During the last few days there has been a sharp increase in earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. Since there has been no eruptions in the last 12.000 years it is not possible to know for sure what is going on. The earthquake activity suggests that this is a mixture of magma connected earthquakes and stress changes due to Bárðarbunga volcano changes. Making it nearly impossible to know for sure what is going on, at least for now anyway.
Tungnafellsjökull volcano is located north of Bárðarbunga volcano. It is marked by cluster of small earthquakes (red dots) on this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
What is different now, is that after a long period of quiet there was a sharp increase in earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. If past earthquake swarm activity is anything to go by I expect this earthquake activity to die out slowly and activity should go back to normal in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. That means no earthquake activity at all. I don’t think that anything has changed in that volcano, at least I don’t have any hard evidence of that being the case for the moment. That might change since lack of historical eruptions leaves a room for lot of speculations.
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Today (12-June-2017) a magnitude 3,6 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake activity is mostly normal for Bárðarbunga volcano, there has been slight increase in earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano during the past few days (minor earthquakes), why that increase is taking place is unclear at the moment. This increased happened at the same time as a sharp increase in earthquake activity took place in Tungnafellsjökull volcano (read the article about that for more information).
The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and Tungnafellsjökull volcano. The green star shows the magnitude 3,6 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Currently the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is mostly what is now considered ‘normal’ after the 2014 – 2015 eruption. I don’t know if that status is about to change, but there are clues in current activity suggesting that might be about to happen. This increased activity however might slow down again and go back to normal background levels.
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