A new deep earthquake in Esjufjöll volcano

A new deep earthquake did just happen earlier tonight. The SIL system at IMO did give the earthquake the size ML1.7 with the depth of 22,5 km. In my experience this normally means that a earthquake swarm is about to start in Esjufjöll volcano. But this is not always the case, so we just have to wait and see what happens. But since earthquakes did start in Esjufjöll volcano last autumn (2010) with a earthquake swarm of about 70 earthquakes.

The activity has continues since then. But the earthquakes have completely stopped in-between earthquake swarms. This behaviour appears to be not uncommon in volcanoes in Iceland and elsewhere around the world. The earthquake yesterday in Esjufjöll volcano was size ML1.9 with the depth of 5.4 km. It is clear that a magma is creating this earthquakes, but there are few tectonics earthquakes in this area (but they do happen).

A new earthquake swarm in Krísuvík volcano

A new earthquake swarm appears to have started yesterday in the Krísuvík volcano. This earthquake swarm is a small one, in the number of earthquakes and the size of them. The largest earthquakes according to the automatic SIL system are around ML1.8 in size. The depth is constant around 2 to 5 km or so. This earthquake swarm is just the latest of earthquake swarm that have been taking place in Krísuvík volcano over the past few weeks. As the earthquake activity has been more or less continues for the past few months in Krísuvík volcano.

The current GPS plot shows some inflation taking place at Krísuvík volcano. But so far it is small and does not indicate that a eruption is immanent in Krísuvík volcano. But if the inflow of magma changes suddenly this might change when Krísuvík volcano might start erupting.

Thanks to Carl le Strange on müsli for the tip on the GPS plot.

Update on new years activity and Eyjafjallajökull volcano

Here is the update for the new years activity in Iceland. During the new year there was a ML3.0 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano system (local name is Kistufell). Where location of the earthquake swarm took place is known for a high level of earthquake activity in the past. So a earthquake swarm in that area is not a surprise and doesn’t mean anything special.

There has not been any more news on the rumble or the explosions in Eyjafjallajökull volcano since yesterday. It might well be that the event that was creating this noise is over. But I am far from sure on that due to lack of information. Due to cloud cover I am unable to see what is going at the top of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano with a web camera. What ever was going on in Eyjafjallajökull volcano it is clear that it was a powerful blast. One idea that I have had that this where a gas explosions of some type. But yesterday there where no reports of ash clouds or anything like that in the news. The weather forecast for the Eyjafjallajökull volcano area is not good for the next day or two. But currently the wind forecast is for a storm in the area of Eyjafjallajökull volcano and other mountains in south-east of Iceland.

A explosions heard from Eyjafjallajökull volcano

This time around, it appears my break is going to a shorter then I planned. According to the newspaper named DV (a short of tabloid in Iceland) there have been a lot of explosion heard from Eyjafjallajökull volcano. According to the news this started around 19:00 UTC, when exactly is unclear at present time.

This was reported by a local farmer in the area, how describe this as the same noise before it started to erupt there Eyjafjallajökull volcano started to erupt in April 2010. But according to Icelandic Met Office and the University of Iceland nothing special has appears on seismometers around Eyjafjallajökull volcano. But it is good to know that in the first eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Fimmvörðuháls it took few hours for the harmonic tremor to appear following that eruption. For now all that can be done is to wait and see what happens next. This might be a start of a new eruption, or this simply might be nothing for the moment.

Update 1: This has been confirmed by more news media in Iceland. This also appears to have been going on all day. But the explosions today might have been at lower noise level during the day then happened tonight (this is unclear at the moment however). But also according to the news this explosions have been heard to Hvolsvöllur in the right wind direction (or a good weather?). This explosive booms have also been heard by other people in the area around Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

The news on this activity. Use Google Translate at own risk.

Drunur í Eyjafjallajökli: „Eins drunur og þegar byrjaði að gjósa síðast“ (DV.is)
Drynur enn í Eyjafjallajökli (mbl.is)

Text updated at 21:40 UTC on 2. January 2011.
Text updated at 23:45 UTC on 2. January 2011.
Text updated at 01:29 UTC on 3. January 2011.

Happy new year 2011!

Since the new year starts at different time for people reading my blog. I want to wish everyone a happy new year 2011!

My new years break that I going to take is going to last from 31. December 2010 and until 3. January 2011. Unless something major happens in Iceland and the current quiet time ends with a lot of noise.

A small ash plume over Eyjafjallajökull volcano today ?

A few of my readers reported today in comments that they did see a small ash plume or something of that nature today over Eyjafjallajökull volcano. While I stress that this is still unconfirmed at this stage it might well have happened.

There are two options that might explain what did happen today. One is that a ash was moving due to wind in the area. But this happens quite a lot during the dry times in the winter and summer. The second option is that a older magma from the eruption earlier this year was on the move and made a small eruption that did go unnoticed on the seismometers around Eyjafjallajökull volcano. I do not know how long this event in Eyjafjallajökull volcano today is supposed to have lasted. But it appears to have been for several hours in the longest.

