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.
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 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.
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.
*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.
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.
Cameras and links might go offline without warning.
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Article updated at 16:53 UTC. Article updated at 21:13 UTC.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Icelandic News about the steam activity that has been detected.
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