Update on Reykjanes peninsula earthquake swarm (Fagradalsfjall mountain)

Since 26-July-2017 there has been a earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula close to a mountain called Fagradalsfjall. This earthquake swarm has been one of the larger ones in the area in recent years. Total number of earthquakes that have been detected so far is well over 600 at the writing of this article. There is some magma involved in this earthquake swarm, it has stayed deep in the crust and there are currently no signs of it moving upwards more then it already has at this point. This makes an eruption extremely unlikely, unlike what some news reports about this earthquake swarm might suggest an eruption is not imminent in this area of Iceland.

Earthquake activity close to Fagradalsfjall mountain for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake during the last 24 hours is a magnitude 3,2 earthquake that took place at 05:56 UTC. In 1968 a magnitude 6,0 earthquake took place in this same area. I don’t know if that is going to happen now, what is a risk is this earthquake swarm increasing again from current drop in activity. This area is in part a rift valley and plate interaction can get complicated and last for a long time. With quiet period between high periods of activity. At this moment the earthquake activity in this area is decreasing, that does not mean it is over yet, just that a decreasing in activity is currently happening.


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One Reply to “Update on Reykjanes peninsula earthquake swarm (Fagradalsfjall mountain)”

  1. In the early nineties I asked the question, what effect polar ice sheet melt would have on plate tectonics world wide and came up with a theory : suppose both the north and south poles where ice free and the great mass of water would be evenly dispersed around the globe creating a rather more perfect sphere, the plates would move easier as the great forces between the subduction zones would be relaxed and it’s quite possible that this would create more volcanism and increased seismic activity? We are already experiencing increased earthquake activity as the melting of polar ice gathers pace and this maybe a cyclic phenomena that is enevitable in geological time scales,

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