Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano (13-June-2017)

Today (13-June-2017) a magnitude 2.6 earthquake took place in Öræfajökull volcano. This is the largest earthquake in this volcano for a long time now and it is worth noting that Öræfajökull volcano normally doesn’t have any earthquake activity. This suggests that something might be up if it doesn’t start to quiet down in next few years. Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano is not high as can be seen in this science paper that covers the years 1994 – 2007 in earthquake activity in Iceland.

Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano (to the south on this image). Some of the activity might be glacier quakes due to summer heat or rain. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Tectonic settings in this area don’t allow for a lot of crustal-tension earthquakes and that suggests that the source of current earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano can be explained by magma movements. If this is going to end in a eruption remains to be seen. At the moment current low level activity rules that out, since a lot more and stronger earthquake activity needs to happen before magma can reach the surface.


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