Ongoing earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano

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.

Yellow dots east of Grindavík town on Reykjanes peninsula. Few blue dots showing earthquakes that are older then 1 day.
Earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

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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Strong earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano

Today (10-January-2021) at 03:15 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,1. This earthquake was felt far away as Reykjavík. A swarm of small earthquakes is currently ongoing in this area. This earthquake activity is in the Reykjanes volcano.

Green star north of Grindavík town. Groups of small earthquakes north and east of Grindavík town on the map little from the coastline. Earthqukake activity in Krýsuvík lake and in Hengill volcano.
The earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Over 100 earthquakes have happened in this area for the last 48 hours. Most of them are small, less than magnitude Mw1,0 in size. There are not many earthquakes with magnitude over Mw1,0 currently in this earthquake activity. There is no sign that magma has started to find a way to the surface. Currently the magma remains in the crust. GPS data suggests that there is some type of change going on but I am unclear what that means. The GPS data can be viewed here.

Earthquake activity continues in Reykjanes volcano

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.

Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano and earthquake activity on Reykjanes ridge

Today (29-December-2020) an earthquake swarm took place in Reykjanes volcano. This was just small earthquakes but the amount is considerable. This earthquake activity happens because of magma inflation in this area.


Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Reykjanes ridge

Today (29-December-2020) and earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,1 took place on Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake was far out in the ocean. Only one other smaller earthquake seems to have happened in that same area after the largest earthquake. Otherwise there has not been any more earthquake activity today out on the Reykjanes ridge.


Earthquake activity on Reykjanes ridge. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Strong earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (21-December-2020) at 11:38 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,9 took place in Bárðarbunga volcano.


The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake had two earlier earthquakes with magnitude of Mw2,4 and Mw2,8. Smaller earthquake activity seems to have stopped or happening at slow rate at the writing of this article. Currently Bárðarbunga volcano has an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 to Mw5,0 every few weeks since end of the eruption in 2015. This pattern doesn’t seems to be changing.

Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano early morning

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.

Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano and deep earthquake activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano

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.

Brennisteinsfjöll volcano

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.

Minor earthquake swarm in Askja volcano

Today (05-December-2020) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Askja volcano. All earthquakes in this earthquake swarm where under Mw2,0 in magnitude.


Earthquake activity in Askja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity suggests that magma is on the move in Askja volcano. Nothing however suggests that Askja volcano is close to an eruption of any type. Current situation seems to have been created by the fact Bárðarbunga volcano 2014 eruption almost started an eruption in Askja volcano by injecting magma into it. That didn’t happen because the magma stopped before reaching Askja volcano magma chambers. That interaction might have changed the situation inside Askja volcano magma chambers resulting in the earthquake activity that is now appearing in Askja volcano.

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Earthquake swarm north of Grindavík town in Reykjanes volcano

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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Minor earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano

After months of being quiet there has now been new earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. The earthquake activity that took place was all just minor earthquakes but the deepest of them had a depth of 14 km and the second deepest had a depth of 12 km. Other earthquakes where at shallower depth.


Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is not possible to know what is going on in Öræfajökull volcano because what happens before an eruption is not documented in any details and the documents that exists today are old and the oldest documents of an eruption in Öræfajökull volcano are getting close to 660 years old. The younger documents are only 293 years old. This earthquake activity seems to be over at the writing of this article but it might resume without warning at any time.

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