Update on the TFZ earthquake swarm at 01:01 UTC

This is a short update on the earthquake swarm in TFZ. This is going to be a long earthquake swarm from the looks of it (currently).

The earthquake swarm in TFZ continues as it has been doing for the past six days now. The strongest earthquakes for the past 24 hours have had the magnitude 3.5, 3.6 and now 3.3 (automatic magnitude). This is a extremely complex earthquake swarm. Over a period of 48 hours there have been around 368 earthquakes. That is a drop in activity, but in the first few hours after the magnitude 5.5 earthquake in TFZ there where recorded over 500 earthquakes.

Earthquake activity in TFZ for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The trace plot that shows the earthquake activity for the past 48 hours in TFZ. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

This earthquake swarm is complex due to three factors. There is a both slip fault and normal fault taking place there. There also appears to be a volcano in the area. But it not properly understood and is extremely poorly studied. It is unclear at present time if this volcano is connected to this earthquakes swarms at present time. Since so little is known about it. It is also not known if the current earthquake swarm is going to start something in the volcano. The second volcano that is in this area last erupted in the year 1868 following an earthquake swarm in this area. Why that did happen is also not known. But it has a Global Volcanism profile here. The volcano that is closer to Grímsey Island is currently unnamed. There is also almost no studies or documentation on it. But from the little I did find

Please note that the earthquake swarm information is always changing so this information here do get outdated fast. This mostly applies the maps and number of earthquakes.

Scientific data on Tjörnes Fracture Zone

As I did say here above. The Tjörnes Fracture Zone is complex and that is making this earthquake swarm extremely complex as it is taking place.

The rift fault lines in TFZ. This is the simple version. It is from a science study that can be found here. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office/Hjorleifur Sveinbjornsson.

More complex nature of the fault systems in TFZ. Copyright of this image belongs to Agust Gudmundsson. From study Infrastructure and evolution of ocean-ridge discontinuities in Iceland.

More complex image showing the fault lines in TFZ. Copyright Ragnar Stefansson, Gunnar B. Gudmundsson, Pall Halldorsson. From the study Tjörnes fracture zone. New and old seismic evidences for the link between the North Iceland rift zone and the Mid-Atlantic ridge.

The most detailed picture that I was able to find of Tjörnes Fracture Zone and the ocean floor. Copyright of this image belongs to many people. Please see the list of copyright holders in the following link. From the study First observations of high-temperature submarine hydrothermal vents and massive anhydrite deposits off the north coast of Iceland.

It is clearly worth watching this earthquake activity. Since it might have interesting effects on the volcano where this earthquake activity is taking place. Even on the second volcano just north of Þeystareykjabunga volcano.

Minor dike intrusion in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (05.04.2013) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. The depth of this earthquakes was around 18 – 26 km. Meaning this is magma, rather then tectonic creating this earthquakes. None of this earthquakes had magnitude above 1.0.

Earthquakes in Bárðarbunga volcano. They are the orange dots. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Dike intrusions happens sometimes in Bárðarbunga volcano without it meaning there is a eruption going to take place soon it. This appears to be one of those cases.

Magnitude 3.6 earthquake in Hamarinn volcano

Last night (05.04.2013) at 01:50 UTC a magnitude 3.6 earthquake took place in Hamarinn volcano (no GVP profile yet!). This earthquake had the depth of 2.1 km. This seems to be a dike intrusion taking place in Hamarinn volcano. No clear signs of harmonic tremor have been detected based on tremor data from Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The Hamarinn volcano is where the green star is. But that is the location of the magnitude 3.6 earthquake that took place last night. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Harmonic tremor plot do not show any harmonic tremor pulse. The signal on this harmonic tremor plot is the earthquake swarm in TFZ for most parts. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

This earthquake activity is due to minor dike intrusion. Rather then something else. It is not clear if this activity is just normal activity for Hamarinn volcano or signal about something else is about take place. But as before. Hamarinn volcano remains mostly quiet for the moment.