Earthquake activity in France and Iceland

This is an collection post of events that I have been taking place while I was travelling to Denmark. This is just an short update. Not going into great details on what has been happening.


On 26. February 2012 at 22:37 UTC there was an earthquake with the size of ML4.8 in south France. This earthquake had the depth of 2 km. This earthquake was widely felt in France, Monaco and in nearby Italy according to EMSC reports. More details on this earthquake can be found here, on EMSC web page. Several aftershock have taken place since this earthquake and earthquake activity is still ongoing it seems. But it is mostly small earthquakes that are now taking place so far.


There has been some earthquake activity in Katla volcano. This activity is not outside the normal range of what has been going on in past few weeks. Some activity has also been continued in Hengill volcano. But that is due to water pumping down, as has been the story since this activity started last year. Other then this activity, it has been generally quiet in Iceland.

I am most likely missing some activity. But reports of activity that I am missing can be reported in the comments section. This is just an short update. I am hoping for an better update tomorrow on what is going on in terms of activity.


Good news on the glasses. I can pay them little by over period of months. But that might be an good way (even if I do not like it) to buy the glasses. As the cost is going to be around 4000 DKK for the whole thing. But that is the glasses frame and the glass in them. I do not have the money to pay for them all at once at current time. But glasses are an high priority for me, as I need them to see the world around me.

A Mw6.8 earthquake in Siberia, Russia

At 06:17 UTC this morning (26.02.2012) there was an earthquake with the size of Mw6.8 in Siberia, Russia. The depth of this earthquake was registered at 10 km. But it might be more or less when the data gets properly reviewed. Given the location of this earthquake to villages in this area, I am expecting some damage to be reported. How much and how excessive is hard to know at current time. This earthquake was also not far from the border with Mongolia. But I have not seen any reports of how it was felt there, or if there was any damage in that area following this earthquake.

The intensity map of the earthquake according to EMSC data. Copyright of this picture belongs to EMSC.

The regional view of this earthquake. The borders with Mongolia are marked with black. Copyright of this picture belongs to EMSC.

Local view of the earthquake. There are several small villages close to the epicenter of this earthquake. Copyright of this picture belongs to EMSC.

There is continued aftershock activity after this earthquake, the largest aftershock so far has had the size Mb5.3. More information about this earthquake can be found on EMSC web site here. USGS information about this earthquake can be found here.

An ML4.2 earthquake close to Sicily coast, Italy

At 20:34 UTC on 25.02.2012 there was an ML4.2 earthquake close to the coast of Sicily, Italy. The depth of this earthquake was registered at 10 km. But this is based on early and automatic data, and is subject to an change.

Intensity map of this earthquake as it was felt in Sicily. This map might change as more data comes in about this earthquake. Copyright of this picture belongs to EMSC.

The regional map of this earthquake. The red line in the map is the fault line that separates the tectonic plats in this area. Copyright of this picture belongs to EMSC.

Local view of this earthquake. It also shows the towns that are closest to this earthquake location. Copyright of this picture belongs to EMSC.

More information about this earthquake can be found on EMSC web site. Along with updated information about this earthquake and where it was felt.


On Monday I am going to Denmark. So that might mean lack of updates while I am travelling. So if anything happens. It can be discussed in the comments. I have also decided to change the comments in such way that comments are not held for moderation unless they contain more then 4 links. But I am planning more changes on the comment system in the future in order to battle spam that is an big problem on this blog. Update 1: This is just an test, if the results are poor. I am going to change it back until I can do the changes to the comments that I am planning. The changes are nothing big and I am not going to install any 3rd party comment system up here.


While I am not yet broke at current time. I am soon to be. As I am moving to Denmark in April (as it looks now). I am also have to buy new glasses, as my current glasses are damaged due to old age (the glass is getting damaged due to old age, it as anti-refection skin on it that is getting damaged). Because of that I need to buy glasses, but without glasses I do not see an anything. I am in fact blind without glasses. But I also need to buy an round plane ticked in March when I finally get an apartment in Denmark to get my belongings in Iceland and finish moving to Denmark. I have saved up for all this cost in the past few months, everything except the glasses and the plane ticked. As moving in April was bit sudden for me, but I was expecting to get an apartment in May, rather then April. But with this all I am cutting it close money wise (I am hoping to be good money wise without donations). So I am asking for donations if people can spare them so that I do not hit the financial strain too hard. But I am hoping for the best if I do not get many donations. Thanks for the support!

P.S: I have not forgot about the Eyjafjallajökull eruption e-book that I am planning on writing. But with everything that has been going on with me in the year 2011 and the part of the year 2012. I have not yet been able to write it. But I do hope to have time to write it after I finish to move to Denmark. Along with few other stories that I have been working on in past few months. Those how have already requested the e-book copy get it when it is ready. I have not forgotten about this.

I am going to post more information on updates when I move in April. Just before I move.

