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.
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.
Today (30-September-2020) Icelandic Met Office moved Grímsfjall volcano to a yellow warning status for air traffic. This strongly suggests that Icelandic Met Office thinks that an eruption might happen in next few days to weeks. It is expected that an eruption might happen if a glacier flood happens from Grímsvötn glacier lake that is inside Grímsfjall volcano caldera.
Current status of Grímsfjöll volcano is yellow. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
It is difficult to know if this is going to be a large or small eruption until it happens. Best thing to do right now is to keep monitoring Grímsfjall volcano activity to see if anything is going on. Currently everything is quiet.
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It was reported yesterday (10-June-2020) in the news at Stöð 2 (Channel 2) that hydrothermal activity and gas output from Grímsfjall volcano has been increasing in recent months. This has been followed by increased earthquake activity in Grímsfjall volcano. There is now a risk of an eruption following a glacier flood from Grímsvötn lake but according to the Vísir news the lake is getting close to full or at the point where it can flood and empty the crater. That can start an eruption because of the pressure drop of the magma.
Seismic energy released by earthquakes in Grímsfjall volcano since last eruption in May 2011. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
It is expected by experts that next eruption in Grímsfjall volcano is going to be a normal eruption but the eruption in May 2011 was the largest eruption in Grímsfjall volcano in 138 years. Since last eruption of this size took place in the year 1873 and then it took 10 years before next eruption took place.
There has also been a minor increase in earthquake activity in Þórðarhryrna volcano but because of lack of data it is difficult to know what that means. Last eruption in Þórðarhyrna volcano ended in January 12, 1904. It erupted at same time as Grímsfjall volcano according to historical documentation.
Sorry for the late article. I’ve been busy in other project that involves taking a lot picture and putting them up on my Instagram that can be found here.
Two earthquake swarms have appeared that I am now keeping an eye out for. This is earthquake activity in Grímsvötn (Grímsfjöll) volcano and then in Þórðarhyrna volcano (Thordarhyrna). Last time Þórðarhyrna erupted was in the year 1902 and that was at the same time an eruption took place in Grímsvötn volcano. Over the last few months there has been increase in earthquake activity in Þórðarhyrna and Grímsvötn volcanoes. Its not completely symmetrical increase in earthquakes, but close to it as of writing of this article. Last time Þórðarhyrna erupted without an eruption in Grímsvötn volcano was in the year 1887 (15th August) to 1889 (?).
Earthquake activity in Grímsvötn and Þórðarhyrna volcanoes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
It is going to be a serious problem if an eruption happens in Þórðarhyrna volcano because that volcano is completely covered with a glacier that is up to 200 meters thick or thicker. Other risk factor is that Grímsvötn volcano might erupt outside of the caldera resulting in glacier floods and other problems.
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During the night of 3-December-2018 earthquake activity started in Þórðarhyrna volcano (no GVP profile, under Grímsvötn volcano profile). Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 2,1 and second largest earthquake had a magnitude of 2,0.
Þórðarhyrna volcano is located south-west of Grímsvötn volcano. Yellow dots on this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Last eruption in Þórðarhyrna volcano was in the year 1902 December to 1904 12-January and was a VEI=4 eruption. An eruption happened in Grímsvötn volcano at the same time.
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During the night there was an earthquake swarm in Grímsvötn volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 2,6 and other earthquakes were smaller in magnitude.
Earthquake activity in Grímsvötn volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Yesterday (06-November-2018) there was also earthquake activity in Grímsvötn volcano but it was at lot smaller scale then what happened during the night. At the moment there are no signs that Grímsvötn volcano are about to erupt. There has not been any more earthquake activity today.
Glacier flood has started from Grímsvötn volcano. This glacier flood is expected to be small like last few flood that have happened. At this moment I am not expecting an eruption from Grímsvötn volcano. If an eruption does happen I would not expect it to be a large one.
I’ll update this article or write a new article when I can or if something major happens.
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Over the past few months there has been a slight increase in earthquake activity in Grímsvötn (Grímsfjall) volcano. This increase in activity strongly suggests that Grímsvötn are now in later stages of getting ready for an eruption.
Earthquake activity in Grímsvötn (Grímsfjall) volcano. Close to centre in Vatnajökull glacier. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Last eruption in Grímsvötn volcano was in 2011 and that was a VEI=4 eruption and the largest one in at least 140 years. I don’t expect next eruption in Grímsvötn to be a big one, but there is no way to know that for sure until an eruption happens. When that happens is impossible to know for sure. When next eruption happens is something that is not possible to know. All that can be estimated that a new eruption in Grímsvötn volcano is not far into the future.
This graph gives a good idea the time interval betweens eruptions (last eruptions since 2000). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Since 2000 the time between eruptions is around 2200 days on average. That number of days is about to happen soon in Grímsvötn volcano.
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