time later?

      It would obviously have to be researched at a remote high tension fault zone to test it out. But I never knew that one injection of water could trigger such a wide release of stored tectonic energy.

      1. Oh, it does and this is actually no new knowledge. There was some geothermal project in Basel, Switzerland a few year ago which did something similiar. They stopped the project because of this.
        Regarding the releave of stress from faults: I guess no one will ever take the responsibility for a project like this.

    1. Seems to have been saturated with wind. The wind is currently dying down so that would explain the helicorder as well.

      I would say the quakes were too small to show up on Jons helicorders. It would require a pretty big quake to register at that distance.

    1. Well there are still gusts if you look at the wind map over at IMO. I would guess the winds are around 12-16 m/s and gusts even higher so Im not so sure. 🙂

      But it does look like GRF is about to spike upwards again. Seems similar to when the glacial flood came some time ago. Can it be the crater lake that has been destabilized so that it releases some water? Are there any increases in waterlevels from vatnajökull?

      1. The IMO Hydrology charts are not showing anything much at the moment; but they do not publish data for all rivers. The increased flow I can see could be explained by rainfall in the region over the past few days. Link:

        Agree that something might be happening as the following SIL stations are showing spikes: GRF (by far the largest), REN, KVO and to a lesser extent DIM and SKR: link

        May be ripple effect from the Reykness Peninsular or something independent.

        Jon’s views would be interesting.

      2. There is an increased outflow from Jökulsárlón but this could be the outgoing tide (I have not watched it often enough to be able to tell) – need an Icelander to clarify.

      1. It seems the spike is only on the blue line, not on green or red lines. Maintenance on the tremor station, e.g. wind cover temporarily off?

  25. About the 2 huge swarms: magnitude isn’t high enough to be related to biiig magma movement. You can do stronger than that even with induced seismicity.

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