Strong earthquake swarm deep on the Reykjanes ridge

Few days ago an earthquake swarm started deep on the Reykjanes Ridge, this is as far as the Reykjanes ridge extends at the end of it. After that the north Atlantic ridge starts. It is close to impossible to know for sure what is going at this location, however the data suggests that an eruption is taking place there and it appears to be a big one. How big I don’t know and I’m not willing to guess it due to lack of data.

The earthquake activity has been interesting, with the largest earthquake having a magnitude 5,5 (EMSC info). Other earthquake magnitudes are 4,9 (EMSC info), magnitude 5,0 (EMSC Info), magnitude 4,9 (EMSC Info).

This earthquake activity is currently ongoing, since the distance from land is ~1100 km it is impossible to know for sure what is going on. There is also around 4 km deep ocean at this location. If an eruption is taking place at this location, it is not going to show in the surface of the ocean. I’m sure a lot of smaller earthquakes are taking place, they are just not being recorded by any seismic detecting network due to distance.

26 Replies to “Strong earthquake swarm deep on the Reykjanes ridge”

  1. Good Afternoon Jón, I’m closely watching this earthquake swarm and I’m trying to understand what it is happening there. You say that data suggests that an eruption is taking place there but obliouvsly it is still difficult to say because there are not signals at surface. But I know that in the last few years there were many earthquake swarms along the Ridge, with strong earthquakes, as it is happening in these days. Do yo think that there was a good chance of eruptions in those places? I mean in February 2015, in January 2014, in March 2013 etc..
    Thanks for the answer.

    1. Some of those other events are just normal earthquake swarms. This has a slightly different pattern. The problem is that Reykjanes ridge is covered with active volcanoes. I think there is a volcano every 5 to 10 km (like seen on Reykjanes peninsula). While most are dormant, some of those volcanoes are going to erupt, even more than one at the same time.

      1. Rift earthquake swarm often start sharply and end sharply also. This one started with just a few earthquakes, then suddenly there was an sharp increase in earthquakes. This suggest that an eruption might have been taking place, even if its close to impossible to confirm directly.

  2. Jon, can you have a look of what is this??

    One webcam at Jokulsa river north of Vatnajokull shows what seems to be a large new hot spring steaming. I tracked the webcam pics backwards and the steaming started at least 4 days ago, but the webcam is only available since April 2015, back then the steaming is not there. But steaming only became strong today.

    I think the webcam looks south towards Vatnajokull and Holuhraun but the steaming seems quite near, further north of Holuhraun, probably somewhere east of Askja caldera.

    Very curious about what it this.

  3. The better side won.

    I’m going to be supporting them against the French, that’s for sure.

    Now I’m going away to bang my head repeatedly against a wall.

      1. That is supporting Iceland, not the ‘head against the wall banging’ part!
        Ik did that when Holland didn’t even qualify to take part in the Europeanen championship.
        And yes: I would vote yes for a Nexit!

  4. From over here in Wales it looks like an VEI-6 erupting in Iceland from over here in Wales, well done.

    1. I said to someone in work yesterday that Iceland would beat England, nice one!
      Henk, I wish you (& your countrymen) luck if you do get a vote on Nexit, also while I’m at it a belated thanks to the Dutch who helped out my county (Somerset) with pumps to help rid us of severe flooding two years ago (around 70 sq km).
      Looks like some pumping is going on at Hengill.

  5. How is this hill called in Reykjavik where all the fans gathered, mental hill, sonns&dottir hill, acceptit hill, haka hill, younameit hill…

    Annnyway, there’s more to the picture than meets the eye

      1. Could you register the game on your geophones?
        In Belgium an earthquake got registered when we scored against Sweden.

    1. That’s incredible. I won’t claim to understand the science, but it’s beautiful to watch.

      The amount of work you put into this must have immense.

      Can’t wait to see what data and patterns the boffins pull out of it, here and in the Caff.

    2. Stunning! Much has changed in the world of cartography since I graduated from college 6 years ago. Thank you so much for sharing!

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