Update on the Mw5,2 earthquake south of Hekla volcano

The earthquake today (11-November-2021) at 13:21 UTC with the magnitude of Mw5,2 seems to align it self with faults that are part of SISZ rather than being part of Hekla volcano system. The high frequency tone on 2 – 4Hz that I did see on few nearby SIL stations has started to lower again after the main earthquake. Earthquake activity in the area is currently dropping but it might increase again without warning.

Continue reading “Update on the Mw5,2 earthquake south of Hekla volcano”

Earthquake north of Hveragerði town

At 01:28 UTC on 27-October-2021 an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,3 took place 4 km north of Hveragerði town. This earthquake was clearly felt in Hveragerði and nearby area. No damage has been reported because of this earthquake according to earliest news.

Earthquake north of Hveragerði shown with a green star
Earthquake north of Hveragerði. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is a chance there is going to be more earthquake activity in this area. But few earthquakes with no more activity is also common in SISZ.

Earthquake swarm close to Hveragerði (South Icelandic Seismic Zone)

Today (10-Januar-2020) at 13:10 UTC a earthquake with the magnitude of Mw3,9 took place just 4,9 km outside of Hveragerði town in south Iceland. This earthquake was felt over a wide area. Several small aftershocks have taken place following the first earthquake.


The earthquake activity in SISZ just 4,9 east of Hveragerði town. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is unclear if this earthquake is a foreshock or just normal earthquake for this area. Its been 12 years since two Mw6,3 earthquakes (May 2008) took place in SISZ and the shortest time between earthquakes of this size on SISZ is around 10 to 13 years.

Currently my geophones are offline due to technical issues that I am going to fix in March after I have moved back to Iceland.

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Small earthquake swarm on SISZ 6 km north-east of Selfoss town

Today (13-February-2018) at around 08:00 UTC a earthquake swarm started in SISZ just 6 km north-east of Selfoss town. This earthquake swarm is currently ongoing. Largest earthquake so far had the magnitude of 2,8 and was felt in Selfoss and nearby farm.


Earthquake swarm in SISZ today. The red dots show the location of the earthquake swarm. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Last earthquake swarm in this area was in 21-October-2017 in this exact same location (article here). No damage has been reported following this earthquake and in Iceland no damage is to be expected from a magnitude 2,8 earthquake.

Strong earthquake swarm in south Iceland yesterday (20-October-2017) – minor damage reported

Yesterday (20-October-2017) a strong earthquake swarm happened in south Iceland on the SISZ fault zone. This earthquake swarm is currently ongoing and stronger earthquakes cannot be ruled out at this point.


The earthquake swarm as of the writing of this article. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake that has happened so far had the magnitude of 4,1 and four magnitude 2,9 earthquakes have happened at the writing of this article. During the strongest earthquake yesterday some minor damage has been reported, items falling out of shelves and breaking, picture frames getting skewed on walls. For a short time the village of Stokkseyri lost all line phone communication, I don’t know how long that outage lasted but phone service was restored quickly according to the news on Rúv. Largest earthquake was felt over a wide area, all the way to Reykjavík and up to Akranes village and east to Hella village.


The magnitude 4,1 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Dellukot. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC Licence page for more details.


The magnitude 4,1 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Böðvarshólar. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC Licence page for more details.

I don’t know if this earthquake activity signals a new period of earthquake swarm in SISZ. I have listed large history of earthquakes of the SISZ in a article from 2011 here.

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Earthquake swarm in SISZ (South Icelandic Seismic Zone)

Today on 6-May-2017 a magnitude 4,4 – 4,5 earthquake hit South Icelandic Seismic Zone (SISZ) at 12:08:58 UTC. This earthquake was felt over a wide area, a magnitude 3,3 earthquake also took place around one minute after the main earthquake. The earthquake took place on a fault that might have last moved in the year 1623 or 1624, as is detailed here. Current earthquake activity does classify as a “Suðurlandsskjálfti”, only earthquakes with magnitude above 5,5 are classified as such. This is regardless a strong earthquake activity in SISZ for a long time now.


The earthquake activity on SISZ. The green stars mark the location of the magnitude 4,4 – 4,5 and the magnitude 3,3 earthquakes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


The magnitude 4,4 – 4,5 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Böðvarshólar, north-west Iceland. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence page for more details.


The magnitude 4,4 – 4,5 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð, the earthquake happens just west of this geophone location. The geophone is saturated by incoming earthquake signal. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence page for more details.


The magnitude 3,3 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð, the earthquake happens just west of this geophone location. This earthquake also saturates the geophone (just a little). This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence page for more details.

More aftershocks are expected in this are for the next few hours to days. It is difficult to know if this means there is going to be a larger earthquake activity at this location or nearby. It’s always a chance, but it is not possible to know that for sure.

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Article has been updated at 15:55 UTC. Minor text fixes.

Overview of micro-earthquake activity in Iceland 28-September-2016

This is a short overview of the micro-earthquake activity in Iceland on 28-September-2016. Please note that some of this earthquake activity may have started some days ago and only got really busy on 28th September 2016.

Kolbeinsey Island / Ridge

Late on the 28-September-2016 an earthquake swarm took place in Kolbeinsey Island / Ridge. This is the largest earthquake swarm in this article. With the largest earthquakes having the magnitude above 3,0. Due to distance from the SIL network exact calculation of the magnitude and depth doesn’t appear to be possible. Last eruption taking place in Kolbeinsey Island / Ridge took place in the year 1755. No other eruptions have been documented since, but they might regardless have happened. The area is far from land and difficult to observe.

East of Grímsey Island (Tjörnes Fracture Zone)

Minor earthquake swarm has been taking place earth of Grímsey Island in a area that many suspect is a volcano (it is marked as such in the GVP database). The earthquake swarm in question does not appear to be a volcanic in origin. This appear to be a tectonic activity taking place, as the movement of TFZ is 20mm lateral movement/year (they fault slide each other 20mm/year) the rift movement is only 5mm/year (eastern part only). Image showing the movements can be found here (vedur.is).

160929_0025
Earthquake activity in Kolbeinsey Island and Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

South Seismic Zone (SISZ)

A small swarm of earthquakes has been taking place in SISZ this week. The largest earthquake in this swarm has only had the magnitude of 2,1. The activity is only minor and does not suggest a large earthquake is about to happen. This might be aftershocks of the earthquakes in 2000 or 2008.

160929_0045
The earthquake activity in SISZ. It’s only minor and west of Selfoss (red dot). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Reykjanes peninsula

Earthquake swarm started on 28-September-2016 on the Reykjanes peninsula. This earthquake swarm was not strong and the largest earthquake in this swarm only had the magnitude of 2,1 and all other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. Total of 60 earthquake happened when the swarm was active.

160928_1425
The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes peninsula. It was not big in magnitude, but had a total of 60 earthquakes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Few earthquake have also been taking place around Iceland without any other activity. This type of one-off earthquake activity is common in Iceland. Why it happens is unclear.

Article updated at 02:03 UTC on 29-September-2016. Word corrections.