Strong earthquake activity on Kolbeinsey ridge (26-June-2017)

During the night of 26-June-2017 an earthquake swarm started north of Kolbeinsey island on Kolbeinsey ridge. This earthquake swarm is located around 355 km north of Siglufjörður village making it difficult to know for sure what is going on there. Largest earthquake so far had the magnitude of mb4,4 (EMSC Information), at the moment this is the only earthquake to register with EMSC. Total of 20 earthquakes have been over magnitude 3,0 so far, as this earthquake swarm is ongoing that number is going to change in the next few hours.

The earthquake activity on Kolbeinsey ridge (green stars). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I don’t know yet if there is any eruption at this location. At this distance the SIL network might not register the harmonic tremor of a small eruption or dyke intrusion. Ocean depth at this location is 2 – 3 km and that rules out any major signs appearing on the surface of the ocean. Currently there seems to be a break between earthquake swarms, that is just how it appears as the SIL network is not able to detect any small earthquakes at the distance of 355 km (about) and that means only minority of earthquakes is being recorded. There is also a possibility that this is just a normal rift earthquake activity that happens at this location, the area I think is is a rift valley, but this being a dyke or an volcano eruption can’t be ruled out.

This article is going to be updated if needed.


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