On Friday 22-January-2021 an earthquake swarm took place just east of Grindavík town. This earthquake activity then stopped but resumed at midnight on Sunday 24-January-2021. All of the earthquakes where small in magnitude and only few did go above magnitude Mw1,0 in size.
The earthquake swarm that started on Sunday lasted for 12 hours according to Icelandic Met Office website. There is no change in GPS location data (can be viewed here) and there is no change in harmonic tremor. Currently there is a bad weather in Iceland preventing automatic detection of small earthquakes all over Iceland.
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Today (07-January-2021) two earthquakes with magnitude of Mw3,1 and Mw3,2 took place in Reykjanes volcano. A swarm of smaller earthquakes is currently ongoing in the volcano.
The earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This earthquake activity has been going on for one year. Inflation was detected on 21-January-2020 by Icelandic Met Office and it has continued since then. Area of activity is now larger then it was at the start of this activity. There is currently no sign that an eruption is about to start but that might change without warning.
Early morning on 16-December-2020 at 04:30 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,1 took place close to Reykjanestá in Reykjanes volcano. The largest earthquake was felt over a large area. A swarm of small earthquakes started soon after the largest earthquake and this swarm was active for few hours.
The green star shows the area of activity early morning in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
A second smaller earthquake swarm started just north of Grindvík town few hours after the earthquake swarm close to Reykjanestá. GPS data for the area doesn’t seems to have updated on the web and because of that I don’t know if the area is entering new inflation phase or not. The earthquake activity suggests that Reykjanes volcano is about to enter a new inflation phase but that is currently not certain.
Today (10-December-2020) at 00:08 an earthquake with the magnitude of Mw3,5 took place in the volcano Reykjanes. This earthquake was felt in nearby area. Since then there has been a minor earthquake swarm going on in the area of Reykjanestá.
Green star shows the earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Today (10-December-2020) an deep earthquake swarm took place in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano. All earthquakes that took place where small in magnitude but depth was from around 5km to 12 km depth. It is not known at the writing of this article if this suggests an magma movement inside Brennisteinsfjöll volcano.
Orange dots to east of Krýsuvík volcano show the activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
I am expecting more earthquake activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano in next few months. It is going to take few weeks to months to see if anything more is going on there.
At 11:23 UTC today 1-December-2020 an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,6 took place north of Grindavík town in the Reykjanes volcano. This earthquake was felt but few reported on it. A swarm of smaller earthquakes has followed both earlier of after the largest earthquake.
The earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This earthquake activity is part of the process of magma injection into this area since January 2020. There is a risk of stronger earthquake in this area following this earthquake swarm. Earthquake activity happens in high activity time period with quiet period between them. This earthquake swarm suggests that new activity period is about to start in this area of Reykjanes volcano.
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The earthquake on 20-October-2020 was followed by a strong inflation in Reykjanes volcano. Current levels of inflation are about ~50mm according to Icelandic Met Office and can be seen on GPS measurements in recent days (GPS time series for Reykjanes).
The inflation in Reykjanes volcano. I had to scale this image because of WordPress requirements. Full size image can be found here on Icelandic Met Office website. Red is more inflation, blue is deflation or lower areas. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This inflation appears clearly on GPS stations that are closest to this area. The area where the most inflation is a small mountain called Keilir. Last eruption in this area was sometimes during last ice age. This inflation also explains the earthquake activity that has been going on in this area for the last few days as I have written earlier about.
Current earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Detection of smaller earthquakes is lower because of bad weather in Iceland. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
As of the writing of this article I am expecting more earthquakes and more inflation to happen in this volcano and other close by areas. It is not possible to know when a eruption is going to happen in Reykjanes volcano.
Today (24-October-2020) I noticed that there has been since yesterday (23-October-2020) a swarm of small earthquakes on what appears to be a west to east fault on the Reykjanes peninsula in the Reykjanes volcano. All of this earthquake activity is mostly just small earthquakes that don’t appear on the automatic map on Icelandic Met Office website. This earthquake activity only appears after a manual review that Icelandic Met Office has do. The total length of the fault that is in west to east direction seems to be 20 km to 30 km, it is difficult to be sure at the writing of this article.
The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninusla in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
There are more faults at work in this. One or two fault are in mostly north-south direction and one fault is at southwest to northeast direction. There is also some cluster earthquake activity in Krýsuvík volcano but it doesn’t seem to have formed any fault like direction as of writing of this article. This changes seems to be supported by movement on the automatic GPS data from this area that can be viewed here (GPS time series for Reykjanes). It is difficult to be sure what happens next in this. There is now a storm passing over Iceland and that prevents detection and recording of the smallest earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula. The weather forecast for next week doesn’t look so good today (Saturday 24-October-2020).
It is a fact that not every eruption requires a big and strong earthquake swarm to start. I don’t know if that is true for Reykjanes volcano.
Reports from yesterday (22-October-2020) on Stöð 2 (Channel 2) report that there is a strong smell of Sulfur dioxide from Grænavatn lake. Some increase in one hots spring in Krýsuvík volcano has been reported. That might because of change in water pathways in the crust because of the earthquake on 20-October-2020. New cracks have also formed and the earthquake caused small landslides on the coastline closest to the earthquake. The cracks in the ground are dangerous and people should not go to the coastline in this area of Iceland now. A new earthquake can happen at any time without warning.
Automatic GPS data is suggesting that in Krýsuvík volcano there has been a fast inflation of magma. I don’t think this is displacement because of the earthquake based on other nearby GPS stations.
Since yesterday (20-October-2020) the earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula in the volcano Reykjanes or Krýsuvík volcano has been slowly getting down after the Mw5,6 earthquake. There have been at the writing of this article 30 earthquakes with magnitude that are larger than Mw3,0 in this area, some of those earthquakes have been felt in nearby populated areas.
The earthquake activity slightly more than 1 day later on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
At the writing of this article the number of detected earthquakes in this swarm is getting close to 2000 earthquakes. The risk of stronger earthquake both west and east of the Mw5,6 earthquake that took place yesterday. Strongest possible earthquake in this part of Iceland can reach magnitude Mw6,5 to Mw6,7 depending on location and that is only east of current earthquake activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano area.
According to the news, the first injury because of the Mw5,6 earthquake has been reported along with damage to a viewing place in the mountain close the location of the earthquake yesterday.
I am going to post updates soon as possible if anything more happens in this activity on Reykjanes peninsula. At the writing of this article there has not been any sign of magma movement or any sign that an eruption has taken place in this area.
It was reported by Icelandic Met Office at 22:20 UTC that people had been noticing more gas smell close to a small lake called Grænavatn. This suggest that magma might be on the move in the crust. It is currently difficult to be sure at writing of this article. This would be inside the volcano of Reykjanes.
Grænavatn lake. Copyright of this image belongs to Google Earth / Google.
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula at midnight 21-October-2020. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
At the writing of this article there has not been any change in harmonic tremor on nearby SIL stations. If magma is about to move that is possibly going to happen without much warning but this difficult to know for sure at the writing of this article.
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