Earthquakes about 88 km south of Höfn í Hornarfirði

Earlier tonight an earthquake swarm started around 88 km south of a town of Höfn í Hornarfirði. This area last had an earthquake or earthquake swarm in Week 22 (no map exist of it, but the earthquakes are in the weekly overview list) in the year 2007. Then the largest earthquake was around ML3.0 in size.

So far the largest earthquake has been around ML2.3 in size, with the depth of 9.4 km. But the earthquakes that are detected around ML2.0 in size. But given the distance from the SIL network. This size is the lowest size that can be detected from what I can tell. This is because of the distance from the closest SIL station and how few SIL stations are in this area that are able to detect earthquakes this far out in the ocean. Earthquakes like this regularly happen all around Iceland. But most are not detected due to lack of SIL stations in the area. For that reason it is impossible to know for sure how many earthquakes actually have taken place there, as the SIL network is only recording the largest ones in this area.

The area where this earthquake swarm is taking place is on the edge of Iceland volcanic shelf. This is often refereed to as intra-plate earthquakes. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

This area is not volcanic last I knew. As it has no-known volcanoes today and most likely never has had any active volcanoes. In this area the Iceland plate is pushing down the oceanic crust that is on top of. This progress often creates earthquakes as we are now seeing. I have not yet found any research paper, as I am unsure what terms to use to look for the research.

51 Replies to “Earthquakes about 88 km south of Höfn í Hornarfirði”

    1. Google doesn’t seem to be able to read graphics; it can only read text to translate.

      1. There is no analysis of the quakes other than by magnitude and hours since they occurred on this map.

        It doesn’t say here that the quake would be tectonic.

        It just says what to do with the computer mouse (on the right-hand side) , and (down under the picture) if the quakes are confirmed or not, if it is an explosion or something with unknown source and is indicating the SILs, and (down left-hand side) the Richter mgn. and how many hours since the earthquake occurred.

  1. We seem to be getting quakes in odd places recently.
    Vatnajokull has been very quiet, wonder what old Surtur is up to now 🙂

    There was considerable activity in Hamarinn and Bardarbunga last year.

    Hamarinn means “The Hammer” it can be a hammer like Thors hammer or a vertical cliff.
    This mountain is also called Lokahryggur or “Loki’s ridge and Loki Fogrufjoll, Fogrufjoll means Beutiful mountains.

    Katla is big and powerful, when she erupts everyone in Iceland hears her roar,
    But somehow i think she is not as dangerous as Loki Fogrufjoll, Bardarbunga and Veidivotn.

  2. Since the MAR is so near to this place, we actually can’t know if the quakes occurring there are tectonic or not without proper analysis of the seabed under them, and as the sea is rather deep at the place I don’t know if there has been something like that carried out. As far as I am informed (no geologist), there have only been expeditions to analyse the sea floor at the Reykjanes Ridge and around there and north of Iceland.

    Perhaps @GeoLurking would have a possibility to tell us more about the exact depth?

      1. Dunno… I have to wonder about some of the assumptions in that paper.

        “Thermobarometry on basalt and picrite samples from the Northern Volcanic Zone show that the crust is accreted at temperatures in excess of 1100°C”

        Jones 2004

        “Even in central Iceland, primitive lavas have eruptive temperatures of only ~ 1240°C [Breddam, 2002], close to those of similarly magnesian N-MORB [Ford et al., 1983]. Picrite glass, an indicator of high temperatures, is not found.</b<"

        An alternative model for Iceland & the North Atlantic Igneous Province Foulger et al

      1. Maybe it was just a landslide, or a mine exploding and causing a landslide.
        The British laid 100.000 mines to the East of Iceland to sink German U-boats and ships, but the Coast guard has only blown up 5000 of them so far.
        They are sometimes washed ashore after storms, often active and very dangerous.

        This one was blown up a few days ago a bit further East.

        Last year 4 mines were blown up at that same beach.

  3. I hope that the ads here are not bothering people. But I added few new ads to this web page during the night. As I need to increase in my income from this site. So I can have a decent living off it. At least so I can pay the hosting cost of it. If nothing else.

