Minor earthquake activity in Iceland

There isn’t a lot taking place in Iceland at the moment. This is somewhat down to stormy weather in Iceland during the past few days and weeks. As strong storms reduce the sensitive of the Iceland Meteorological Office SIL network.

Quiet Iceland. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

Activity in Iceland happens in jumps. Between high activity episodes there are long episodes of low to none activity at all in Iceland. This period of low activity are different in length. Some can last for few weeks. While others can last for many years and up to thousands of years.

Global activity

Global earthquake activity is slow this days. Few earthquakes over Mw6.0 in size. The activity for earthquakes smaller then Mw6.0 in size is about the same as normally. Volcano activity seems to be about normal. But it is hard to know that for sure as reports appear late on global volcano activity.

27 Replies to “Minor earthquake activity in Iceland”

  1. It wont be long to wait I dont think. Too many stresses in the fault line. The activity up past Svalbard has been quite regular.

    Too little research equipment in Greenland to know what the picture is, but from what I hear there is activity in the form of flows from under the ice cap due to geothermal influence.

  2. Definitively not the 2012 that many people feared or predicted.

    Now coming back to the science, there is actually an estimated cycle of volcanic activity in Iceland, linked to the hotspot, about every 120-160 years. It is important to say that this is a theory. We should be approaching a new maximum, if the theory really holds. Therefore, I think we might see increased volcanic activity and larger eruptions during the next decades (like the past eruption of Grimsvotn).

    1. Dear Irpsit,

      Allthough I don’t believe in those doomsday scenarios, there is still plenty time (8,5 months) for nature to shock us on this
      Kind regards,

      Henk Weijerstrass

  3. I read about the cycle in New Scientist –

    As many have noted, general activity on the ridge has increased. I would love to see data on that section of the ridge between Reykjanes Ridge and the equator – there’s a lot of missing data there! What we have seen lately is significant undersea activity in Icelands vicinity. It is inevitable that with these massive forces, something will break.

    1. As far as I look at the historical data of eruptions, the Azores does not seem to have the same peaks in volcanic activity as Iceland. And that makes sense because they are separate hotspots, one does not affect the other.

  4. Dear Jón,
    What’s up with the deep quakes 12,3 and 21,6 km (Katla caldera and Fimmvörduhals)?
    Not very strong but quite deep with high (99%) quality.
    The Katla tremor charts doesn’t seem to be affected (much).

    Kind regards,


    1. Probably some new magma intrusion and since these conduits are probably open not much tremor expected..


  5. Interesting earthquakes in Iceland.

    – One earthquake in Veidivotn and another two in Hamarinn, up to M2.0
    – Deeper earthquakes in Katla, up to M1.5

    These are signs that Katla is getting even closer to an eruption. Expect more deep quakes. The magma is entering again its already near-filled chamber, from deeper.

    And that Hamarinn-Veidivotn also started its early signs towards an eruption, which probably is not going to be in soon, but rather more years or decades away. Expect more quakes there.

    1. It might be a wild guess that maybe Katla will have a significant swarm at its chamber (3-4km) sometime in the next couple of days, if this deep magma manages to rise further upwards.

  6. All EQ in Iceland today (last 48 hours) are carrying 99% quality. Earlier forecasts of increased activity will be with sooner rather than later.

    1. Seems to be in north part of Öræfajökull volcano system. It is in this area, rather then Esjufjöll volcano system that is close by. But it is not in this area best to my knowledge.

  7. Ehm, the sil stations south of Iceland is rising with top speed. Mostly katla stations. I checked your helicorders, and looked at the weather thing around hekla, and there is almost no wind. I also noticed the earthquake that was picked up on your katla geophone, and I’m guessing that’s the 1.4? But I can’t really read it that good, but I would think that was bigger than 1.4?

  8. M4.8 at MAR. From EMSC:

    Magnitude mb 4.8
    Date time 2012-03-14 06:51:56.0 UTC
    Location 54.33 N ; 35.18 W
    Depth 10 km

  9. A 2.4 at Katla but note the poor quality:

    14.03.2012 17:01:53 63.607 -19.156 1.1 km 2.4 31.58 4.1 km NW of Hábunga

  10. More EQs on the Reykjanes Ridge:

    Wednesday 14.03.2012 20:47:13 63.719 -23.285 12.7 km 2.2 90.02 4.5 km N of Geirfugladrangur
    Wednesday 14.03.2012 20:31:29 63.697 -23.229 4.9 km 1.8 90.01 1.0 km W of Geirfuglasker
    Wednesday 14.03.2012 20:30:57 63.735 -23.233 13.7 km 1.7 90.01 4.4 km NNW of Geirfuglasker
    Wednesday 14.03.2012 20:30:51 63.646 -23.581 3.8 km 1.9 66.87 14.9 km WSW of Geirfugladrangur


    1. Is there any roads or anything in far back there? Keep seeing lights moving..

  11. A lighthouse being set up at Geirfuglasker.

    There used to be a bird called Geirfugl in Iceland once, unfortunately it was hunted to extinction, being big and clumsy it never had much of a chance.
    The last 2 were killed in Eldey island June 3 rd 1844.

    This is one of the reasons Icelanders are very much aware of the need to protect our fishing grounds, wildlife and nature.
    Nothing wrong with using it, just do it wisely.

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