Earthquake swarm close to Skjaldbreið lava shield

Since 14. July 2023 there has been a minor earthquake swarm close to Skjaldbreið lava shield just south of Presthnjúkur volcano. Largest earthquake took place yesterday (20. July 2023), with a magnitude of Mw3,0.

Green star and red dots just south of Presthnjúkur volcano and south of Langjökull glacier. Few red dots outside of this. This earthquake swarm is next to Skjaldbreið lava shield
Earthquake activity close to Skjaldbreið lava shield. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This is tectonic earthquake swarm and its just normal activity. Its not connected to eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain, because its outside of that area influence. This earthquake swarm is ongoing at the writing of this article.


Strong earthquake in Presthnjúkar volcano

One of the most quiet volcanoes in Iceland is Presthnjúkar. That seems to be about to change. Yesterday (23-June-2022) at 22:12 an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,6 and aftershock of Mw3,7 took place in the volcano. It was felt over a large part of south and west and north Iceland because of its central location.

Two green stars on top of each other along with few orange dots in Presthnjúkar volcano marked by a elongated circle on map showing the Langjökull glacier. North-east of Presthnjúkar is the Hveravellir volcano
Earthquake activity in Presthnjúkar volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is difficult to know what is going on there, since the history of this volcano is poorly known. Few minor eruptions took place there sometimes between the years 700 to the years 900 or around those years. At this stage it is impossible know if an new eruption cycle has started or is about to start in this area. Given the activity south-west of Presthnjúkar volcano. That possibly should not be ruled out for now.


Strong earthquake in Presthnúkur volcano

At 08:12 UTC on 30-April-2022 an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,4 took place in Presthnúkur volcano. This earthquake was felt in Geysir south of the area where the earthquake took place.

Green star in the white glacier on the Icelandic Met Office map. Few red dots to the west of the green star showing smaller earthquakes
Earthquake activity in Presthnúkar volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Few smaller earthquakes took place after the strongest earthquake. It has to noted that those earthquakes where in the different part of the volcano and are possibly not aftershocks.


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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.


Earthquake swarm not far from Skjaldbreið (Presthnjúkur area)

Yesterday (22.02.2017) there was an earthquake swarm in the Presthnjúkur area, in a area not far from Skjaldbreið volcano.

Earthquake activity yesterday close to Skjaldbreið. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This was a minor earthquake swarm, with the largest earthquake only having a magnitude of 2,2. Depth was from 18,3 km and up to 1,1 km. This earthquake swarm appears to be over.

Article updated at 12:08 UTC on 24.02.2017. Title error fixed.

Update on Prestahnúkur earthquake swarm

The earthquake swarm in Prestahnúkur volcano is ongoing with breaks. The fault that is moving is around 5 to 15 km long at the moment (based on the map). The largest earthquake so far has had the magnitude 3,5 and was felt in nearby towns and farms, the second largest earthquake had the magnitude 3,0. Other earthquakes have been smaller so far.

The earthquake activity today (14-December-2015). Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

I expect this earthquake activity to continue in the next few days to weeks.

The earthquake activity in this area since 1991 (grey circles). New activity are the red circles. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

The image above is from Week 50 earthquake information website. It can be found here.

Other matters

I’ve been a bit down in the past few days, since I’m living in Iceland and I don’t like it. I don’t belong in Iceland, not sure why that is, it just is. I don’t like the culture (Icelanders are copying U.S culture to some degree, not everything, but many aspects of it), I don’t like the snow and the cold weather. I also don’t like the isolations that follows living in Iceland.

Moving to Denmark

If anyone wants to support my move back to Denmark that can be done with the PayPal button or directly, information about how to do so can be found here.

At the moment I’ve collected money for almost everything. The transfer cost and the first month in rent for the apartment. What is missing is the money for the insurance for the apartment, but I can get a good rent loan for that in Denmark. The insurance amount I have to pay is 9000 DKK (1,206.13€). All that I’m currently waiting for is the Danish Tax (Skat), I’ve been having problem with them for the past few months and that issue has not been resolved yet and that issue is keeping me in Iceland at the moment. Regardless of that, I’ve started preparing my move back to Denmark so that I can move quickly once my last problem has been resolved.

Advertisements and donations

Donations keep this website going. Since it has already outgrown smaller and cheaper hosting options for me. I have to pay $135 in hosting cost a month and so far I’m running at loss. When it comes to advertisements I’m not going to be returning to Google Adsense since getting into that is close to impossible at the moment due to TOS and other changes Google (now Alphabet) has done over the years. Leaving small websites like mine high and dry when it comes to income. I’m going to continue to use Amazon. I hope that no major changes in their TOS and such agreements forces me to quit using them. The rules are getting narrower by the year and aligned in such a way that they fit high traffic website better. Rather then small traffic websites like I currently have.

