Magnitude 4,5 earthquake in Askja volcano

Today (27-August-2014) at 01:52 UTC a magnitude 4,5 earthquake took place in Askja volcano. This is the largest earthquake in Askja volcano since 1992 according to news in Iceland. There are currently some minor earthquake taking place in Askja volcano at this moment, but they are far smaller then this event.

The earthquake in Askja volcano is marked by the green star on this map. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity in Askja volcano appears to be taking place due to stress changes in the area. This stress changes happen due the dyke activity from Bárðarbunga volcano in the past week. I am expecting more earthquakes in this area in the next days to months due to this. Some of those earthquakes are going to be outside of volcanic areas and might have magnitude above 5,0. This earthquake did appear on my geophone and can be viewed here.

42 Replies to “Magnitude 4,5 earthquake in Askja volcano”

  1. This volcano has already erupted 2 times in last 70-80 years, but they were minor eruptions. Why this volcano scares people so much?

    1. It had a massive eruption in the 19th century. It turned east Iceland into an volcano ash desert for several years. With problem for poor farmers and people in that area at the time. It did even create hunger and death (if my memory is correct on this detail) in worst affected area of Iceland.

      It is also a large volcano. Not the biggest volcano in Iceland (that is Hofsjökull volcano), but it is large regardless.

  2. The positive thing, i think, is that the volcano erupted just 140 years ago. They seem very few years respect geological ages

  3. Wasn’t the magma chamber underneath Askja partially destroyed during the 1875 eruption?

  4. Seems that the two 5 mag’s (If I am thinking correctly) are now gone off the chart, only the two from this morning remain on it. I don’t think they have just passed outside the time frame because I thought there was a mag 5 or two on Tuesday??

    Why is this, usually the 3 or 4+ are 99% and already checked?

    1. Rotational slump.

      Many carving bergschrund up slope.

      The trace of the lower limb is pulling apart along its length.

    2. Look at the last work in his name and location:

      Stephan Willemen ‏@SWillemen 40m
      @uni_iceland fake

  5. Professor Bob White, from the University of Cambridge told BBC News: ‘We know there is a lot of molten rock sitting under the ground beneath Askja, which is a major volcanic system. If this molten rock hits that, we know it is likely to trigger it to erupt.

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  6. I found this very useful in helping me get a better idea of the kind of thing that’s likely going onOpen University

    While the “Volcanism in the eastern riftzone” video talks specifically about Bárðarbunga, and describes a past eruption that is likely the reason for the speculations about what MIGHT happen in Askja, the entire series was helpful as it was targeted towards the layperson. It helped me understand better what is going on

    1. Maybe this is one of these historic events. 1875, 1480, 2014…. Why not. Could happen.

  7. The crack at the picture looks interesting, but on another forum someone showed a picture where the crack was already clearly viseble in google earth, a couple of years ago.

  8. Do you expect the magma is coming out in 48 hours? And if, will there be lots of dust in the air? Thank you I really need to know this..

    1. Lisanne – noone knows.

      All of this might just come to a halt and nothing happens for a long time.
      There might be a eruption or there migt not be a eruption.

      To simplify things – this is a general rule, but not without exceptions.
      If an eruption will take place under glacier or lake there will be more dust in the air.
      If an eruption will take place on dry land there will be less dust in the air.

  9. Thanks for checking. I expected it to be more real due to link to uni. If it is hoax I apologies.

    1. So my post was correct? Again why would people create hoax on such an event. Or say its wrong. I also read from a twitter account of some of the geologists now installing sensors in the area have mentioned something about cracks even.

  10. According to the news there are two spots where there seemes to be melting in the glacier – south of Bárðarbunga – not far from where Gjálp eruption took place in 1996 according to
    Eruption not confirmed.

  11. In 2010´s eruption in eyja, they had some heat-cameras? Is that something that could be in good use right now?

  12. Jon,

    Sorry, as I know you would be very busy right now.

    Should the Landslide at Askja in mid July be re-considered now in a new context, given what has happened since?

    Great job, we love all your updates.

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