Earthquake swarm close to Herðubreið

All of last week there has been a minor earthquake swarm close to Herðubreið volcano crater. Yesterday (17-March-2017) the earthquake swarm increased from several earthquakes an hour and up to around several dozen earthquakes an hour. Largest earthquake so far had the magnitude of 2,9 but earlier report suggested it had a magnitude of 3,3 it was then downgraded. Since midnight (18-March-2017) around 200 earthquakes have happened. Currently the earthquake swarm is ongoing and this article might get outdated quickly.

The earthquake swarm close to Herðbreið volcano crater (red dots). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I don’t expect an eruption in this area, since currently there isn’t anything suggesting that magma might be responsible for this activity. This part of Iceland is also outside all major volcano areas, but it might possibly leak magma for some unknown reason. Last eruption in this area took place during the last glacier period in Iceland, when exactly is something I don’t know, but it ended 11.700 years ago. Eruption in this area would also create a larger earthquake activity then is currently happening, due the fact the crust in this area is cold and would require a magma to break it before it reached the surface.

This article is going to be updated if needed.


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Earthquake swarm in Tungnafellsjökull volcano

A small earthquake swarm took place in Tungnafellsjökull volcano during the night of 18-March-2017. All earthquakes that happened where minor in magnitude with many earthquakes having depth from 3 to 13 km.

The earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano (yellow dots, north of Bárðarbunga volcano). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is not clear why this earthquake activity happened in Tugnafellsjökull volcano. This might be a dyke intrusion at depth or it might also just be a stress adjustment in the crust due to the inflation happening in Bárðarbunga volcano. It is not known at the moment if this is due to magma or stress adjustment in the crust. This is the first earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano after considerable period of quiet.