Thanks all for understanding.

Earthquake swarm south-west of Langjökull volcano (Prestahnúkur)

Yesterday (10-December-2015) a earthquake swarm started in south-west Langjökull (Prestahnúkur volcano [Wikipedia page here]). Currently the earthquake swarm is ongoing. This is a slow earthquake swarm so far, not creating many earthquake over period of one hour. Largest earthquake so far had the magnitude of 3,2. Other earthquakes have been smaller, but many earthquakes are over 2,5 in magnitude. The largest earthquake was felt in nearby town of Hvanneyri and possibly other farms close to the location where the earthquake swarm is taking place.

The earthquake swarm in south Langjökull volcano (Prestahnúkur). The earthquake swarm is located in one spot. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

This earthquake activity is appearing on my geophones when it comes to earthquakes over magnitude 1,9. Every 10 to 20 years this area has earthquake swarms that creates earthquakes with magnitude 4,0 and above. Last such earthquake swarm was something over 10 years ago if my memory is correct. At the moment there is nothing suggesting that eruption might happen at this volcano any time soon. Last eruption took place 3500BCE (GVP information).

The dormant volcanoes in Iceland

While all the active volcanoes in Iceland get all the press and coverage. There are volcanoes in Iceland that are not so active and have remain dormant for thousands of years now and currently do not show any signs of activity. Some have some hot spring activity. But that is about it for them. The following volcanoes in Iceland have not erupted in historical times. Some have not even erupted in past 12.000 years best to my knowledge. But as history has proved in other parts of the world. An dormant volcano can start to erupt when it feels like it and without any warning at all in some cases.

This is based on Global Volcanism Program data. So it might be subject to errors and updates.


Hrómundartindur – Last eruption is unknown. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Grensdalur – Last eruption was in Pleistocene and its current status is Pleistocene-Fumarolic. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Grímsnes – Last eruption is believed to have taken place around 3500 BC. But this volcano is marked as tephrochronology. This volcano makes crater rows when it erupts.
Geysir – This volcano last erupted in Pleistocene and is marked as Pleistocene-Geysers. This is an stratovolcano.

Hveravellir – This volcano last erupted around the year 950 AD. It is currently marked as radiocarbon. This is an subglacial volcano.

Hofsjökull – This volcano has erupted sometimes in the last 12.000 years. It has the marking holocene. This is an subglacial volcano. The second volcano in this system is not marked in GVP database. But that volcano is named Kerlingarfjöll. I do not know when it last erupted. There is also an embeeded second volcano in Hofsjökull volcano that is Independent from the main Hofsjökull volcano (yes, this is the case it seems). I do not have any idea when that did last erupt.

Esjufjöll – This is an sub-glacier volcano in Vatnajökull glacier. Its last eruption is uncertain. But is believed to taken place in the year 1927. From the year 2000 this volcano has been showing signs of increased activity. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Fremrinamur – This volcano is last believed to have erupted in the year 1200 BC. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Þeystareykjabunga – This volcano last erupted around the year 900 BC. This volcano is an shield volcano.

Snæfellsjökull – This volcano last erupted around 200 AD. It is currently marked as radiocarbon. This is an stratovolcano.

Helgrindur (also known as Lysuhóll) – This volcano has no record of eruption. But it is thought that it erupted sometimes in the past 12.000 years. But exact time is not known. This volcano makes pyroclastic cones. This volcano is the smallest volcano system in Iceland.

Tindafjallajökull – It is unknown if this volcano has erupted during holocene. But the GVP information say that dozen of small eruptions took place in early holocene. This is an stratovolcano.

Snæfell – This volcano is located east of Vatnajökull glacier and south of Kverkfjöll volcano. It was once believed that this volcano was extinct. But new research into it has changed that opinion. This is most likely an stratovolcano. But I do not have it confirmed. This volcano has at least not erupted for several thousands years or more. Currently there are no information about this volcano in the Global Volcanism Program database.

Skrokkalda – This volcano is dormant. But I do not know if it has erupted in historical times or not, but I do no think that is the case. I am also not sure what type of volcano it is.

There are few more volcanoes missing due the fact that they are not in the Global Volcanism Program database. But I have them on a map that I own. So they are going to be added later when I update this blog post.