But other then this it appears that Eyjafjallajökull volcano is mostly quiet. But some deep earthquakes have started again in the past few weeks. But so far they have not been increasing in numbers so a new eruption is not expected at this time by me or the experts.

Update on the activity over the Christmas

Here is a short update on what did go on in Iceland over the Christmas. In all there where few earthquakes in Iceland during Christmas. The main reason for this was a major storm that started in south Iceland on the 25th of December, it lasted until 27th of December in some parts of Iceland. The wind was topping 47m/s in strong winds. But the average wind speed was about 32m/s I think.

Around 17:02 UTC on the 25th of December there was a ML2.77 earthquake in Krísuvík volcano. Far as I can tell by the wave form this earthquake was mostly tectonic in nature. But it is impossible to know if the main source of this earthquake was the magma that is collecting in Krísuvík volcano or not. But activity continues in Krísuvík volcano as it has been doing in the last few weeks before. This earthquake was followed by 20 or so smaller earthquakes in the same area.

Due to the strong storm there where few to no earthquakes recorded on the late 25th to 27th of December. But the storm did simply hide all the minor earthquake that might have been taking place.

The ML2.77 earthquake in Krísuvík at 17:02 UTC at Heklubyggð geophone station. The storm noise almost drowns out the earthquake signal. This plot is filtered at 4Hz as a cut off frequency.

The ML2.77 earthquake in Krísuvík at 17:02 UTC at Hvammstangi geophone station. A normal level of noise can be seen both sides of the earthquake. No storm noise is presented in this plot, as it had not started in north of Iceland at this time.

A few deep earthquakes where seen in Eyjafjallajökull volcano over the same period. At current it is hard to know what they mean in the long term. But it is clear that Eyjafjallajökull volcano continues to make a little rumble and has not quieted down at current time.

Last activity update before Christmas and Christmas stuff

Here is the last activity update before Christmas starts. As I did expect a deep earthquakes have started again under Eyjafjallajökull volcano. So far the main depth is about 10 to 15 km. So far nothing indicates a immanent eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. But it is wise to keep watch on the deep earthquakes that have started to re-appear under Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

But Eyjafjallajökull volcano is not the only volcano making earthquakes. There are also earthquakes taking place in Grímsfjall volcano and in Esjufjöll volcano. The continues earthquake swarm in Krísuvík volcano. But this is the same that has been going on in previous weeks in that area.

There has also been some minor earthquake activity in Grímsfjall volcano. A signal that Grímsfjall volcano is getting ready for a eruption in the year 2011 maybe.

Non-volcanic earthquakes

There has been a lot of earthquakes in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ). But the largest earthquakes in the last 24 hours did get the size ML3,0 according to the automatic SIL system that Icelandic Met Office runs. The size might be subject to a review later on.

But other then this it has been quiet in Iceland earthquake wise and volcano wise. But when the most frost was going on over Iceland there was a lot frost earthquakes taking place. But those events are false earthquakes and are due the fact that freezing water appears to crack the ground, sometimes with considerable force. The frost needed for this to happen has to be below -10C far as I understand.

Christmas stuff

I am going to take my Christmas break from 12:00 UTC on the 24th of December (2010) until the 27th of December (2010). While this break is on comments might be held longer in the moderation queue then normally. If anything major happens, I am going to post information about it when I can in this time. But unlike us humans nature doesn’t care about our days off. But I am hoping for a quiet Christmas in Iceland like everywhere else.

There is going to be special Christmas blog post tomorrow for all those Christmas greetings.

Inflation starts again in Eyjafjallajökull volcano

After a few months of a period of stability in Eyjafjallajökull volcano after the eruption ended on the 28th of May 2010. There seems to be more instability starting again in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. This instability can so far only be seen on GPS sensors around the volcano. So far the inflation that is starting at medium rate, about 5mm on every 24 hours or so. This is clear when a early results (not error corrected) are checked from Icelandic Met Office GPS network. The trigger for the current instability appears to be a sharp deflation that took place in Eyjafjallajökull volcano few days ago.

Picture is from Icelandic Met Office, copyright of this picture belongs to them. Click on the picture for higher resolution.

Automatic GPS data from 21st of December 2010. The GPS station name is THEY and is on the south slope of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The sharp deflation appears clearly on the GPS automatic data (not error corrected) and is followed by a sharp inflation period that is currently ongoing. I got a email from a expert that tells me that volcano ash can interfere with the GPS signal. But this does not change my opinion on that a inflation is about to start in Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

It currently remains unclear if this inflation period in Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to continue. At current time the inflation in Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to continue. It is also clear that today Eyjafjallajökull volcano is few weeks from re-starting the eruption, as it has not inflated enough to do so. But what is unclear is if this inflation and inflow of new magma under Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to move around older magma that currently is higher up in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano plumbing after the eruption started earlier this year. For the moment the only that can be done is to wait and see what happens next.

Wikipedia articles on Eyjafjallajökull volcano

2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull

Text updated at 23:49 UTC on 21st of December 2010.