For the past few days there has been summer earthquake activity in Katla volcano. None of the earthquake have reached magnitude 2,0 so far.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
This earthquake activity appears to be normal in Katla volcano for the moment. The reason for this activity is melting of the glacier, that means less weight on the volcano, less pressure means changes to the hydrothermal activity inside the caldera of Katla volcano. It can be expected that this earthquake activity is going to continue for a while, at least until October at the longest, or to the time when it starts to snow again in Iceland.
Earthquake swarm started on TFZ on 27-July-2015. At the moment this earthquake swarm is minor with no earthquake reaching the magnitude of 3,0. That might change without warning.
The earthquake swarm on Tjörnes fracture zone. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
Largest earthquakes so far have reached the magnitude of 2,7, depth is typical of fracture zone earthquake swarm. I expect this earthquake swarm to continue for the next few days at least. There is a risk of larger earthquake in this area, since it does happen that one earthquake swarm starts a new one on a nearby faults. TFZ is the fastest moving fracture zone in Iceland (see picture here).
Sudden plan changes: Due to rather unfortunate results of reality I won’t be moving back to Denmark next year. That is a great disappointment to me. There is however nothing that I can do while I am just on social welfare in Iceland. I don’t know for how long I am going to be living in Iceland, this might take few more years until I manage to move back to Denmark. The reason for this is the tax system and how it treats people on social welfare that move between the Nordic countries. This is due to complex treaties between Iceland and Denmark this did happen. There is nothing I can do about it while I am on social welfare. This means that my next mission is to stop being on social welfare and then move back to Denmark.
Böðvarshólar geophone station: Since I am not moving to Denmark in nearby future. I am going to restart the geophone station in Böðvarshólar. It should go on-line sometimes next weekend I hope. This means that I am going to be able to see earthquakes on TFZ mostly clearly and other nearby activity.
Since last weekend there has been a minor earthquake swarm taking place in Torfajökull volcano. This appears to be normal earthquake activity for this volcano, it often has this type of swarm activity, mostly due to changes in hot springs and hydrothermal activity in the volcano.
Torfajökull volcano is located north of Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
This is normal earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano as it looks at the moment. Since this has happened before, this earthquake swarm might last for few more days to weeks. It is difficult to know for sure. New hot springs might open up and old one close while this is taking place, so people who are travelling in this area need to be aware of that risk.
There is now a increased risk of landslide in Ketilbjörg cliff. The area that is about to fall of is extremely dangerous, tourist have been seen going out on the part of the cliff that is about to break off. This cliff that is breaking off might fall into the coast below at any time without warning. Such thing has happened in popular tourist locations.
If you are travelling in this area of Iceland do not go out on this cliff. It is extremely dangerous since it can go loose without warning. If they have closed the area (as they say in the news that has been done), respect that closure.
Icelandic news – in Icelandic
Sprungan í Ketubjörgum stækkar (Rúv.is, Icelandic, old picture)
Lítur út fyrir að geta hrunið á hverri stundu (mbl.is, Icelandic, new picture)
Update 1: New image of the cliff that is about to break off can be found here in this news from Rúv. Other new cracks have also seen forming in the same area.
Article updated at 04:12 UTC on 25-July-2015.
It was in the news yesterday (21-July-2015) that scientists have measured higher ground heat in Surtsey Island. The change is 10 degrees (Celsius) from measurements taken some two to three years ago. The theory is that the ground in Surtsey island started to warm up after an earthquake that happened last spring (2015). There have been few earthquakes in Vestmanneyjar volcano system during the past few years, no major swarms have taken place so far.
It is clear by the increased ground heat that magma is on the move in Vestmanneyjar volcano system. It’s too early to know if an eruption is going to take place in next few years. At the moment there is nothing imminent suggesting that is the case, volcanoes often warm up at the surface just too cool down. The largest risk now in Surtsey island are possible steam explosions. They are only risk to local bird and plant life in the summer time.
