Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes updates on 26-February-2021 at 15:37 UTC

This is a short update on activity in Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes.

At 12:06 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,4 took place in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Swarm of earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 have taken place and that activity is ongoing. It is difficult to write any good article with this high level of earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Deformation of the crust because of this earthquake activity has been detected by Icelandic Met Office. Nothing suggests that magma has found a path to the surface so far.

Green stars on the Reykjanes peninsula from south-west to north-east. A lot of new earthquake activity shown by red dots on the map.
Earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Unusual amount of hydrogen volcano gas have been detected in Svartsengi for the last day. It is unclear why this change is happening and more research is needed to see what is going on there. There is no report of increase in other volcano gases at the writing of this article.

If anything major happens I’ll post update soon as possible.

Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes update on 25-February-2021 at 19:28 UTC

This is a short update on activity in Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes. This update is written at 19:28 UTC.

The activity today (25-February-2021) has been mostly just minor earthquakes. Largest earthquakes today had a magnitude of Mw3,5 but this number can still change. In the last 24 hours over 2500 earthquakes have been recorded by Icelandic Met Office according to the news.

Green stars show all the earthquakes with magnitudes above Mw3,0 from yesterday (24-February-2021). A lot of red, yellow and orange dots showing smaller earthquakes
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula over the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Steam has been confirmed close the parking lot close to Keilir mountain on Reykjanes peninsula. This area did not have steam before the Mw5,7 earthquake yesterday (24-February). It is unclear that is going on in that location. There continues to be high risk for a earthquake with magnitude Mw6,0 to Mw6,8 on Reykjanes peninsula because of this earthquake activity.

I’ll post update soon as possible if anything happens.

Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes update at 21:43 UTC

This is a short update at 21:19 UTC about the earthquake activity in volcanoes Reykjanes and Krýsuvík.

Earthquake activity slowed little since last update at 14:41 UTC. There are now fewer larger earthquakes taking place at the writing of this article. That has the chance of changing without warning. There seems to be new areas of activity appearing on the automatic Icelandic Met Office map. It is unclear if this is a artifact of the heavy earthquake activity in the area or a real thing is difficult to know for sure at the writing of this article.

Heavy earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula from west to east. Over 50 green stars on the map tha show earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Earthquake activity trace that shows how heavy the earthquake activity is. The trace is densly populated with dots each showing a earthquake. The letter 5,7 is on the trace showing the largest earthquake so far. Oldest dots from tdoay are orange in colour but fresh earthquakes are red in colour.
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Currently there are no signs of magma moving in both volcano systems. That might change without warning if there is a sudden change in activity. Because of how long it has been since last eruption took place in both volcanoes what happens before an eruption is unclear. What is only known from around 681 year old historical records that did survive to this day is that earthquake activity increases sharply before an eruption and does so a good while before the first eruption happens. Last eruption in Krýsuvík volcano was in the year 1340.

I am going to post next update tomorrow (25-February-2021) unless something major happens and then I’ll post a new article soon as possible.

Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcano update at 14:41 UTC

This is a short update at 14:41 UTC.

This is about volcanoes Reykjanes and Krýsuvík.

According to new pictures from Icelandic Coast Guard. Steam has been seen from the area that had the strongest earthquakes this morning. This seems to be in a area that did not have an earlier any steam activity, this however depends a confirmation.

Earthquake activity with over 600 earthquakes on Reykjanes peninsula. Many green stars on the map
The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Icelandic News about the steam activity that has been detected.

Hvít­ir gufustrók­ar sjást á svæðinu (mbl.is, Icelandic, Pictures)

Earthquake with magnitude Mw5,7 in Reykjanes volcano (update at 12:28 UTC)

This is a short update at 12:28 UTC on the earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula and in Reykjanes volcano.

It is possible to see the earthquakes in my webicorder website here. This website is on limited bandwidth so it might load slowly if there is a lot of traffic to it. I am also self hosting it because of software requirement.

Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw5,7 and was felt over most of Western Iceland. Minor damage has been reported in Reykjavík but it has been limited to stuff falling off shelves, walls and other such locations.