    1. The ads have a very special humor.
      They show the a
      “Langschlitztoaster VOLCANO 5 mit Glasfronten”
      “Levi’s® Jeans black volcano – 26×34”

  4. And just an hr ago off the north side of the plate … kaboom M4.2 at 10km

    2012-01-15 02:11:11.0 71.82N 2:49W 10 4.2 Jan Mayen ISLAND REGION

    Interesting stuff happening off the island.

    While an eruption of Katla appears to have been cancelled due to lack of magmatic interest. o,O

    1. Katla is just taking a nap, lets hope she wakes up in a good mood later this year, probably around mid year.
      For some odd reason she is most likely to erupt late in the year, From Sept to the end of the year.

      1. Like a fickle woman … always keeps you guessing. 🙂 haha

        But when she does finally erupt … whoa, you know it for sure! :O


  5. The goofy/retarded avatars block the persons name using IE 9.0. Even when I click “compatability mode” for web pages designed for older browsers. Just saying.


      1. I think it is an IE 9.0 problem. Think it is not ad related at all.

        I’m tempted to go back ot IE 8.0 once again, as I have done once before. IE 9.0 has annoying little issues with other major websites
        also. 🙁

      2. I recommend using Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera or Safari on this web page. IE version do not properly support the standard that WordPress is using. But that is the same standard that everyone else is using on the internet.

      3. Seems to be a bug. The problem is very recent and I have not updated IE recently.

        Also a problem getting the box to enter the words for ReCAPTCHA.

      4. The ReCaptcha software was updated the other day. This might well be an bug that come with that upgrade. There is little that I can do about it.

        But those how are having issues should try other browsers then IE if possible. As this might be IE only issue and I am not sure the developers of the Captcha software are going to fix that issue just for one browser.

      5. KarenZ … Exactly same problems I experience.

        Jon … is very inconvenient to switch back and forth between browsers (messes up favs & history continuity for example), and I prefer IE for general usage, so I don’t switch and instead stay with IE, but it is challenging at a few of the zillions of websites I go to.

        Jon … So many choices where to comment on such an issue, lol. Last time I comment re that here.

        ps: How come I want to eat bananas every time I click a web page on this site? haha

      6. I switched to Google Chrome. I have had no problems since and it works well everywhere else. It’s also very fast.
        I had a lot of problems on my aging PC with Firefox..
        I gave up with IE of any variety a long time ago!!!

    1. This is related to IE only. Also, some elements of the page formatting have gone awry since one week ago (I guess).

      I use FireFox & Opera at home, and they both do display the page correctly.

  6. A very calm day, earthquake-wise, probably those calm periods that usually occur before something major happens in Iceland, lol.
    Only thing interesting was that small quake in Kverfjoll. Also one yesterday in Askja caldera, and a little bit more of activity in Godabunga rather than Katla caldera. I begin to think that Katla might only erupt in a few years from now. About Hekla no one knows if she will erupt in soon or sleep for a longer time. Hamarinn is the other likely candidate for the next eruption, but has been calm recently too.

    Its winter, the only thing volcanoes do is to sleep through.

  7. A very calm day, earthquake-wise, probably those calm periods that usually occur before something major happens in Iceland, lol.
    Only thing interesting was that small quake in Kverfjoll. Also one yesterday in Askja caldera, and a little bit more of activity in Godabunga rather than Katla caldera. I begin to think that Katla might only erupt in a few years from now. About Hekla no one knows if she will erupt in soon or sleep for a longer time. Hamarinn is the other likely candidate for the next eruption, but has been calm recently too.

    1. You’re probably right Irpsit.

      However, from me reading things in the past. I have learned that Hekla can be very temperamental and can give VERY little warning (a few hours at most) so I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an eruption there in the next few weeks – months.

      However, with volcanoes; you just never know… 😉

      P.S: Captcha was: altureb, Benefits?