Icelandic News – in Icelandic
Nýjar tegundir finnast í Surtsey (Rúv.is)
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On Thursday 9-July-2015 an earthquake swarm started in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. So far around 50 earthquakes have been recorded in Tungnafellsjökull volcano, the earthquake swarm is currently ongoing. None of the earthquakes that have happened so far have reached magnitude 2,0 or stronger.
Earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. The yellow dots show older earthquakes. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
It is my view that Tungnafellsjökull volcano is now preparing for eruption regardless of what Bárðarbunga volcano is going to do (it’s not over there, even if it is on a break at the moment). There is also problem with amount of time when this all started. It is clear that earthquake activity started to increase in Tungnafellsjökull volcano in the year 2012 and it has been increasing since that year. It is clear that with the eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano it seems to have given Tungnafellsjökull volcano more energy and increased it’s activity, why and what the connection between the volcanoes remains unclear at the moment.
Current earthquake activity suggest that this is going to develop in similar way the weeks before the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. It is not going to be exactly the same, it is going to be close and a lot of earthquakes are going to take place once Tungnafellsjökull volcano starts to heat up for real. When that happens I do not know, this might be take several more years at the longest. There is also a good chance that nothing is going to happen at all.
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Twitch: When I am not writing about volcanoes or just writing I spend my time playing computer games. Now I have set-up my own Twitch channel that can be viewed here. I plan on doing some test broadcast this weekend.
Yesterday (07-July-2015) there was a small earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,3. Other earthquakes where smaller. At the moment it appears that the activity in this part of the Reykjanes ridge is over.
The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge yesterday. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
This activity also suggests that more earthquake swarm activity is going to take place in this or around it soon. When is impossible to know for sure.
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Twitch: I am currently working on this. It won’t be up and running until I am back in Denmark (I am going to do some minor tests in Iceland). I am trying to use my gaming (the little that is) to increase my income or at least I am going try to do so. The channel is going to remain off-line for the time being. While I setting everything up and doing some testing. I also suffer from a lack of time at the moment to do this properly.
Rare earthquake swarm has been taking place in Western Fracture Zone in Iceland. This fracture zone is between Western Volcanic Zone (WVZ) and Snæfellsnes volcanoes. It is mostly dormant with no earthquake activity at all. When earthquake activity happens it tends to be long and sometimes with earthquakes of magnitude up to 5,0. Earthquakes in this swarm have some been deep, with depth below 20 km (I don’t have exact number, forgot to document it).
Earthquake activity on Western Fracture Zone (WFZ). Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
It is difficult, due to lack of data to know for sure what is going on in this area. I do expect this earthquake swarm to continue for few more days at shortest, longest documented earthquake on WFZ lasted around two months and magnitude 4,0 earthquakes took place.
Donations: Please remember to donate to support my work and move back to Denmark next year (I am working on saving up money for that transfer). Thanks for the support. 🙂
Today (01-July-2015) earthquake activity continued on the Reykjanes ridge, largest earthquakes so far are magnitude 5,0 (EMSC information here). Second largest earthquake had magnitude 4,8, other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude. Total of 35 earthquakes that have taken place are larger than magnitude 3,0 and total number of earthquakes when this is written is 537.
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge. Green stars are earthquakes that are magnitude 3,0 or stronger. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
Earthquake activity has dropped but is ongoing at the moment. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
Earthquake activity now happens in pulses, with low activity for 2 – 4 hours before it increases again. It is not clear why this is taking place. Overall earthquake activity is dropping at the moment, it might increase again without a warning.
Yellow alert for risk of eruption
The alert level for this volcano that is now making earthquake noise has been raised to yellow. The change happened during my working hours so I was unable to write about it right away. This means there is a risk of eruption at this location, last eruption in this location was in the year 1879 according to the information I have collected here.
Current warning for the volcano at Eldey is yellow. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
I don’t know for sure at the moment what the chances are of an eruption at the moment. That should be clearer in next 24 – 48 hours (I hope).
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Article updated at 23:50 UTC.