The Hekla volcano system earthquake last night

Here is a high resolution image of the Hekla volcano system earthquake yesterday. The earthquake was located in south-east part of the Hekla volcano system. But that area has been having earthquakes for few months now, starting few years ago. I am unclear on why this is happening in Hekla volcano system. But sometimes Hekla volcano erupts in fissures (crater row eruptions). But not from the main volcano.

This earthquake was small like the earthquakes before him, registering only at ML2.43. The depth was 10 km. It was only 15.4 km away from my geophone. But that is the reason why it appear so clearly on my geophone.

Small weather news

Here is the view from my apartment in Hvammstangi earlier today. This is due to a storm that is coming from the north of Iceland. The winds are strong and the snow is on the move due that. The frost is only about -3C. But with the wind it goes down to -20 to -40C.

Click on both pictures to get full resolution.

77 Replies to “The Hekla volcano system earthquake last night”

  1. The weather looks like a windier version of what I have today.
    I think I will go home now and drink something really strong wishing that I was somewhere warm, like the famous beach close to Renato.

      1. @Carl: It is bright and sunny, 33º C outside and the beach is packed with gorgeous women.
        What the heck am I supposed to be doing here watching volcanoes and ice storms?
        Just waiting for the sun to go lower so I don’t get sunburned. I’m still in my “winter” fur, not ready to get its full blunt.

      2. I wish I was there… We could go and have a drink and hit a few bars looking at the beautiful women. *sigh*
        Haha, you have never seen anything whiter than a swede in december! I would go so red from sunburn that I would explode and then I am not even blond.

  2. It’s snowing in the UK, but no winds. The temperature is about -2 but was -7 last night. Our roads come to a standstill at about 0.5cm of snow. English cannot cope with snow at all because we are not used to it.

    I am looking forward to your storm quietening down so I can see what is going on there.

  3. In South of Iceland there is rock getting blowing away due to wind according to the news. This rocks are big enough to damage cars and break windows. Under Eyjafjallajökli the wind is topping 50m/s according to the same news.

  4. Azores: warning of volcanic eruption at sea
    The President of the Regional Service of Civil Protection of the Azores (SRPCBA) ruled out any risk to people associated with the possibility of being underwater volcanic eruption occurs between the islands of central and western groups of the archipelago.

    Nevertheless, compared to the warning received from the Information Centre and the Azores Seismological Surveillance (civilian) that an eruption could be occurring in this area since early December, the Civil Protection comes with the “phenomenon carefully,” assured Peter Chapman the Lusa news agency.

    The President of SRPCBA said that the situation was also reported to the maritime authorities to take steps for the possibility of gathering information for vessels operating in the area that eventually will be recording the eruption.

    Teresa Ferreira of CIVILIAN, justified the suspicion of an outbreak among the island groups of western and central zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, recorded with more than a hundred earthquakes in the last 10 days.

    The researcher said the Lusa that the area in question is located more than 100 km nearest islands ¿Flores, Corvo, Faial and Graciosa ¿and at depths ranging from 800 to 2000 meters.

    The last documented eruption occurred in marine waters of the Azores in 1998 occurred off the Serreta, Terceira Island.

    1. What the hell are they talking about?
      First of all the hotspot is between Terceira and Sao Miguel, and there is quite simply no way something could go off a 100Km to the west of Corvo. Corvo and flores is tectonically a different island group then the rest. And the western side of the MAR has not erupted in 1,6M years.
      The place that have the quake activity is between Terceira and Sao Miguel (east of MAR). The eruption will be at Dom João de Castro Reef, a massive shield volcano smack bang between Terceira and Sao Miguel. It has come almost a meter closer to the surface during the last ten years due to magmatic uplift and have high constant tremor levels and heavy quaking. When it erupts again it will lift once again above the water level, this time perhaps for good.

      I think someone confused east end west here.

      1. No i will not go there, my life didn’t permit it… but i will post all the info i get. So if i understand you this place they say it’s not the one expected?

      2. @Carl: Your educated “guess work” coupled with your fantastic intuition is obviously a winning combination! Congrats.

      1. The star you see on this link (3,6 that they issued the warning on) is right ontop of Dom de Joao de Castro.
        I think someone got confused.
        The red fields that look like a 3-armed octopus is the tectonic Rifts of the MAR and the Acor fracture zone. Those myriads of quakes are purely tectonic. But the star is magmatic and indicative of an eruption. But it is not the first there. Data is correct on the link, but the interpretetion is wrong.

        On Luis link, click on interactive map. The red blinking spot is the place where the volcano will go.

