Earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (4-November-2015) a earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is now almost a weekly feature in the Bárðarbunga volcano system. This is suggesting that magma pressure inside Bárðarbunga volcano is currently increasing at rather fast phase. If and when this might start a new eruption is impossible to know. Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,1.

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

I’m expecting this earthquake activity to continue for some time now. At least until a new eruption occurs in Bárðarbunga volcano, since the rifting process that started all this has not ended and this is going to last few more years.


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Article updated at 23:14 UTC.

9 Replies to “Earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano”

  1. Hey john and fellow readers I have a small question which has been puzzling me for a while now. As we know Iceland pulls apart along the ridge which has made Iceland . Every so often a rifting event happens. This has mostly happened (in the EVZ and NVZ). I understand that the EVZ is perfect for a rifting event due to its angle so why does this not happened on the WVZ which is also at the same angle as the EVZ ?

    1. That is a rather easy one. The WVZ was the main rift zone many k years ago. It has since moved west, and now the MAR goes from Reykjanes to Vatnajokull and then it slowly north to TFZ. The angle itself is perhaps not as directly important as the general position of the mid Atlantic ridge and the tectonic and magmatic forces it produces along its way through Iceland, which basically create this kind of an angle. Not to mention the plume currently sitting under Vatnajokull.

  2. Gotcha so I am to understand that the WVZ will eventually be extinct and then move to a new position probably under surtsey and go through the the current EVZ

  3. As long as you December that earth geology does not always obey theories. Yes there is evidence of wvz migration, but that doesn’t mean it will continue. Think for a minute about the general shape of the MAR dogleg through Iceland. When one part is subject to movement it creates transfer stresses to other parts.

    It not like a straight section as you find on the ocean floor, where the divergent effects are stable, so to speak. Science can look at surface and near surface geology. It can’t look deep down where the lower lithosphere and asthenosphere are.

    We know that the (theoretical) mantle plume lies beneath southern Iceland, but we don’t know at what angle it arrives there. If Iceland is expanding southwards, then perhaps the plume rises from the north (for example), but at some point that angle may become too shallow and easier routes to the surface appear in other parts of central Iceland.

    Mother nature will have the last word no doubt!

    1. Sorry guys, December should read remember, I’m on a tablet with a very annoying spell corrector! Same applies to any other mistakes

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