Interesting earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano

This is not the most known volcano in Iceland, it also has not erupted in the last 10.000 years at least. Normally this volcano does not have any earthquakes and it remains really quiet. Last major earthquake activity was in the year 1996 in relation to the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and in Grímsfjall volcano that year. This volcano is named Tungnafellsjökull. It is a small volcano compared to other volcanoes in the area. During the past few days there have been several interesting earthquakes in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. They are small, around ML1.6 the largest ones. But they do have the depth of 10 to 12 km. That is what makes this earthquake activity interesting. Since this suggest that magma might be pushing into the volcano. However at this point in time, there is nothing to suggest an eruption is even close to start there. But with all long dormant volcanoes, nobody never knows what can happen next in them.

The earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. The volcano is located NW of Vatnajökull glacier. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

Following the later earthquake today. This activity started on Skrokkalda SIL station. But this might be due to activity in Hamarinn volcano (Loki-Fögrufjöll at GVP). Not Tungnafellsjökull volcano.

The odd tremor activity on Skrokkalda SIL station. I do not yet have any explanation for this activity. Note that Skrokkalda SIL station is on top of a volcano (not on GVP list, but geological maps made in Iceland), named Skrokkalda, it also has not erupted in historical times to my knowledge. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

What happens next in Tungnafellsjökull volcano is impossible to know. But it is most likely going to do what it has been doing for the past 10.000 years. A lot of nothing.

15 Replies to “Interesting earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano”

  1. And another at Tungnafellsjökull:

    06.04.2012 20:01:20 64.766 -17.774 4.3 km 1.5 30.68 14.7 km ENE of Nýidalur

  2. Tungnafellsjökull – More difficult for the British Press to pronounce than, “Katla.”


  3. Saturday
    07.04.2012 03:08:27 64.767 -17.788 1.8 km 2.7 90.06 14.1 km ENE of Nýidalur

  4. I see this is ongoing, quite a cluster. It’s like Iceland is playing a game with us so we cant focus on one particular area with any confidence. I still think Katla is prime suspect and Krisuvik has potential given the recent acivity on and off reykjanes ridge and peninsula.

    But somewhere in the vatnajokul area trouble does appear to be brewing, there must be a labrynth of magma channels down there filling one area after another until…

    Can we have a sweepstake Jon?

  5. The earthquake swarm is ongoing. There is more to this then meets the eye in my opinion. I do wonder if this is a case of rapid development event that takes place just right before an eruption.

    Then I am thinking of Chaitén type of development. What type of eruption might happen is impossible to know at this time.

    There is also a good chance that this is just going to pass over and stop. With nothing more happening.

    1. My thoughts exactly Jón. After seeing more and more quakes last night Chaiten was the first on my mind. 10,000 year sleep and bang!

  6. They seem to be getting shallower quite quickly

    07.04.2012 10:23:07 64.805 -17.692 0.4 km 1.8 56.56 19.9 km ENE of Nýidalur
    07.04.2012 08:31:15 64.764 -17.758 6.6 km 1.9 52.49 15.4 km ENE of Nýidalur
    07.04.2012 07:45:50 64.772 -17.832 4.1 km 2.3 36.16 12.3 km ENE of Nýidalur
    07.04.2012 07:34:13 64.790 -17.800 1.3 km 1.8 90.01 14.6 km ENE of Nýidalur
    07.04.2012 06:43:29 64.762 -17.789 1.9 km 2.0 57.02 13.9 km ENE of Nýidalur
    07.04.2012 06:43:25 64.761 -17.790 2.9 km 2.5 90.04 13.8 km ENE of Nýidalur
    07.04.2012 05:33:14 64.781 -17.845 3.2 km 1.6 32.89 12.2 km ENE of Nýidalur
    07.04.2012 05:04:36 64.771 -17.794 4.5 km 1.5 55.5 14.0 km ENE of Nýidalur
    07.04.2012 03:08:27 64.776 -17.813 9.6 km 3.0 99.0 13.3 km ENE of Nýidalur

  7. … and this one is “upgraded” to 3.0:
    07.04.2012 03:08:27 64.776 -17.813 9.6 km 3.0 99.0 13.3 km ENE of Nýidalur

  8. Saturday
    07.04.2012 10:23:07 64.805 -17.691 0.3 km 2.0 57.35 19.9 km NNW of Bárðarbunga

  9. We are seeing an increase of activity in Vatnajokull, which is quite expected by Icelandic geologists. So, we might expect more unexpected eruptions around Vatnajokull in the next years and decades, with difficult names to pronounce for the foreign media.

    This includes Bardarbunga, Hamarinn, Askja, Kverfjoll, Esjufjoll and Tunganfellsjokull. But the most likely are Askja and Hamarinn, together with more activity of Grimsvotn.

    1. Öraefajokull…. I can’t wait to hear the international media try that one. I’ve lived here since 96 and I’m just now getting the hang of it. It makes me wonder, with all the activity seen around the country, when will she start to become restless? Will she give fair worning like Eyjafjallajökull, or 20-80 mins like Hekla?

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