  5. Hekla is not happy about the storm.

    The strainmeters are tilting heavilly to positive, and that is not due to the storm. The figures are for that matter automatically corrected against barometric preasure and are not influenced by the wind since they are underground.

    This is not “The Hekla Bug”, that only occurs at Icelandic midnight.

    I do not have a clue what this means since the strainmeter normally tilts to negative when an eruption begins. This all started when the 2.6M quake was and have been trening all day, except at Hella, and an hour ago that rose like a comet.
    Here are the strainpattern from Eldgos 2000.

    Compare with this one:

    Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with a coming eruption from the Hekla central vent, then it would be Burfell going bonkers. But if it really is Vatnafjöll part of Hekla going for the first time in a long time it would be like this I think. Vatnafjöll was the site of todays 2.6, and it looks like a tectonic quake according to Jón, and I agree with him. But this is Hekla, who in the name of the Holy Spaaghetti Monster knows what she would do if she erupted at Vatnafjöll?

  6. There was just another one at the Azores, but this one was at the MAR (purely tectonic) and was a 3.4 (normal for MAR between Azores west and East).
    The 3.6 showed up on the seismometer in the ocean outside Mt Fako. Magmatic signature. The 3.4 didn’t show up at all since the MAR kind of deadens it from that distance.

  7. Jón, a question. Your new helicorder, is it sensitive enough to get readings at Tjörness?
    Perhaps it is to early yet to know, but… If it is possible, and if you get a good read later on from one of the large (around 3) that is within the northern caldera in the link below, could you look if it is magmatic or purely tectonic in the signature. There have been quite a few around 3 there in the few last days, and it would be fun to know which type it is.

    1. The new helicorder is in a wrong place. It is at my home this moment, as I did explain in earlier blog post.

      But I do see the largest earthquakes from TFZ in good weather and low noise conditions.

      1. I remember, but if it is a good quake in good conditions I would appreciate it if you looked at it and told us/me what type it is.

        I got a no-go on giving you the Volksmeter, since we do not build it. But, we might lend you a prototype in the spring of our SSHFR (Solid State Hydrogen Field Recorder). Problem is that it is a bit of a high maintenance equipment and I know you are moving to Denmark in spring.

      2. The last two earthquakes that I did record from TFZ (ML3,5 and ML3,2) where tectonic in nature. They where clean tectonic in nature far as I can tell. That means that the movement was sharp in the fault line. But this area moves a lot during the year, sometimes in big swarms.

        Thanks for the thoughtfulness on the Volksmeter. I plan and hope to buy it in few years time after I move to Denmark. But they are low period and useful in areas where there are few earthquakes to watch for large earthquakes in other part of the world. But this is not going to be a reality until I get my own house or something like that. As doing this in a rent apartment is not a good option due to limited space.

        I also want to get a SEP seismometer. But that is 511 pounds that I need to collect for that.

        About the SEP seismometer.

        I am going to get the tools I need. It might just take a long time to do so. I am a patience man so it is all good.

      3. Jon, could you give a small instructions for an amateur to recognize magmatic or tectonic earthquakes out of the detailed picture of your helicorders?

  8. I think the reported location of possible submarine eruption has been confirmed by the scientists:
    “THE CIVIL, Monitoring and Information Centre Sismovulcânica the Azores, has been recording since the beginning of December of intense seismic activity in a sector of Crest Middle-Atlantic, roughly halfway between the islands of Faial, Graciosa and Flores-Corvo.
    The most energetic event occurred on December 9 and reached a magnitude of 4.2 ML. In this episode lonfo Surveillance Network Sismovulcânica Azores University has already recorded about three hundred events.”

    1. I still say no.
      They used a heck of a lot of mights in that, and in the headline they said “Seismic activity in the Mid-Atlantic Crest is related to the natural process of seafloor spreading”. I get the feeling that it is a bit of fund-raising.
      Thing is that I am looking at the wave-form (think of the nice pictures that Jón is posting here), and those are definitly not magmatic. They are a bit fuzzy since they are captured some 8000 kilometres away, but the signatures are still clear enough.

    2. But, the activity is wrecking havoc for us since we get an insane amount of readings all of a sudden.
      My take on it is that is a rapid speed spread phase of the MAR that is taking place between the east and the west Azore Islands. We are talking of a slide of counted in metres, not in centimetres happening now. And, that might cause a rift eruption in a while. But, nothing sofar.
      The 3.6 quake that happened between Terceira and Sao Miguel had clear tectonic signature though. But on the other hand that is no wonder after all.