  8. Here is Lurking’s plot of data overlain on GoogleEarth to show the geographical location of the 1995-2010 quakes.

    I have a lotta stuff on my Island GoogleEarth which is left there in this quickie graphic.

    (btw: The large rectangular grids are the boundries of MET’s areas for Myrdals and Vatna earthquake categories as see over here:

    REF: Lurking plot … and


    1. Some things seem a bit strange to me in yr. Lurking – Google-Earth-plot:
      – Hveravellir is not where it should be (not on Langjökull glacier, but more or less at its northeast corner, a bit from there to the south though near Kjölur-Highland road).
      – Especially the lots of quakes on Vatnajökull were not at Esjufjöll (I have been following Icelandic quakes over the past 10 years, and there were never many quakes there), but I’d say, you would have to put them much more to the north, so that they would lend at Bárdarbunga, and the southern ones not at Öraefajökull, but at Grímsvötn. There have not been a lot quakes at Öraefajökull neither.

      1. Lurking’s grid is very accurately mapped to Google Earth, based on the plot’s coordinates. Note that his grid map does not cover Grimsvotn or Bardarbunga. The quakes go back to 1995 you know, so maybe that is why you don’t account for them? I beleive Lurking’s plotting program automatically scales the plot axes based and the quake data, so I can’t see how the plot data and plot map could have incorrectly labeled axes.

        For Hveravellir, the location is not my doing, that rather location is as specified in a large GoogleEarth kmz file of all volcanoes on the planet. That file has been around many years, and was created by the highly recognized people at which is the Smithsonian Volcano Information Group and” = Inst of Earth Sciences, Univ of Iceland.

        Volcano types:
        Subglacial volcano
        Shield volcanoes Summit Elev: 1360 m
        Latitude: 64.75°N
        Longitude: 19.98°W
        The Hveravellir central volcano lies at the northern end of an active volcanic zone that extends to the NE from the Reykjanes Peninsula. Hveravellir central volcano occupies the NE half of the massive Langjökull icecap, east of the prominent Pleistocene table mountain, Erikskökull. A summit caldera lies beneath the ice. The Kjalhraun shield volcano east of Langjökull produced about 11 cu km of lava about 7800 years ago. Several small shield volcanoes have been constructed along flank fissure zones, producing postglacial lava flows that flank Langjökull on the northern, western, and eastern sides. One of the most prominent of these is a small shield volcano that was formed at the site of the massive Hallmundahraun lava flow, which covers about 240 sq km and was erupted about 950 AD. The Geysir thermal area, containing Iceland’s largest geysers, lies in the Haukadalur basin, near the southern end of the lengthy fissure system extending from the Hveravellir central volcano.

      2. I always thought the central volcano would be under the high temperature (geothermal) field of Hveravellir. And this – I have been there – is not up on the glacier. But maybe that they think the central volcano is under the glacier – a substantial caldera being there, and just named it after the next connected geothermal field.

    1. There have not been a lot of quakes at these places in the last years – but on the other hand in Bárdarbunga and Grímsvötn. 🙂

  9. Anyone knows what happen to the link for the strain data at Hekla?
    This one is not working anymore

    Does anyone knows the link for the whole current data at Hekla?

    I think it is important to keep a look at Hekla (including reports from drying streams and lack of snow at its top) to see how close we are close to the eruption.

  10. I. Method for adding Lurking plot to GoogleEarth …

    1. Open the Lurking plot in the free irfanview image manager and then save as .gif clicking the transparent option on and then clicking on a white area when saving, so white is transparent.

    2. In Google Earth, turn the grid lines on (View, Grid from top menu line), which creates a mess of grid lines all labeled as to long-lat. Also, in GoogleEarth be sure that View, Sidebar and View, Toolbar are selected (on).

    3. In Google Earth, click overlay icon from top bar and then give path to the gif file saved in step 1. That loads the data plot.

    4. Stretch the overlay by dragging the corners and positioning the center. Have to experiment a bit to get used to doing that easily. Align using longs and lats that are easy to match for the overlay and the GE grid lines.

