Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano early morning of 19-March-2021

At 04:30 this morning (19-March-2021) an earthquake swarm started just off the coast of Reykjanestá. This activity looks tectonic in nature for now but it is highly focused in one location. This earthquake activity did start on 24-February-2021 when the Mw5,7 earthquake happened. This activity was only going on for short period of time on 24-February-2021 before it stopped until now.

Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano off the coast of Reykjanestá shown by few green stars. A lot of earlier activity is in Fagradalsfjall mountain area.
Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano off the coast of Reykjanestá in the far left corner of this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquakes in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,7 but in total of 10 earthquakes with magnitude above 3 took place in this earthquake swarm. Around 100 earthquakes where recorded at the writing of this article but after 06:00 this earthquake swarm slowed down from its peak activity around 05:50. This earthquake swarm might increase again without warning.

New information about the situation in Fagradalsfjall volcano

This is a short article about the new information published today (8-March-2021) by Icelandic Met Office and Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.

New measurements of the situation in Fagradalsfjall volcano show that the dyke intrusion continues to grow and as at its shallowest point at 1 km depth. Possible eruption is expected at the south end of the dyke intrusion (closest to Fagradalsfjall mountain). Earthquakes are going to happen at the south-west end of the dyke and north-east of the dyke because of the inflation the magma is creating in the area.

The dyke shown with dotted line and circle shows the most effective area. Gray areas at both ends shows earthquake effected area
The earthquake areas at the ends of the dyke intrusion, shown in gray areas on this map. The dyke is shown within the line with dot lines. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There are going to be quiet times between high period of activity according to the news about this activity. There is also ongoing risk of a earthquake with magnitude of Mw6,5 in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano and according to Icelandic Met Office that risk has not been reduced in recent days. Outside of the Fagradalsfjall volcano magma dyke, no magma movement has been detected in Reykjanes (Svartsengi?) volcano and in Krýsuvík volcano.

Sources (Icelandic)

Áfram má búast við að virknin á Reykjanesskaga verði kaflaskipt (Iceland, English, Polish, Almannavarnir.is)
Kvikan er á kílómetra dýpi (Rúv.is, Icelandic)

Update on activity in Fagradalsfjall and Reykjanes volcanoes

This is a short update on what is going on in Reykjanes peninsula. This article is written at 16:29 UTC.

Volcanoes in this article

Fagradalsfjall
Reykjanes
Krýsuvík

  • Fagradalsfjall volcano has not erupted since Pleistocene. When last eruption took place is not listed or not known. This the first magma movement in Fagradalsfjall volcano in 11700 years.
  • Eruption risk is now in Reykjanes volcano*.
  • *This might also be a different volcano known as Svartsengi (no Global Volcanism Profile). There is no agreements between maps on this detail for now. Reykjanes volcano might only extend into Reykjanestá and then is mostly under ocean and might not extend into Reykjanes peninsula as sometimes is shown on maps.
  • Krýsuvík volcano has quieted down a little in the last 24 hours. Eruption risk is lower for now in that volcano.
  • Largest number of earthquakes detected in one day was over 3000 earthquakes.
  • In the last 24 hours 12 earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 have happened. Most of them are felt in nearby populated areas.
  • No harmonic tremor has been detected since it ended during the night on 4-March-2021.
  • During the last 48 hours over 3300 earthquakes have been recorded by Icelandic Met Office.
  • New! Magma is now estimated to be at 5 to 6 km depth but might be as shallow as 2 km depth.

 

Dense earthquake activity in the volcanoes Reykjanes, Fagradalsfjall and Krýsuvík volcanoes
Heavy earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula in three volcanoes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Maps of possible eruption areas has been made by Earth science department of University of Iceland and can be found here. University of Iceland Earth science department also made a lava flow prediction can that map can be found here. Both maps are updated daily on Facebook.

Web cameras

Beint vefstreymi af skjálftasvæðinu – Vogastapi (Rúv.is)
Keilir í beinni (mbl.is)
Óróasvæðið í beinni útsendingu (Vísir.is)
Live from Iceland
Keilir og skjálftasvæðið (YouTube)

Added at 21:12 UTC

Road camera 1
Road camera 2 (night vision/infrared)

Cameras and links might go offline without warning.

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Article updated at 16:53 UTC.
Article updated at 21:13 UTC.

Update on activity in Fagradalsfjall, Krýsuvík, Reykjanes volcanoes

The situation on Reykjanes peninsula is getting complicated due to activity between three volcanoes. This article is written at 15:22 UTC.

The volcanoes that are now showing activity on Reykjanes peninsula

Reykjanes volcano
Krýsuvík volcano
Fagradalsfjall volcano (added from 04-March-2021)

Fagradalsfjall volcano has no document eruption history over the last 10.000 years and the main volcano location is unknown if it exists.

