Special article: Earthquake swarm in central Italy

Currently its quiet in Iceland, this is a fill up article while everything is quiet in Iceland.

Yesterday (18.01.2017) a earthquake swarm started in central Italy. First fore-shock had the magnitude of 5,3 (EMSC Information) and happened at 09:25 UTC (10:25 CET). The second earthquake had the magnitude of 5,7 (EMSC Information) and was clearly felt in central Italy. It was followed by aftershocks of the size 4,7 (EMSC information), 4,6 (EMSC Information), the largest aftershock during that hour had the magnitude of 5,3 (EMSC information). Since this earthquake activity more than 100 earthquakes have happened, many magnitude 4,0 earthquakes have taken place. At least one magnitude 5,2 earthquake (EMSC Information) took place at 13:33:37 UTC (14:33 CET).

The strongest earthquake so far, the magnitude Mw5,7 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Denmark. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see the CC Licence page for more details.

This earthquake swarm might mean that there are stronger earthquakes about to happen in central Italy, but there is no way to be sure about it due to complex nature of this area. I don’t fully understand the geology of this area at the moment or Italy geology in any details at the moment. I’m expecting more earthquake activity in this area for the next few days at least, based on current aftershock activity in the area. Current aftershock activity is heavy at the moment, with many earthquakes happening every hour.


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11 Replies to “Special article: Earthquake swarm in central Italy”

  1. I will give you another donation in a few days time, just waiting on cheque clearing, hopefully it should be clear by Monday or Tuesday next week.

    1. There is something going on. I know a magnitude 3,0 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano yesterday (19.01.2016). But IMO has not updated it to correct magnitude yet.

      1. Source(IMO) They have updated it now and came in at a 3.5 🙂
        19.01.2017 18:03:39 64.671 -17.446 3.9 km 3.5 99.0 5.1 km NE of Bárðarbunga

  2. Jon please keep us informed on the missing person case, Hard to believe that this could happen in a country as small as Iceland. This is the kind of thing one thinks about happening in places like New York or Vancouver or Hong Kong not in a peaceful quiet area like Iceland.
    Also Jon can you shed some light on what is up N of Skjaldbreið with the swarm that took place between 8:30 and 9:30PM local time Friday. Thanks for all your hard work!

    1. They are going to a large scale search for Birna tomorrow. Blood has been found in the red car the police took hold of on Monday (I think it was). Suspecting that a criminal activity has happened. They hope the girl is still alive, but the outlook is not good and the police is handling this as a murder case now.

  3. Is the swarm that is on going at Skjaldbreið anything volcanic in origin or is this just a normal part of the riftal process. In any information I can find, this area was last active about 9,000 years ago but I cannot find anything that shows any time frame for prior activities.

    1. This appears to be a rift-valley earthquake activity that is common to this area. It stops and starts at random, even in a middle of a earthquake swarm. At the moment this is not a major earthquake activity, but that might change without warning.

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