Dike intrusion starting in Torfajökull volcano ?

There was a small earthquake at 23:50 UTC in the Torfafjökull volcano. The earthquake it self was only ML1.7 in size, but the depth was 15 km. But that depth indicates that the earthquake was started by magma rather then tectonic process in the area. This would mean that a dike intrusion was starting in Torfajökull volcano at present time.

I did record this earthquake on my geophone, but this earthquake had a magma looking signature in it. But it was not clear and hard to see due to a minor weather effect in the area. Torfajökull volcano is not monitored with GPS instruments at the moment.

This is unlikely to be a pre-event to a eruption in the area. But dike intrusions appears to be a common events in Torfajökull volcano.

30 Replies to “Dike intrusion starting in Torfajökull volcano ?”

  1. does it happen often, or is it a SING? Can we expect another air-traveling blockade in Europe soon? Beacuse I don`n know weather I should already pack, or I can stay here a few days longer.

    1. @Waldemar, There is currently nothing that indicates that a new eruption is starting. Dike intrusion usually stays in the ground. So a new air travelling disruption is highly unlikely to happen any time soon.

      1. Well said, Jón.
        We may some times ask silly questions and place stupid comments, but they are meant to be serious, and you, most willfully, try to answer them all.
        Feel free to say it whenever we go too far, beyond the limits of urbanity.
        And then again, about Icelandic volcanoes: Torfajökull ? Could never expect anything coming from this one. Indeed, this is a land for volcanic surprises and that is what makes it so facinating.
        Thanks for sharing your time and knowledge with us.

  2. “Dike intrusion usually stays in the ground”

    Except when they don’t.

    Sorry, I had to go there… humor ‘ya know.

    While Eyjafjallajökull was doing it’s thing, and later as everyone was peering at Katla’s creaks groans under the western flank… Torfajökull was quietly puttering away with it’s own little quake stack.

    I figured ‘yall might want to take a gander at it.


    For Renato Rio… try that colloquialism on for size. 😀

    1. @Lurking: For now I’ve tried to address the issue in a more polite way.
      Jón’s blog simply doesn’t deserve such a colloquial approach. But wait for me on the next time: I’ll show him how dike “intrusions” should be taken care of. But I’m afraid I won’t have the chance – according to Jón’s keen, good mannered, reply, we’ll have to wait three more years. 😉
      Thanks for the plot on Torfajökull. Never noticed those quakes before. And there are a few at those depths that Jón mentioned.
      OT I’ve been wondering if you still have that plot with Sumatran quakes. There’s been some activity there lately and it would be interesting to check how it’s been evolving over time. Many thanks.

      1. Well, we could always discuss dike (or dyke if Gijs is with us) intrusions over a Vulkanbräu some day. Albeit the chance of a violent eruption following a successful intrusion seems too high to risk one irl. 😉


  3. Jón: The water flow intensity at Jökulsárlón is determined by tides, winds or by melting, or by them all? The flux is looking pretty intense this morning.

  4. Seriously though, aren’t dike intrusions going on all the time in Iceland, particularly along the EVZ and WWZ.

    Also, Askja (station ASK) is showing some very interesting tremor spikes witha an instantaneous rise in tremor intensity of ~1200 (or a 60% increase). These pulses seem to last from under an hour to some ten hours maximum. And Jón, please don’t tell me it’s the weather! 😉

  5. Station Krokuttuvotn (KVO) is showing even sharper peaks with intensity increasing by a factor from ~35% up to ~200% (from around 1000 to 3000 in the 2-4Hz range, 1800 – 3600 in the 1-2Hz band and 2800 to 3800 in th 0.5-1Hz band).

    Where is this station Jón?

    1. Henrik: I was just checking tremor intensities when you wrote. There are other stations also showing a rise, and winds are mild.
      And LOL about “dyke intrusions”. 🙂

  6. Jón! I must say you’ve built a fantastic site in a short space of time. Well done and thank you!!

  7. @ Henrik – Krokkuvotn is just north of the lake Myvatn. It is close to the Krafla volcano. There is a station there taking readings of geothermic activity. So it would be interesting to see what these tremor charts mean.

    1. Correction..the translation got a bit screwed up. 😉

      There is a geothermal plant at Myvatn using the heat from the volcanic field nearby. There was a drilling a while back where it was uncovered that magma was located only a few kilometers deep. This was the reason for the extraordinary heat. Still it would be interesting to see what the tremors are all about. 🙂

  8. @Renato Rio,

    Um… “Lurking: For now I’ve tried to address the issue in a more polite way.”

    Not sure which bit of phraseology your referring to. “taking a gander” at something or that “dike intrusions staying in the ground except when they don’t”… such as Fimmvörðuháls or Piton over on reunion.

    “taking a gander” is just an odd way of saying ‘to look at.’

    1. @Lurking: Actually, none of those you mentioned. I meant the “intruder” who was buggering off at Jón with his nasty comments and I thought you directed a joke to this person when you said “dike intrusion”. Never mind. I begin to get more acquainted to your phraseology – still a lot to learn. 😉
      Though a glossary is warmly welcome… 😉

  9. Jón: Could this “dike intrusion” cover such a large stretch from Torfajökul to Eyjafjallajökul? For that’s what deep earthquakes seem to tell.

    1. The answer to that question is no. But a magma intrusion into the fissure system from Bárðarbunga volcano that crosses Torfajökull volcano can do that and has done so in the past.

      1. The intrusion at Torfajokull linked to Bardarbunga fissure would be a scary possibility, this is the fissre where Laki occurred! It’s interesting the awakening of activity goes all the way along the volcano fissure, between Torfajokull to Askja, and close to Grimsvotn.

        Besides that, there is an intrusion and swarm currently at Katla.

        Seems both Bardarbunga and Katla will be the next eruptions in Iceland. When we see a bigger M4 earthquake, then we know it’s about to begin.

  10. Well the new camera is wonderful……. Which way is the ocean? Behind the camera?
    and what is making the small puff of steam in the center background? Forgive the interested but non volcanic questions…. perhaps they could be catagoized as ‘pop-corn’ questions……….. not really important but interesting only to the uninformed. So pass the bowl………Thanks, and Best!motsfo

    1. The ocean is few hundret meters behind the camera which is located on the bridge over the river. An old photo from the 60s shows the same area without bridge and a much smaller lagoon. http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/extra/mydiscuss/display/21351442
      The puff in the background is most likely just a cloud. In this area there is no actual geothermal activity to my knowledge.
      This area hosts also a very cool event every year, a firework to raise money for the local search and rescue teams: http://cdn.fotocommunity.com/photos/22320270.jpg

      1. well it appeared to be a slight steam rise like You get over warmer water when it enters cold water…. it stayed in the same spot and i was beginning to think it was a smudge and the link only takes me to a motorcross event and if the ocean is behind the camera and the sun is now setting towards the south then why would there be a glow northward? sorry to be unclear…..
        i was thinking it was some beach event……….. pinic or such. Is that possible?
        ………..Thanks for answering my questions………. Best!motsfo

      2. The air in this area is ususally pretty cold, since the big glacier is not far away. I had visits there when the lagoon was completely covered with fog, while there was nothing like this a few kilometers away. The micro climate there can be pretty different.
        You can sit there at the beach, no problem. And regarding the glow, I think its just clouds which got illuminated by the sunset.

  11. Out of curiosity on the new Mila cam of the Lake what is the red glow on the horizon in the right of the horizon?

    1. I think it’s a swarm. It’s not of the several ones that occurred during the past 3 months…

Comments are closed.