Updates from the last few hours

  • Small rift valley has started to form between Keili mountain and Fagradalsfjall mountain. This is part of the rift zone that is Reykjanes peninsula.
  • Harmonic tremor stopped this morning and as Icelandic Met Office has been telling the news the origins of this harmonic tremor was earthquake activity that was so dense it created this harmonic activity. In the morning the activity dropped a little.
  • Magma continues to move in the Fagradalsfjall volcano system.
  • Earthquake activity is now between the volcanoes Reykjanes, Fagradalsfjalls and Krýsuvík. Why that is unclear but magma movement for now is only in Fagrdalsfjall volcano system.
  • Largest earthquake in last 24 hours had a magnitude of Mw4,5. Over the last 48 hours total of 72 earthquakes with magnitude over Mw3,0 have taken place. There is no sign of activity slowing down.

 

Dense earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano, Fagradalsfjall volcano and Krýsuvík volcano. A lot of red dots showing new earthquakes and green stars showing earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 on Reykjanes peninsula
Heavy earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula in several volcanoes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is currently impossible to know for sure what happens next since this situation is extremely complicated because of all the volcanoes interactions and earthquake activity.

Live internet broadcasts of Keilir

Beint vefstreymi af skjálftasvæðinu – Efstaleiti (Rúv.is)
Keil­ir í beinni (mbl.is)
Keilir og skjálftasvæðið (YouTube)

If anything major happens I am going to post update soon as possible.

Article updated at 15:38 UTC.

Daily update for Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes 1-March-2021 at 16:27 UTC

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

There has not been a lot of change in the earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. There has been a slight increase in earthquake activity compared to yesterday (28-Febrary-2021) but that increase is not a lot and only from 800 earthquakes to 1000 earthquakes for a 12 hour time period according to the news. Largest earthquake in last 24 hours had a magnitude of Mw4,9 and was felt over a wide area in West Iceland and was clearly felt in Reykjanes area.

Dense pattern of earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula. Green stars and a lot of red dots.
The earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There have now been two earthquakes outside Reykjanestá out in the ocean. A swarm of earthquakes started to appear at that location few hours ago. It is unclear what this earthquake activity means for now. This earthquake activity is something that needs to be watched since it seems to be connected for some unknown reason to the main earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula.

Update at 16:57 UTC

The newest earthquake has the magnitude of Mw5,1 at 16:35 UTC. This earthquake was felt over a wide area in western Iceland and all over Reykjanes peninsula.

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Article updated at 16:58 UTC.


Article updated at 23:35 UTC.

Daily update for 28-February-2021 at 21:18 UTC for earthquake swarm activity in Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes

I have now switched to daily update for the earthquake swarm in Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes.

The situation in the earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula in the volcanoes Reykjanes and Krýsuvík remains the same. During the last 24 hours the largest earthquakes have had magnitude of Mw4,7 and a lot of earthquakes with magnitudes above M3,0. No magma movement has been detected so far but University of Iceland – Earth science department warned that detection of magma is only limited to the first 5 km of Earth crust and any magma movement below 5 km might not be detected by seismometer. It also issued that signs of magma might be getting lost in all this earthquake activity that is currently taking place and no clear sign of magma have been detected. The whole thing can be read on Facebook here. Text in English is provided by Eldfjallafræði og náttúruvárhópur Háskóla Íslands about this.

A lot of earthquakes close to south-west end of Reykjanes peninsula also a lot of red dots on the map showing fresh earthquake activity that has been taking place in the last hour.
Current earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Some of the earthquake activity has migrated closer to the mountain Keilir. Other earthquake activity appears to be located at the same place as before. That location is close to Fagradalsfjall mountain and Krýsuvík volcano. If that changes anything when it comes to this earthquake activity I don’t know but the risk is there. Icelandic Met Office is now hoping that the earthquake swarm ends next week.

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

Update on Reykjanes and Krýsuvík volcanoes activity at 15:13 UTC on 27-February-2021

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

Largest earthquake in the last 24 hour had a magnitude of Mw5,2 at 08:17 UTC and this earthquake was felt over a wide area in west Iceland. Over the last 48 hours there have been 95 earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0. GPS is showing a lot of displacement and those information can be found here. Largest displacement has been in and around Krýsuvík and other GPS stations on Reykjanes peninsula.

Green stars show the earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. The green stars go from south-west and to north-east but there is also a lot of red dots showing new fresh earthquake activity.
Earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Cracks have also formed in one road and other surface damage and other small damages have started to appear in buildings and roads on Reykjanes peninsula. There is going to be a storm in Iceland until early 2-March-2021. This storm is going to reduce the detection of smaller earthquakes in this earthquake swarm while it goes over Iceland.

All this information can change without warning.

News about cracks in the road on Reykjanes peninsula

Sprungur á Suðurstrandavegi vegna skjálftanna (Rúv.is, Icelandic, Pictures)

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)