Minor earthquake swarm in Esjufjöll volcano

Today (27-November-2013) an minor earthquake swarm took place in Esjufjöll volcano. This earthquake swarm was just three earthquakes according to Icelandic Meteorological Office website. There is a chance of more earthquakes not being detected due to bad weather in this area at the moment.

The three earthquakes in Esjufjöll volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The largest earthquake in this minor earthquake swarm had the magnitude of 1,8 and had the depth of 4,5 km. Last eruption in Esjufjöll volcano was possibly in the year 1927, but it is not confirmed according to Global Volcanism Program.

Conductivity spike in Skjálftandafljót glacier river

Last week there was an conductivity spike in Skjálfandarfljót glacier river. It is not clear what did create this conductivity spike that was detected and it’s unknown what volcano or hydrothermal area was leaking water into the river. No glacier flood did follow this spike and no extra activity was detected following this. This conductivity spike was detected on the Thursday 22-November-2013 at 20:20 UTC.

Harmonic tremor detected in Þórðarhyrna volcano

On the 21-November-2013 there was an earthquake swarm in Þórðarhyrna volcano (part of Grímsfjall volcano). This was not large earthquake swarm or a strong one. With the largest earthquake just having the magnitude of 1,9. While I did just suspect it I did not have it confirmed until today that following this earthquake swarm was an harmonic tremor pulse. This harmonic tremor lasted from 03:30 to 06:10 UTC. Based on nearby SIL station this was not a strong harmonic tremor, but this is important because it suggests that something is taking place in Þórðarhyrna volcano. If this is going to lead to an eruption is unknown at current time. This might be a dike intrusion into the volcano at depth, but that has not been confirmed.

The harmonic tremor pulse can be seen at 21-November date on this tremor plot from Icelandic Meteorological Office. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The harmonic tremor pulse as it did appear from Grímsfjall SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Harmonic tremor pulse as it did appear on Jökulsel SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

This activity might not lead to an eruption, but given the past history of this area and the eruption in Grímsfjall volcano in the spring of 2011 I find it to be highly likely outcome that eruption is going to take place in Þórðarhyrna volcano in near future, it is not possible to know when such eruption might take place. Last eruption took place in Þórðarhyrna volcano in the year 1902, it is not known if any later eruptions have taken place in Þórðarhyrna volcano.

Blog post updated at 14:47 UTC.

Earthquake swarm in Tungnafellsjökull volcano

There is currently ongoing interesting earthquake swarm activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. This earthquake activity appears to be taking place due to magma injection at depth into the volcano. Currently the earthquake activity doesn’t appear so clearly on the Icelandic Meteorological Office earthquake maps. I am not sure why that is, the largest earthquake so far has had the magnitude of 2,3 at the depth of 0,5 km so activity is already rather shallow, deepest activity had the depth of 17,5 km. Earthquake activity started in Tungnafellsjökull volcano in the year 2012, before that earthquake activity had taken place in Tungnafellsjökull volcano following an eruption in Bárðarbunga / Grímsfjall volcano in the year 1996 [map here of Week 41 – 1996]. Current earthquake activity is not based on any such event.

Earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Tremor activity showing minor earthquakes taking place in Tungnafellsjökull volcano (most likely) over the past few hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

I am not sure yet what is happening in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. But data in mounting and suggesting that magma is about to start flowing into the volcano at faster rates then before (via dike intrusions). Tungnafellsjökull volcano has not erupted in historical times (at least no eruption is documented) so it is impossible to know for sure what happens next in this volcano. If an eruption where to take place it would be mostly basalt based on post sub-glacier eruptions (when they erupted is not known). Current earthquake activity might die down as it did in the year 2012 when (and earlier this year [2013] also) this swarm like activity at depth (15+ km) started to happen.

Blog post updated at 04:36 UTC.
Blog post updated at 04:46 UTC.

Minor earthquake swarm in Þórðarhyrna volcano

Today (21-November-2013) an minor earthquake swarm took place in Þórðarhyrna volcano. All of this earthquakes were small, with the largest having just the magnitude of 1,9. Depth of this earthquakes was from 6,0 to 0,1 km. This minor earthquake activity is now detected for the first time due to a new SIL stations in the area. How long this type of activity has been ongoing is impossible to know since in the past there have been fewer SIL stations in the area.

