Name change on 1st January 2012

This is the last day that this website is only going to be Iceland Volcano and Earthquake blog. From 1st January 2012 this blog is going to get a new name.

This name change came about due to plan changes that I have in works. But after about 10 years time I am going to move to Spain or Canary Islands. Most likely Canary Islands as I like volcanoes and earthquakes. But this is in so distant future I am not yet exactly sure where I am going to end up after 10 years.

But this is what I plan for and have set in motion now. I plan to stick with it, as this is what I think is best for me at the moment. But lets wait and see what the future has to offer for me.

Post schedule during the new year holidays

This is the blog post schedule for the new year holidays. I am not going to write any blog posts on 31. December 2011 and 1. January 2012. Some automatic posting is however going to take place during that period.

I am going to cover any major events soon as I can and with best of what I can do if there are any major events in this two days.

Hydrothermal activity in El Hierro volcano

For the moment the eruption in El Hierro volcano has ended. The current harmonic tremor that is being detected might well be from hydrothermal activity that is currently in the area that erupted. But even if the eruption has ended, the area that erupted is going to be warm for many weeks to come. This is going to create hot springs below the sea level, among other ocean phenomena connected to this type of hydrothermal activity.

Harmonic tremor levels remain close to background levels at El Hierro volcano. Taken today at 16:05 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional).

As for future activity in El Hierro volcano. It is important to remember that eruption activity might start again on a new fissure. But that would be pre-seeded by earthquake activity. After the eruption activity stopped there has been some earthquake activity. But it is not at that level I would expect before a new eruption where about to start in El Hierro volcano. For the moment however things remain quiet in El Hierro volcano. A relieve to the local people in the area I would think.


I want to remind people of the volcano and earthquake forum. It allows for more discussions on volcanoes, earthquakes and other stuff that might not belong to this blog.

Eruption in El Hierro volcano ends

It seems that the eruption that has been taking place in El Hierro volcano is over. All yesterday there was an increase in harmonic tremors in El Hierro volcano, suggesting that the power of the eruption was increasing again. But around 10:30 UTC this morning the harmonic tremor dropped and around 11:00 UTC the harmonic tremor stopped completely. Signaling the end of the eruption that has been taking place for almost three months in El Hierro volcano.

The harmonic tremor in El Hierro volcano 27. December 2011. Copyright of this picture belongs to IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional).

The harmonic tremor today (28. December 2011) in El Hierro voclano at around 16:35 UTC (when the picture is saved). On this picture the drop in harmonic tremor can clearly be seen. Copyright of this picture belongs to IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional).

The current end of the eruption does however not mean that El Hierro volcano is over. It just mean that the current eruption that lasted for close to three months is over. It might well be that eruption activity is going to continue in El Hierro volcano in few months to years time. But only time is going to tell us if that is the case or not. But for the moment, the eruption in El Hierro volcano has ended.

Overview of activity in Iceland, Spain and Canary Islands

This is a overview of activity in Iceland, Spain and Canary Islands. This is just an short overview. So not all events are included. But it has been quiet during the Christmas holidays.


During the 24 to 26 of December there was not a lot of earthquake activity in Iceland. Three small earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. In Hengill volcano there was one small earthquake swarm in a location where earthquakes swarms have been taking place for past few weeks. In Katla volcano there was a earthquake swarms inside the caldera. This earthquake swarm are an reminding sign of the activity that is currently taking place in Katla volcano. But this activity took place in north-west part of the caldera. Since Sunday the activity in Katla volcano has again dropped for the time being. But that might change at any time. The largest earthquake that happened was an ML2.3 earthquake. It appeared clearly on my geophone at Heklubyggð.

Stormy weather in Iceland has made it difficult to monitor earthquakes during the past days. This is unlikely to change in next few days. As the path of the winter storms appears to be directly over Iceland at the moment.

Other then this. There was general quiet scene in Iceland during this weekend in Iceland.


During the weekend Spain had many minor earthquakes. With the largest one going up to ML3.5 in size, based on automatic size estimate. I do not know if anyone of this earthquakes where felt by humans. This earthquake activity is normal for Spain.

Canary Islands

The eruption in El Hierro volcano continued as it has been doing for the past three months. No earthquake appeared on the IGN automatic earthquake list. Harmonic tremor remained the same during the weekend. But yesterday and today there have been reports of new fissures opening. But this does not appears to have changed the harmonic tremor levels on the seismographs on El Hierro Island. This suggests that the currently the eruption remains the same. But I do not know what main eruption vents are open at the moment. They might be at great ocean depth and there eruption signs might not appear on the surface of the ocean.

Other then this it has been quiet in Canary Islands.

Days off schedule during Christmas

During this Christmas I am going to take few days off. This means that I am not going to update this blog unless something major happens. The days that I am going to take off are 24, 25 and 26 December. This is according to how Icelandic people hold there Christmas. Some automatic posts are going to appear on the 24th December. But that is about it.

Ongoing earthquake activity in Katla volcano (Week 50)

Yesterday and today there has been some earthquake activity in Katla volcano. While this earthquake activity is less then what have been taking place during the past few months this activity is bit higher then it used to be during the winter times. The largest earthquakes so far have had the magnitude around ML2.0 (from what I can tell). Currently this earthquake activity is limited to three areas inside Katla volcano caldera according to report from Iceland Meteorological Office.