      1. So do we, but we have our own equipment close by (well relatively), so often for this forgotten part of the world we get much better recordings than others.
        We need the data for our project at Mt Fako, what we are trying to do is “see” if there is a mantle plume/hotspot under there. We are after all gonna dable with an active volcano so we need all the information we can get. That is why we (the consortium) have had entirelly new equipment developed and put into use, since we do not want kill anyone.
        Since you are from Iceland you are familiar with Kraflavirkjun and the Deep Drilling Project. Imagine pushing a cubic metre of water per second into an active magma-reservoir to produce super-critical steam.
        We do not do that lightely. We are after all trying to develop the next generation of geothermal powerplants. So we (EU strategic research fund and Swedens largest company, together with Canadas largest military company) have invested wast amounts of money into monitoring equipment.
        If we fail or cause an accident the project is dead. So even if we are further away then the CSEM-equipment we have better equipment by far.

  9. By the way, and totally OT (But as a service for the commenters of the blog):

    Since quite a few of you are outside of Europe, if you wish and love music, I have a lot of Spotify (sharp) invites. If you are from US or somesuch you need one to get access.

    For those who do not like music or do not know what Spotify is, please disregard this onetime OT post.

    Feel free to write to my onetimepost mail demiurg2(at)yahoo(dot)se (please say what your nickname is here and mention something I would know of you, I do not wish to give away them to others… 🙂 Party on!

    1. Thank you Luis.
      Looks like eruption has been confirmed near the Azores Triple junction, but seismic activity is waning for now.
      Carl: The reported location to the SW of the main island has been confirmed.

      1. Yes it seems like there is something happening at the MAR tripplejunction, but the imagery was not from there.
        You see rocks jutting out of the water and steem coming forth, that is impossible since it is 800 metres deep there and it would take a couple of months for a new island to form, and that still would take an immense eruption.
        And even odder, you see an island close by, at MAR between eastern and western Azores you cannot see islands. I would say it is pictures from either Dom de Joao de Castro, or archive photage.

  10. “Scientists from the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen on board the German research vessel Meteor have discovered a new hydrothermal vent 500 kilometers south-west of the Azores. ”
    Posted by Alison on EB

  11. Hi,

    Regarding the information that I read from the authorities in Portugal, they still don’t confirm any volcanic activity. That would be between the western and central group of Azores, along the rift, at 2km under water, and not the Banco D. João Castro underwater volcano!! There was lots of 3.0 earthquakes there and one 4.2.

  12. @Lurking: Do you remember a recent earthquake cluster in the Azores region? I remember you mentioning it was not exactly at the MAR, but in a transversal fault near by. They were strong 5+ quakes. Do you still have the locations?

  13. Well, the nearest named fracture zone on Google is to the south, It’s a bit below this plot.. which I had to remake since I don’t remember where I put the original. (the one you are talking about)

    This is a Diva-GIS rendering that I put together since it handles the multiple shapefiles of the various features well. In order to use them in Dplot I would have to fake the z value and drape it along as a series of points.

    No depth data, just lay-lon and time. 2007 to present.

    1. That was a good graph.
      The volcanic activity has been along the faultline trending to east for about a million years now without any eruptions at the MAR tripplejunction. That is why I am so surprised. But, it is still fully possible.
      The theory is that there is a hotspot located under the Sao Miguel island (the long island to the northwest of the easternmost quakefield.
      To the west of the island you have the immense Dom de Joao de Castro volcano, and on the other side is the immense double-caldera. Highest quake-amount is close to the Formigas islets that is the easternmost boundary of the caldera.

      My former recticense of thinking there is a possibility for an eruption at the MAR tripplejunction is that it normally has quake swarms, lack of historical eruptions, lack of hotspot, and no clear volcanic signatures.

      But, if it is/will be an eruption it will most likely be of the type that created the Western islands since they probably where created at the MAR.

  14. OT Necro post.

    @RonF: December 13, 2010 at 22:39 from “The earthquake swarm at Arnarvatns highlands” thread Re: Brawley CA quakes and the theorized stress wave.

    It looks like Brawley has been having a few quakes. I still stand by my idea that the “stress wave” that I was tracking is now lost in the rubble of SoCal.

    The ongoing cluster is similar to the batch that was milling about just north of there about 2 to 3 years ago. I mulled that one over for a few weeks and gave up when a group close to the south end of the Owens river kicked in.

    Of the recent Brawley group, one of the early “beach ball” solutions for a 3.9 was pointed in the completely wrong direction for San Andreas movement… I think it was a transverse fault that caused that one. Right now, the largest of them, a 4.4, is at least in the correct orientation (beach ball) to be affiliated with San Andreas motion.

