Minor earthquake swarm north-east of Grímsey island

Yesterday (01-March-2021) at 19:53 UTC an magnitude Mw3,3 earthquake took place north-east of Grímsey island. This might be a new earthquake swarm in this area since earthquake swarms in Tjörnes Fracture Zone often star slowly. Earthquake swarms are common in this part of Iceland.

Green star and yellow and red dots north-east of Grímsey island
Earthquake activity north-east of Grímsey island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is a chance of a stronger earthquake swarm in this area. Currently the activity remains small and nothing more might happen. This earthquake activity is not connected to what is happening on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Next article about Reykjanes peninsula activity is going to be written tomorrow (2-Mars-2021) unless something major happens.

Earthquake swarm east of Grímsey island

Since 4-February-2021 an earthquake swarm has been going on east of Grímsey island in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone. This was not a large earthquake swarm, with mostly just earthquakes with magnitude of Mw0,0 to Mw3,0. With largest earthquake taking place on 9-February-2021 at 20:20 UTC with magnitude Mw3,0. After that earthquake activity seems to have slowed down considerable amount.

Earthquake activity east of Grímsey island shown by blue and orange dots on the map. The earthquakes are out in the ocean.
Earthquake activity east of Grímsey island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity is common in this area and in 2020 several large earthquake swarms took place in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone.

Small earthquake swarm on Tjörnes Fracture Zone south east of Grímsey island

Yesterdat (02-December-2020) at 11:38 UTC an small earthquake swarm started on Tjörnes Fracture Zone just south-east of Grímsey island. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,1. This earthquake swarm was small but there is also a strong snowstorm in Iceland and that has limited detection of earthquakes since late Monday (30-November-2020).


The Tjörnes Fracture Zone earthquake activity. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This is a different area from the area that had strongest earthquake swarm in 40 years on Tjörnes Fracture Zone in June 2020 when the largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw6,0. It is difficult to know if there is going to be more earthquake activity in this area. There is always a risk that is going to happen.

Felt earthquake 3 km north-east of Húsavík town last night

Yesterday (17-October-2020) at 22:02 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,3 took place 3 km north-east of Húsavík town in the Flatey – Húsavík fault. This was followed by few minor earthquakes. This earthquake was felt in Húsavík but no damage was reported from it.


The earthquake activity close to Húsavík. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This area of the Flatey – Húsavík fault has not seen any earthquake activity until now, even if there has been a strong earthquake swarm going on in nearby areas since June 2020 . There continues to be a risk of stronger earthquakes in Tjörnes Fracture Zone.

Strong earthquake activity in Flatey – Húsavík fault on Tjörnes Fracture Zone

Early morning today (6-October-2020) an large earthquake swarm took place in Flatey – Húsavík fault in Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Total of seven earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 took place during the earthquake swarm this morning. Largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw4,1 other magnitudes where smaller. Around 300 earthquakes took place during this earthquake swarm.


The earthquake activity on Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The largest earthquakes where felt and no damage was reported from this earthquake swarm. This earthquake swarm might be ongoing at the writing of this article. There is continued high risk of a earthquake with magnitude Mw6,0 to Mw7,0 in this area and on larger area in Tjörnes Fracture Zone because how complex the faults are in this area.

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Increase in earthquake swarm east of Grímsey island during the night of 26-September-2020

During the night of 26-September-2020 the earthquake swarm that has been going on east of Grímsey island in area called Nafir increased. Total of six earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 took place during the night and the largest earthquakes had a magnitude of Mw4,3. This area has a volcano that is unnamed but often called Nafir. There is no Global Volcanism Program profile on this and last eruption in this volcano is unknown. The largest earthquakes where felt in Grímsey island and other nearby populated areas. According to Icelandic news people of Grímsey island are tired of the constant earthquake activity that has been going on in Tjörnes Fracture Zone since 19th June 2020.


The earthquake activity east of Grímsey island in Nafir volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

In February 2018 a magnitude Mw5,2 earthquake took place in this location. There are no sign that an eruption is about to happen with this volcano but that is difficult to be sure about. All this earthquake activity currently seems to be tectonic in nature as it is happening in a rift valley in this location. Magma movement and any eruption is going to appear clearly on Grímsey SIL station and other nearby SIL stations in north Iceland. More earthquake activity is expected in this area and current earthquake swarm is ongoing at the writing of this article.

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Earthquake swarm east of Grímsey island

Today (25-September-2020) at 11:37 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,7 and this earthquake started an earthquake swarm in this location for the last several hours. At the writing of this article between 80 to 90 earthquakes have taken place at this location. There are no reports about this earthquake having been felt in Grímsey island.


The earthquake swarm east of Grímsey island. This image is used with permission and copyright belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake swarm is not connected to the earthquake activity on the western part of Tjörnes Fracture Zone. This earthquake swarm is ongoing at the writing of this article.

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Strong earthquake swarm in Tjörnes Fracture Zone – Flatey – Húsavík fault

Today (15-September-2020) at 14:52 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw4,6 took place on Flatey – Húsavík fault line. This earthquake was felt over a wide area and at the writing of this article no damage has been reported in the news.


The earthquake activity in Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Image used with permission and copyright belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Second largest earthquake took place at 17:06 UTC and had a magnitude of Mw4,0. This earthquake was felt but less than earlier earthquake because of smaller magnitude. This earthquake activity has increased the risk of a large earthquake in this area or on nearby faults. This might result in a earthquake in the magnitude range of Mw6,0 to Mw7,1 in this part of the Tjörnes Fracture Zone. The earthquake swarm is ongoing at the writing of this article.

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Earthquake yesterday (14-September-2020) in Tjörnes Fracture Zone

Yesterday (14-September-2020) an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,4 took place in Tjörnes Fracture Zone, this earthquake was felt in Dalvík and Ólafsfirði towns. This is the first earthquake with magnitude above Mw3,0 in at least a month in this area. The earthquake swarm has been ongoing but all the earthquakes that have happened have been small in magnitude.


The earthquake swarm in Tjörnes Fracture Zone. This image is used with permission and copyright belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake swarm is ongoing as it has been since 19th of June 2020 when it started. I don’t expect that to change and risk of a large earthquake remains in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone.

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New earthquake swarm in Tjörnes Fracture Zone (volcano)

Today (21-August-2020) an earthquake swarm started in Tjörnes Fracture Zone volcano. It is unclear if this earthquake activity is because of tectonic activity. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,2 at the writing of this article. Other earthquakes in this swarm had smaller in magnitude.


The earthquake swarm (green star) in Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This is a new earthquake swarm and is not connected to the earthquake swarm in the western part of Tjörnes Fracture Zone. This are two separate earthquake swarms now happening. This earthquake activity is ongoing at the writing of this article in both earthquake swarms.