A lot of green starts showing earthquakes on Reykjanes peninsula
The earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Trace of earthquakes showing close to continues earthquake activity with magnitude of Mw4,0 and one earthquake with magnitude of Mw5,7
The trace of the earthquake activity in Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I am going to post updates as I know more about this earthquake activity. The reason why I am a bit late on this is that I was sleeping and I didn’t wake up with earthquake activity.

Strong earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano

During the night of 13-February 2021 an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,0 took place at 02:30 UTC. This earthquake is normal and is because of inflation in Bárðarbunga volcano after the eruption ended in 2015.

Green star shows the location of the magnitude 4,0 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano that is located in north-west part of Vatnajökull glacier.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is one of this earthquakes in Bárðarbunga volcano every few months and last earthquake with magnitude Mw3,9 took place on 21-December-2020 in Bárðarbunga volcano. This type of earthquake activity is going to continue in Bárðarbunga volcano for decades until next eruption happens in 20 to 100 years.

Update on ongoing earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano on 11-February-2021

The earthquake swarm that started more than one year ago in Reykjanes volcano continues to be ongoing. Largest earthquake on 11-February 2021 at 07:56 UTC had the magnitude of Mw3,0. Other earthquakes had smaller magnitude as has been ongoing since 20-January-2020.

Earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula and is mostly east of Grindavík town. Newest earthquakes are red dots and oldest are blue dots. Some earthquake activity west of Grindavík town.
Earthquake activity east of Grindavík town. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Since this magma activity in Reykjanes volcano started around 20-January 2020 there has been ongoing earthquake activity in this area. I don’t expect this to stop. When a eruption is going to happen is not something that is possible to know. Currently GPS data does not show any interesting change and doesn’t suggest anything is about to happen.

Earthquake swarm east of Grímsey island

Since 4-February-2021 an earthquake swarm has been going on east of Grímsey island in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone. This was not a large earthquake swarm, with mostly just earthquakes with magnitude of Mw0,0 to Mw3,0. With largest earthquake taking place on 9-February-2021 at 20:20 UTC with magnitude Mw3,0. After that earthquake activity seems to have slowed down considerable amount.

Earthquake activity east of Grímsey island shown by blue and orange dots on the map. The earthquakes are out in the ocean.
Earthquake activity east of Grímsey island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity is common in this area and in 2020 several large earthquake swarms took place in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone.

Earthquake activity and more in Grímsfjall volcano (Grímsvötn)

Yesterday (29-January-2021) at 23:34 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw2,4 took place in Grímsfjall volcano (Grímsvötn). There where few smaller earthquakes before and after this largest earthquake. There where no signs of change in harmonic tremor following this earthquake activity.

In the center of Vatnajökull glacier there is a volcano Grímsfjall. East of that a yellow dot shows the location of an earthquake with magnitude of Mw2,4. Grímsfjall volcano is marked by a triangle that shows the location of a seismic sensor to record earthquakes in this area.
Earthquake activity in Grímsfjall volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It has also been reported in the news that glacier plate that is on top of Grímsfjall volcano is now the highest since 1996. Inflation is now taking place in eastern part of Grímsfjall volcano, in a location called Eystri Svíahnúkur. Magma pressure is today (30-January-2021) equal or higher than when the May 2011 eruption took place in Grímsfjall volcano.

Sources / News in Icelandic

Íshellan í Grímsvötnum ekki mælst hærri í 25 ár (Icelandic, Rúv.is)
Fundur í vísindaráði almannavarna (Icelandic, Almannavarnir.is)

Earthquake swarm in Prestahnúkur volcano

Yesterday (27-January-2021) an earthquake swarm started in Prestahnúkar volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,0 and other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude.

Yellow earthquake on the south-west side of the volcano. In the former glacier Ok.
Earthquake activity in the volcano Prestahnúkar. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake swarm has stopped but it might start again since earthquake activity in this area is often slow to start and goes on for a long time, up to 1 to 3 years. There is no sign that magma is at work in this earthquake swarm.