    The most recent, a 4.2, is located near the Yuha Wells fault, that pesky one that cuts across the Elsinore and it’s southern half. The motion is probably not the Yuha Wells, it’s a right lateral fault and the beach ball doesn’t really fit that. I’m thinking Laguna-Saluda or Elsinore.

    Most interesting.

      1. Looks like the data is pointing to the Elsinore as being the next one most likely to be troublsome, but not sure as the article only does a talus over the meaty stuff. I’ll hunt for more info from this team.

    1. I knew of a few ISAR runs, but that is the first commentary that actually said something other than ‘check out what a plane did.’

      Thanks for the link!

    2. Most interesting yes. That whole area is shaking a lot lately and I’m sure residents are getting kinda nervous. I have been searching occassionally for information resources to get a glimpse of what seismologist that study this area are thinking right now, but hard to find. There certainly is no shortage of data so I think they are too busy right now.

      I wouldn’t be suprised if we saw something large snap on the Elsinore or SJF in the next year and the theories of how this propagates to the SAF will be tested then.

      1. THET seems to have gone down on the most recent data… but SOHO is all over the place.

      2. Katla inflating, but closer to surface? This would agree with the recent eq activity.

    1. Dunno what Jack’s got to say, but in my opinion, it’s pretty hard for Katla to not follow Eyja.

      See, Katla is alway on it’s way to an eruption. It’s a very irritable critter and it goes off quite a bit. Eyja takes a considerable amount of time to getting around to an eruption. Natch, when Eyja does finally erupt, Katla is already on it’s way to going off again.

      But.. like I said, that’s my opinion.

      1. At the moment I’m looking further north just now, something is brewing at / around the Askja area (Herðubreiðartögl, Kreppuhraun) just now. Every station is showing “inflation” AND we have a high flow of water from Laxá up north (fresh water, not glaciar – just about the only place that has not been charted).

        Don’t like the look of it at all

      2. So where do you think this water is coming from? How do you distinguish fresh water from glaciar water?

      3. Good question where the water is coming from, I don’t know, did search this morning and came up with nothing. Even looked in a book 😉 Vatns er þörf by Sigurjón Rist just now.

        There are 4 types of rivers, the top 2 are also called bergvatnsár (streaming clear water, not still). The distinction between the streams / rivers is just something you “know”, living in the country. You definently have to take a look at streams and rivers, levels & flows, to get a broader picture of what might be happening.

        Dragá – clear water, origin surface, rain, snow
        Lindá – clear water, origin below surface, Lava
        Stöðuvatn – lakes,
        Jökulá – glaciar water

        Laxá up north (Lindá, ) comes from lake Mývatn (really draws water from 2150 square km area, Mývatn should be laid with some ice by now), the temperature is only 1°C there now, 3°C at Akureyri, very little to explain why the flow is so high 39,1 m3/sec (average ca. 35) this is like summer.

      4. @ The other lurker – thank you for the info. Yes, it sounds strange with lots of water in a river in the middle of winter. Please keep us updated.

      5. That’s why I’m looking at the water systems up there as well as Kreppuhraun, etc.

        Btw. did anyone notice the small earthquake south of Mývatn yesterday

        65,863 lon -16,989 lat
        4,9 km depth 1,0R 2,0 km SV af Þeistareykjum

        Not very usual.

  15. Thank’s for all the aditional info about Azores situation… you guys are great!

    1. WHOW!

      You can actually see a quake trend running from Eyja in under Katla. You can see it start at about 8KM and then it slants down and in under Godabunga towards Katla.

      I would have been so impressed with data untill 2020 🙂 Lurkadamus!

      1. Wow Lurking! You can really see the magma conduits for the Eyjafjallajökull intrusions and eruptions! Erm…, Carl, the way magma moves, upwards, means that the quake trend runs from deep under Katla and slants up towards Eyjafjallajökull. You can also see a branch from Eyjafjallajökull to Godabunga that starts at about 7 km depth, but it is not pronounced. Furthermore it is quit obvious that, down below, Katla is quiet and almost all quakes there are surface quakes – glacial instead of magmatic.

        In my amateur opinion, this graph kills Professor Pall Einarsson’s Katla-mongering hypothesis dead as a dodo.

      2. Yeah, I wrote it wrongly, of course it is trending from Katla to Eyja, not the other way around.
        I agree, if anything happens there it would be Godabunga, not Katla Proper. And yes, I am convincedly unconvinced of Godabunga belonging to which volcano.

        Check out Lurking stunning plot of Eyja & Katla at the new tread…

  16. Thanks, Lurking!

    It is very helpfull, your plots.
    It is way above my head how you do them, but I’m very happy with them.
    Please continue…

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