Update on Fagradalsfjall volcano activity on 10-March-2021

This is a short update on the activity in Fagradalsfjall volcano. This article is written at 21:08 UTC.

Since Monday 8-March-2021 there has been a lot going on and there are no signs of this activity slowing down. Currently it seems that the volcano dyke is expanding to the south and that is more into Fagradalsfjall mountain that is a earlier eruption structure from maybe few million years ago. This expansion of the magma dyke is resulting in strong earthquake activity and during the night the strongest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw5,1 at 03:15 UTC. Second largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw4,6 at 08:50 UTC. Over the last 48 hours 68 earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 have taken place. Smaller earthquakes are happening with the rate of 1 to 5 or more earthquakes at every minute. Since 24-February-2021 over 34.000 earthquakes have been recorded by Icelandic Met Office.

Dense earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Dense location of green stars that shows the location of the main active area. A lot of red dots showing smaller earthquakes
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The chance of an eruption are increasing according to Icelandic Met Office in the news this evening. While the magma dyke has space to expand it is going to do so. The magma in the dyke is now at the shallowest only at 1 km depth or less. Exact depth has been problematic to get information about. Eruption can happen without much earthquake activity because how shallow the magma is to the top of the crust. There remains a high risk of an earthquake with magnitude Mw6,0 to Mw6,5. Both in the fracture areas on both ends of the dyke and in Brenninsteinsfjöll volcano.

Next update is going to be on Friday (12-March-2021) unless something major might happen.


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2 Replies to “Update on Fagradalsfjall volcano activity on 10-March-2021”

  1. I’m confused by the depths on these plots, which show most quakes at around 15km, which is 3 times deeper than most quakes shown on the IMO email earthquake page.

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