10 years of recording earthquakes

In 2006 I started recording earthquakes in Iceland for the first time. At the time I was living in Hvammstangi, Iceland (currently I am doing so now, but that won’t be for much longer). The first hardware that I got was a short period seismometer with amplifier and digitizer (turns analog signals into digital signals). That hardware continues to be in used today at Heklubyggð geophone station. The second hardware that I got also included three long period channels for seismometers like Lehman seismometer. I don’t know if I ever get any of this type of seismometers since I’ve been developing my standard over the last 10 years. I do plan on buying Volksmeter II seismometer when I’m back in Denmark and have the money to buy them. One for N-S direction and a second one for E-W direction. Vertical is not a option for this type of seismometer. Unlike the geophone I currently use, this are long period devices and they go down to 0.1Hz, giving me a excellent option in monitoring earthquakes at long range and down to magnitude 4,0 at the distance of 400 km (at the most).

I don’t know for sure how many earthquakes I’ve recorded over the past 10 years, but the numbers are somewhere over 10.000 – 20.000 earthquakes. In this time I’ve recorded earthquakes from two eruptions (Eyjafjallajökull (2010) and Bárðarbunga volcanoes (2014 – 2015). I did not record many earthquakes from Grímsfjall volcano eruption in 2011 or the minor eruption in Katla volcano in 2011 (that was an eruption in my view, even if the official word is that no such event happened).

The largest earthquake I’ve recorded since 2006 was the magnitude 9,0 earthquake in Japan in 2012. The second largest earthquake was a magnitude 8,3 close to Alaska, I don’t recall exact location. I’ve seen all types of earthquakes, all types of earthquake swarms over the past 10 years on my instruments.

Next 10 years

While I’m going to continue to record earthquakes. I don’t know how long I can continue to record earthquakes in Iceland. Since doing so is a difficult task and effort when it comes keeping everything up and running. Having 3G connection also costs me a little big of money each month. Changes also happen and with time it is going to be impossible for me to keep the two remaining geophones going in Iceland. At the peak of my network I had four active geophones, now I’m down to two geophones in Iceland. I’m going to turn on one geophone in Denmark once I move back there. In few years time I hope to add the Volksmeter II seismometers to my measuring tools in Denmark.

I’m going to continue to record earthquakes, even if I stop recording earthquakes in Iceland due to changes that I have no control over. Changes happens and I don’t know what next 10 years are going to have in store.

Current status

Currently my main earthquake computer is off-line and it’s going to remain off-line until I move back to Denmark. It has been off-line since I haven’t been able to get an apartment for the 1 year + 2 months I’ve been living in Iceland at the moment.

16 Replies to “10 years of recording earthquakes”

  1. Great retrospective, I hope you continue to record earthquakes, keep an eye on Iceland and share your thoughts about it all with us.

      1. Had me worried when I first read this one Jon. Glad to hear that you plan to continue writing, though I do hope you spend some more time on more of your stories!!

      2. I’ve just (mostly) finished the story arch for my book series that I have been designing. It’s going to take few years until I get the first book out.

        Until then short stories are going to be written and published.

      1. Is this the one you are referring to?
        M 7.2 – 91km N of Yelizovo, Russia
        Time 2016-01-30 03:25:10 UTC Location 54.007°N 158.506°E Depth 161.0 km

        there were 2 more in that general area
        4.5 Mag 104km NNE of Yelizovo, Russia 2016-01-30 06:53:49 UTC 161.0 km
        5.1 Mag 90km N of Yelizovo, Russia 2016-01-30 03:42:23 UTC

  2. At 14:14 today, the “Earthquake early warning maps” indicates an EQ (Vatnajökull/Bardarbunga region) that should have been at least M2.5. Nothing special, but enough for me to check on it. However, it is not visible in any other plots that I can see, and there has been no other large quakes elsewhere since Kamtjatka couple of days ago. So I believe there’s something else causing the alert map to stirr – but what might be causing it?

    1. Sorry, there is disturbance showing also in many of the tremor plots. In some as just one or two spikes, but in most it looks like wind disturbance around 14, that lasted for a few hours.

      The seismometers show absolutely nothing, however.

    2. A magnitude 1,6 earthquake close to Trölladyngja at 19 km depth. This was a magma created earthquake. Possibly a tornilla earthquake (I’m not sure), but it was long period one. That is what you were seeing, those types of earthquakes are difficult to see and analyze. I’m not sure why that is.

      1. That is interesting, thanks!
        Alert map and tremor plots continue to show more disturbance. Not sure where this is located. Trölladyngja again?

      2. This is either Trölladyngja or the dyke. There is something going on. The SIL stations are at least going crazy close to the dyke at the moment.

        Due to some type of technical failure I just got 2G Internet connection (think dial-up speeds) at the moment. I don’t know when this is going to get fixed. I hope soon.

      3. Seemingly, the activity continued until early morning, with SIL stations going crazy, as you put it. Laert maps indicates a vast number of both strong and minor rumbling. Still, very few of the EQ:s have been made visible on IMO site.

        Was a majority of the night’s EQ:s “tornillo-ish” in nature? Judging from tremor plots, it surely looks like a low frequency event of pretty long duration.

        But why are the drumplots blank (more or less)? They cannot pick up the frequencies of this kind of movement?

      4. The red spikes are not earthquakes. I don’t know what they are and neither does Icelandic Met Office. This was a common feature on SIL stations around Bárðarbunga volcano from 2010(ish) until 2014 few months before the eruption started in Holuhraun.

        My best guess is that this has something to do with magma pressure, but that’s only a guess and not a good one.

        The area of activity this time around might have been where the earthquake took place (magnitude 3,0). That is not certain however. The mystery of Bárðarbunga volcano is considerable, due to odd signals like this one.

  3. Guys are you talking about all the activity around the Herðubreiðartögl area or just the ones around Bardy?

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