Earthquake activity in Þórðarhyrna volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

This earthquake activity is not ice-quake activity, since the glacier is frozen now and with temperature down to -19C it is not going to move a lot. Last eruption in Þórðarhyrna volcano was in the year 1910 and it was connected to an eruption sequence that took place in Grímsfjall volcano at the same time (or that is at least the theory).

I am not yet sure what this means long term for activity in this volcano, since I know so little about how this volcano works due to lack of documented eruption history. If this earthquake activity intensifies from what is now taking place there is a small chance of something happening in Þórðarhyrna volcano. For the moment however, this is just a minor earthquake swarm and does not mean anything special. There have not been any changes in harmonic tremor on SIL stations close to Þórðarhyrna volcano.

Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

On the 20-November-2013 an minor earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano, it started at 06:21 UTC and was over by 08:54 UTC. This earthquake swarm was minor one, with the largest earthquake having the magnitude of 1,2. The deepest earthquake had the depth of 26,1 km. That means this earthquake swarm was due to magma changes in Katla volcano at depth.

Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. This was a minor earthquake swarm. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

No further activity has taken place in Katla volcano following this earthquake swarm since it took place. Future activity cannot be ruled out since Katla volcano is highly active when it comes to earthquake activity.

Earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes

On Saturday (16-November-2013) an earthquake swarm started on the Reykjanes. This earthquake swarm started slowly with only few unnoticeable earthquakes for most of the time. There was also a second earthquake swarm taking place due to water being pumped back into the ground. That did hide the current earthquake swarm to start with. This earthquake swarm is taking place in Brennisteinsfjöll / Bláfjöll volcano area.

The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Largest earthquakes in the current earthquake swarm have so far just had the magnitude of 2,9. Stronger earthquakes cannot be ruled out at current time. At the moment there is nothing to suggest this activity is related to any magma movement at present time. Currently the earthquake swarm is ongoing and it is impossible to know if it is going to continue or just die out slowly. The strongest earthquakes appear clearly on my geophone website here.

Minor earthquake swarm in south-east of Katla volcano

Today (17-November-2013) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano at 06:21 UTC and it lasted to 07:09 UTC. The largest earthquake has the automatic magnitude of 1,8 with the depth of 18 km. This earthquake swarm took place under an former island in the area called Hjörleifshöfði (in Deutsch, English is not available). It is possible that this former island has it’s origin is in an volcano activity in the area, while I do not have it confirmed it is at least an idea. The deepest earthquake in this area had the depth around 22 km according to automatic results from Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The earthquake activity in the east part of Katla volcano system. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Based on the depth of this earthquake swarm, the origin of this earthquake swarm was in magma movement or dike intrusion. It is not a tectonic activity, since such earthquakes are not so common in this part of Iceland, but they do happen. I am not sure what this means for activity in Katla volcano since I have not seen this before as it appeared now. This area of Iceland can be viewed in Google Maps and with Street View here.

Magnitude 3,4 earthquake 15 km north of Kolbeinsey island

Today (15-November-2013) at 05:32 UTC an magnitude 3,4 earthquake took place 14,9 km north of Kolbeinsey island. The depth of this earthquake was 3,9 km according to Icelandic Meteorological Office. Due to distance from the SIL network the magnitude and depth might be underestimated.

The earthquake north of Kolbeinsey island is marked by the green star. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Due to distance from land it is difficult to know for sure what is happening at this location. So far no harmonic tremor has been detected so no eruption is taking place at this location. This earthquake did appear clearly on my geophone in Böðvarshólar. My geophone website can be found here.

50 years since Surtsey island erupted

On the 14-November-1963 an eruption started off the south coast of Iceland. This eruption lasted for several years, starting on 14-November-1963 and ending on 5-June-1967. This new island was later known as Surtsey. This eruption was an start of eruption period in the otherwise unnamed volcano in this area, inside this volcano also exist Vestmannaeyjar islands. Only ending in the year 1973 with an eruption in Vestmannaeyjar islands. Surtsey is an protected islands and tourist are not allowed to go there under any circumstances. Only scientific missions to check on the developing flora on the island are allowed to go there few times a year.

Rúv News did broadcast a news about the 50 years since the eruption in Surtsey and they included a lot of pictures of the eruption as it took place in Surtsey in the year 1963. That news coverage can be found here, but it is all in Icelandic. It includes an video from Rúv News.