Deep earthquake swarm in Tungafellsjökull volcano

Today (03.03.2013) between 13:19 UTC and to 13:21 UTC a deep earthquake swarm took place in a volcano named Tungnafellsjökull. This was a minor earthquake swarm, with the largest earthquake having magnitude 1.4. But it is the depth that is important here. The depth was most at 28 km, with the shallowest earthquake having the depth 18.7 km. This suggest magma intrusion into the volcano at depth. A pattern that was seen during the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption as an example.

For the past few months. Tungnafellsjökull volcano has been having swarms of earthquakes. All of them small, but many of them above 2.0 in magnitude. But so far none above magnitude 3.0. While earthquake activity has remained low in Tungnafellsjökull volcano I find that events are speeding up there in the past few months. With the terms that more earthquakes are being detected in this volcano and now at more depth. I find this worrying and also interesting. This volcano is far from any populated area, so any damage resulting for an eruption in it should be minimal. It also has no glacier to speak of. There is going to be a bad weather in Iceland until Friday (according to the weather forecast at the moment), so detecting any small earthquakes in this area might be limited by it.

The red dots show the earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

It is too early to know what happens in Tungafellsjökull volcano. It is also important to note that Tungnafelljökull volcano has never erupted in historical times. This makes figuring out what happens next in it more difficult then ever. This activity might not mean an eruption is imminent. But at the moment I cannot rule one out just yet. It is clear that more activity is going to be needed before the picture of what is taking place in Tungnafellsjökull volcano gets clearer.