Blog post updated at 00:09 UTC on 26.02.2012.

Two minor earthquake swarms in Hengill volcano

Yesterday, last night and this morning there has been minor earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. This earthquake swarm is more or less over for now. But it might pick up at any time. This time around only around 140 earthquakes where detected in this two earthquake swarms.

The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. The location of this earthquake swarm is quite common. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.

The earthquake swarms in terms of each earthquake being marked. This clearly shows the two earthquake swarm pattern. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.

More earthquake swarms should be expected in this area. As Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (OR) continues to pump down water in this area. But that is creating this earthquakes it seems. This earthquake activity takes place at random times.

Minor earthquake cluster in Katla volcano caldera

There seems to be forming of minor earthquake clusters in Katla volcano caldera. But this has been following growing number earthquakes in Katla volcano caldera during past few weeks. This is most likely an signal of increased activity in next few weeks to months. But the increase does not have to been slowly up. It can be sudden as did happen in July 2011 in Katla volcano caldera when earthquake activity did increase suddenly and there was an small eruption without an warning.

Current earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Note the small cluster of earthquakes close the area where an small eruption took place in the year 1999. Copyright of this image belongs to IMO.

There has been some small cluster of earthquakes taking place in Katla volcano caldera. I am not yet sure what that means at the moment. However this might be clues to minor dike intrusions into Katla volcano caldera. But without more data, it is impossible to be sure on this detail at current time.

Last night there was an change in harmonic tremor on two SIL stations around Katla volcano. But due to high wind noise I am unsure what was going on. But it is possible that this was an small dike intrusion taking place close to Goðabunga part of Katla volcano, or this was an minor glacier flood that was taking place under the glacier. At current time I have no good idea what was going on.

The harmonic tremor on Smjörgil SIL station. The signal is unclear due to high wind noise. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.

The harmonic tremor signal on the Goðabunga SIL station. Due to high wind the signal is unclear and hard to see. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.

It is hard to know for sure what happens next in Katla volcano. But important signs can be found in earthquake patterns. But it is also important not to overlay broad interpret the data in the favor of an eruption taking place. As it is impossible to know for sure when Katla volcano erupts, and then how big. All we might get is an new small eruption like in July 2011. As Katla volcano can also have small eruptions like big ones.

Old rift zone in Iceland

Here are two pictures of an old rift zone in Iceland. This rift zone was active until about 7 million years ago or so. This cliffs that I show here on this picture are from this old rift zone. It was volcanic long time ago. But not any more. This area however holds an good amount of unknown fissures and fault lines that might become active one day and create earthquakes in this area. But the years that I have been in this area I have never felt an earthquake. But I have recorded earthquake somewhere in this area. But it was an minor one. Less then ML1.5 in size. This area also used to be under ocean for several million years before it became dry land.

This is the old rift zone that was active until 7 million years ago. Click on the picture for full size. This picture is released under Creative Commons Licence. See the licence page for more details.

There is still an chance of this area to get new volcanoes in far future. Like did happen on Snæfellsnes. But this rift zone did pass trough there also. In this old rift zones there are several old volcanoes. I have covered them before on this blog. But that blog post can be found here.

More articles on this area

The Iceland Hotspot (
Iceland 2003 Keck Junior Research Project Geology of an Abandoned Oceanic Rift: The Skagi Area, North-Central Iceland (

Late website news for February 2012

I am sorry for this late website news for February 2012. But this delay has happened because there is not a lot to report on web site matters at the moment. Both January and February have been slow in terms of traffic on this website. This is mostly because nothing of interest has been happening in Iceland in few weeks.

Name change in January

This blog did go trough an second name change in January 2012. The reason for that name change was that I wanted to cover more areas of the world. Not just Iceland and Canary Islands. I do however have my focus points in my coverage. I mostly cover Iceland and Europe. Rest of the world comes last and I might not cover it in real time. So delayed reports of events that take place in the world might happen on this blog. Since information on what is happening in other place of the world might take an long time to reach me.

Going broke again

With less traffic it means less income from ads and all that. This also means that I am going broke when I start to rent again an apartment in Denmark and paying all those bills. On the bright side I am now debt free with the bank in terms of overdraft. So things are going to be bit easier on me then before in this terms (it is good not have to pay off any debt). But this is not going to be easy I believe. Besides ads, donations are the only other thing that helps me (I do get social welfare due to my disability, but I have a Aspergers syndrome). I am just happy when the ads pay for the hosting cost of this blog. But that cost is around 800 DKK every month. Most of the ads cover that cost, but nothing more in terms of extra money for me at the moment. But this depends on traffic, so high traffic months are better for me then low traffic months in terms of income. But this is all depenend of the whims of Iceland, Europe and other parts of the world in terms of what is happening.