Earthquakes in Katla volcano during the past 48 hours. The ares with most earthquake activity can clearly be seen inside Katla volcano caldera. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

This earthquake activity is more then compared to the winters few years back. Here is an comparison from the years 2009 and 2010 in Week 50 (current Week).

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano during Week 50 in the year 2009. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano during Week 50 in the year 2010. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

As can be seen with this comparison, the earthquake activity now in Katla volcano is considerable higher then in what is called an normal year in terms of activity in Katla volcano. What this means is unclear. But this suggests an eruption is not far away in Katla volcano. But when and how big is impossible to know at current time. Many of the earthquake swarms in Katla volcano are due to dike intrusions taking place in the Katla volcano caldera. But not all of them get to the surface to start an eruption. However such activity can and has increased hydro-thermal activity inside Katla volcano caldera. As has been evident during the past few months in Katla volcano caldera.

Earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

During the night there was an small earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano. The largest earthquake in this earthquake swarm was ML3.04 in magnitude. It had the depth of 8.5 km. This might have been a n dike intrusion. But it is hard to know that for sure at the moment. This earthquake swarm only lasted for an about 2 to 3 hours before it stopped.

The location of the earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

The earthquake swarm also did appear clearly on the tremor plots on the SIL stations that are close to Bárðarbunga volcano. The second set of spikes there are from Hamarinn volcano. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

This earthquake swarm was also seen on Grímsfjall volcano SIL station. The rise in harmonic tremor is due to a storm that is passing over Iceland at the moment (going to go over Iceland today). Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

Hamarinn volcano

Following the earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano an earthquake swarm did start in Hamarinn volcano. This earthquake swarm is so far small and the largest earthquake so far is an ML1.9 in magnitude. But Hamarinn volcano had an minor eruption in July 2011. That minor eruption created an glacier flood that was larger then the flood that did come from Mýrdalsjökull glacier the week earlier. Activity after that has however been little and few earthquakes have taken place. It is impossible to know if there is going to be any more eruptions in Hamarinn volcano. But it cannot be ruled out given current activity in it.

Year in review on Rúv News

Rúv News has put up an page with major events in Iceland during the year 2011.

Grímsfjall volcano eruption in May 2011 can be viewed here.
The glacier flood from Mýrdalsjökull glacier due to the small eruption in Katla volcano can be found here. Sadly there is no mention of glacier flood from Hamarinn volcano yet.

This video should be available outside Iceland. If it is not. Please let me know I can send an complain email to Rúv News about it.

The dormant volcanoes in Iceland

While all the active volcanoes in Iceland get all the press and coverage. There are volcanoes in Iceland that are not so active and have remain dormant for thousands of years now and currently do not show any signs of activity. Some have some hot spring activity. But that is about it for them. The following volcanoes in Iceland have not erupted in historical times. Some have not even erupted in past 12.000 years best to my knowledge. But as history has proved in other parts of the world. An dormant volcano can start to erupt when it feels like it and without any warning at all in some cases.

This is based on Global Volcanism Program data. So it might be subject to errors and updates.


Hrómundartindur – Last eruption is unknown. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Grensdalur – Last eruption was in Pleistocene and its current status is Pleistocene-Fumarolic. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Grímsnes – Last eruption is believed to have taken place around 3500 BC. But this volcano is marked as tephrochronology. This volcano makes crater rows when it erupts.
Geysir – This volcano last erupted in Pleistocene and is marked as Pleistocene-Geysers. This is an stratovolcano.

Hveravellir – This volcano last erupted around the year 950 AD. It is currently marked as radiocarbon. This is an subglacial volcano.

Hofsjökull – This volcano has erupted sometimes in the last 12.000 years. It has the marking holocene. This is an subglacial volcano. The second volcano in this system is not marked in GVP database. But that volcano is named Kerlingarfjöll. I do not know when it last erupted. There is also an embeeded second volcano in Hofsjökull volcano that is Independent from the main Hofsjökull volcano (yes, this is the case it seems). I do not have any idea when that did last erupt.

Esjufjöll – This is an sub-glacier volcano in Vatnajökull glacier. Its last eruption is uncertain. But is believed to taken place in the year 1927. From the year 2000 this volcano has been showing signs of increased activity. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Fremrinamur – This volcano is last believed to have erupted in the year 1200 BC. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Þeystareykjabunga – This volcano last erupted around the year 900 BC. This volcano is an shield volcano.

Snæfellsjökull – This volcano last erupted around 200 AD. It is currently marked as radiocarbon. This is an stratovolcano.

Helgrindur (also known as Lysuhóll) – This volcano has no record of eruption. But it is thought that it erupted sometimes in the past 12.000 years. But exact time is not known. This volcano makes pyroclastic cones. This volcano is the smallest volcano system in Iceland.

Tindafjallajökull – It is unknown if this volcano has erupted during holocene. But the GVP information say that dozen of small eruptions took place in early holocene. This is an stratovolcano.

Snæfell – This volcano is located east of Vatnajökull glacier and south of Kverkfjöll volcano. It was once believed that this volcano was extinct. But new research into it has changed that opinion. This is most likely an stratovolcano. But I do not have it confirmed. This volcano has at least not erupted for several thousands years or more. Currently there are no information about this volcano in the Global Volcanism Program database.

Skrokkalda – This volcano is dormant. But I do not know if it has erupted in historical times or not, but I do no think that is the case. I am also not sure what type of volcano it is.

There are few more volcanoes missing due the fact that they are not in the Global Volcanism Program database. But I have them on a map that I own. So they are going to be added later when I update this blog post.