During the early hours of 19-November-2016 a strong earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is the strongest earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano for a long time now. Strongest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,0, other magnitudes where 3,5 and 3,1. All other magnitudes where smaller.
The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This earthquake activity suggests that pressure is increasing fast inside the volcano. I don’t know how much Bárðarbunga volcano has inflated since September-2015 but that must be considerable amount since a earthquake of magnitude 4,0 means a slip of few millimetres (I don’t have the information of much movement happens when a earthquake happen. I didn’t find the data about it). Over the past one year there has been a lot of earthquakes taken place in the Bárðarbunga volcano caldera, suggesting a rapid inflation of the volcano. It is not known if this is going to result in a eruption soon or sometimes later, all that is known is that magma is flowing into shallow magma chamber from deep within the volcano.
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Article updated at 22:42 UTC. Added a missing part.
The regular earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano continued on 18-November-2016. This activity has now been going on for 1 year plus few more weeks, at the moment it has slowed down a bit from when it was most active. I don’t know why that is, but the earthquakes are because magma is flowing into shallow magma chambers in Bárðarbunga volcano.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Largest earthquake in yesterdays (18-November-2016) earthquake swarm had the magnitude of 3,0. Other earthquakes so far have been smaller in magnitude. The activity appears to be mostly over by now, but it might resume at any moment since magma inflow and changes connected to it cannot be predicted.
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On 18-November-2016 a minor earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. This was a minor earthquake swarm with largest magnitude around 2,5. At the moment the earthquake activity appears to have ended, it might resume at later time.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
The earthquake activity is in a area that had a minor eruption in the year 1999. There has not been a major eruption in this part of the caldera for a long time according to historical data. It is possible that last major eruption in this area took place in the year 1245, but that eruption is not properly documented due to old age of the historical documents.
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