Sharp increase in earthquake activity in Öræafjökull volcano

There has been increasing earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano in recent months. This increase is slow but it seems to be happening at faster phase to my surprise. For the first time the earthquake activity forms a direction along a fault line (it looks like a fault line) the direction of the fault line is east-west.

The earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano (south part of Vatnajökull glacier). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This was a minor earthquake activity in terms of magnitude of earthquakes happening. With largest earthquakes only having magnitude 2,2 and all other earthquakes smaller in magnitude. Last eruption in Öræfajökull volcano took place in 1727 August 3 and ended 10 months later on 1728 May 1 +- 30 days. That eruption was a VEI=4 in size. For comparison the last eruption in Grímsvötn volcano in 2011 was also a VEI=4. I don’t know how this activity in Öræfajökull volcano is going to evolve, what seems to be clear that unlike Eyjafjallajökull volcano this change is happening a lot faster in Öræfajökull volcano then in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Those two volcanoes are comparable of structure and volcano output (Eyjafjallajökull volcano 2010 eruption was also VEI=4). If an eruption happens in Öræfajökull volcano I would expect similar flight disruption as happened during the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. At the moment, there doesn’t seems to be any major risk of eruption in Öræfajökull volcano.


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