Moving to Denmark

There is now an good chance that I move back to Denmark in April 2012. When exactly I do not know at this time. But there is an good chance that I get an apartment soon in Denmark. So all my life reading and high resolution data of earthquakes and other events is due to return after I have moved and connected back to the internet with ADSL connection. While I am moving there might be an brake in updates. But I am going to do my best on keeping this blogs updated properly if anything interesting happens in Iceland specially.

Blog post updated at 15:25 UTC on 22.02.2012. Fixed year error. Some part of me still thinks it is the year 2011.

Continued harmonic tremor in Katla volcano

The harmonic tremor that started yesterday in Katla volcano continues. It is however at less strength then yesterday. Often there are small earthquakes following it. They can be poorly observed on my Heklubyggð geophone. Few earthquakes have happened during this unrest. GPS data is unreliable, as it has not been updates since mid December 2011 (why that is I do not know). At current time it seems that this harmonic tremor is dropping down at the moment. It is impossible to know for sure if this is the end of this tremor in Katla volcano for the moment or not.

The tremor noise as seen on Slysaalda SIL station. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.

The harmonic tremor noise as seen on Skrokkalda SIL station. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.

There are now two possible reasons why this is happening. This might be an increase in hydro-thermal activity in north part of Katla volcano. Second reason might be that this is magma moving around inside Katla volcano at depth, then out visible effects on the surface. That is earthquakes have not happened following this event to any extent. There have only been two registered earthquakes so far. There location is both poor and depth poorly located. It has been my experience that following smaller event of this type there is generally an earthquake swarm in Katla volcano caldera. The time is is from from this type of event to take place until the earthquake swarm takes place differs a lot.

Last minor eruption that took place in Katla volcano was on 6. September 2011. My blog posts about it can be found here. It was believed at the time this was water. But today I now think this was an small eruption rather then water flooding under Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

Strong harmonic tremor pulse starting in Katla volcano
Most likely water creating harmonic tremors in Katla volcano (for the moment)

Both blog posts are from 6. September 2011.

Harmonic tremor pulse in Katla volcano

Today there was an harmonic tremor pulse in Katla volcano. I am not sure when this harmonic tremor pulse did start. But I am guessing around 15:22 UTC or maybe around 16:00 UTC. It seems that this harmonic tremor pulse was small, considering the activity in July 2011 in Katla volcano (an minor eruption). This harmonic tremor pulse seems to have happened in the north part of Katla volcano, outside the caldera from my best estimates but might well be inside it in the north part of it. But it hard to be sure on that detail. From what I can tell, this harmonic tremor pulse does not appear on my geophones clearly. But it might have appeared on Hekla geophone poorly. But it is hard to be sure on that due to wind noise. When this is written the harmonic tremor pulse appears to be dying down. But there is still an possibly that it might pick up again or an new one might start without warning. It is impossible to know for sure how long this is going to stop after this harmonic tremor pulse. This harmonic tremor pulse is due to dike intrusion in Katla volcano at depth, so earthquakes might not happen until it reaches shallower surface in the crust. If the dike intrusion gets that far to start with.

The possible location of the harmonic tremor marked by the poorly located earthquake in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to IMO (Iceland Met Office).

The harmonic tremor on the Slysaalda SIL station where it is the strongest. But that means it is closest to this SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to IMO (Iceland Met Office).

The harmonic tremor pulse on Goðabunga SIL station. The harmonic tremor pulse is weaker here then on Slysaalda SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to IMO (Iceland Met Office).

The harmonic tremor pulse on Skrokkalda SIL station. One of the SIL station that have the most distance from Katla volcano area where the tremor pulse is taking place. Copyright of this image belongs to IMO (Iceland Met Office).

The harmonic tremor pulse can clearly be seen on Lágu Hvolar SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to IMO (Iceland Met Office).

The harmonic tremor on Smjörgil SIL station, it is located in the flanks of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. This SIL station is close to Goðabunga SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to IMO (Iceland Met Office).

What happens next in Katla volcano is hard to know. It all comes down to wait and see what happens next in Katla volcano. Eruptions in Katla volcano in January – February time period are not common, but due happen at times. So this harmonic tremor pulse might be an advance warning of what is to come. But that is just speculation on my part. It is impossible to know for sure what happens in Katla volcano until it happens.

A ML3.3 earthquake in Tenerife volcano

Today at 13:28 UTC there was an ML3.3 earthquake in Tenerife volcano. The depth of this earthquake was at 31 km depth. But I do not know if this earthquake was felt, so far nothing suggests it. But this is was just an minor earthquake on the earthquake scale.

The location of this earthquake according to IGN. Copyright of this picture belongs to IGN.

The regional view of the earthquake from EMSC. Copyright of this picture belongs to EMSC.

The local view of this earthquake according to EMSC. Copyright of this picture belongs to EMSC.

It is normal for volcanoes to earthquakes at times, even when they are dormant. So I do not believe this earthquake means anything special for the Tenerife volcano. More details on this earthquakes can be found on EMSC web site here.