    5. Give the overlay a name. It is saved in “my places”, in wherever folder was the last myplaces folder opened.

    6. Save GoogleEarth w/ new data = File, save, myplaces.

    II. Using my kml file to add to your GoogleEarth …

    1. Here is the KML already done. Just save the text as: EQ 1995-2010 SE continental shelf.kml …

    EQ 1995-2010 SE continental shelf

    C:/Users/OWNER/Documents/=Science/Volcano & EQ/=Iceland/EQ Data/lurking 2l933bd.gif


    2. After creating a gif with transparent background as per step 1, Section I, just change the specifier in line 7 of the kml file so that it is the full address to where you saved the transparent gif file. That is, replace “C:/Users/OWNER/Documents/=Science/Volcano & EQ/=Iceland/EQ Data/lurking 2l933bd.gif” with the fullpath to where the transparent gif file is located on your system.

    3. Start GoogleEarth and be sure that View, Sidebar and View, Toolbar are selected (on).

    4. In GoogleEarth, just open the kml file saved in step 1 and there ist is all scaled and aligned properly. By right-clicking the overlay in the sidebar and then selecting properties, the position can be fine-tuned if desired; and the name and description can be modified (other options there also).

    III. Adding the data directly to GoogleEarth from

    Iceland MET office has quake data already formatted as GoogleEarth kml files. Just select and open with GoogleEarth (or save and then open with GoogleEarth). Here’s the link using Google translate to see it in English:

    (wow I can’t believe it … and easy 1st Captcha … often i click 10 or more times to get an easy one, lol)

    1. Section II FAILED … the kml file code is just text, but it has hypertext code that can’t be pasted in a comment. 🙁


      ps: I’m sure the people employed in daytime to make Captcha’s more complicated in order to defeat spam are the same people who make spam programs at night to defeat the Captcha filtering! Keeps them busily employed, endlessly.

      1. You can get rid of Captcha on this blog. All you have to do is to register and log-in into this blog site. All registered members do not have to use Captcha before they post an comment here. 🙂

      2. I tried that a long time ago. It kept saying my password was incorrect, so couldn’t register.

      3. You do not have any registered user it seems. At least not under your current user name that you use here to post as unregistered. So you can register again without problems. 🙂

  11. The quakes shown are at the locations specified by Lurking’s plot.

    The plot does not extend as far a Bardarbunga or Grimsvotn.

    Compare Lurking’s plot’s top-left coordinates with Grimsvotn’s location … you see it doesn’t go that far.

  12. GoogleEarth map with Lurking quake data plot of 1995-2010 as overlay (notice longitude & latitude limits for that grid plot), and recent swarm of ~ mag 2 quakes near SE continental shelf area. = wide view = close up

    Data used for recent swarm:
    2012-01-13 18:22:43.09 Depth: 11.307km Size: 2.15Ml -15.24538,63.45022
    2012-01-13 18:23:02.81 Depth: 4.796km Size: 2.31Ml -15.30244,63.45249
    2012-01-13 18:32:17.41 Depth: 10.625km Size: 2.27Ml -15.25120,63.44185
    2012-01-13 18:33:16.06 Depth: 7.211km Size: 1.88Ml -15.25716,63.43488
    2012-01-13 18:59:37.36 Depth: 11.100km Size: 2.49Ml -15.24130,63.42858
    2012-01-13 20:28:40.84 Depth: 5.409km Size: 2.30Ml -15.26506,63.46458
    2012-01-13 20:43:44.39 Depth: 4.892km Size: 2.69Ml -15.23388,63.46711
    2012-01-13 20:43:44.52 Depth: 0.594km Size: 2.84Ml -15.32224,63.50377
    2012-01-13 20:43:44.58 Depth: 9.325km Size: 2.67Ml -15.26065,63.44336
    2012-01-13 22:28:50.21 Depth: 11.288km Size: 2.01Ml -15.27812,63.45295
    2012-01-14 02:51:12.31 Depth: 6.499km Size: 2.16Ml -15.27205,63.44667


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