Today (07-October-2020) has seen more landslide problems in the landslide that did fall yesterday (06-October-2020). The problem today according to the news is water that is flowing in the landslide and is expanding it. Two houses and one summer house have been evacuated because of high risk more landslides in this area. The flow from the landslide has been going into ditches that are around the farms and filling them up. This has resulted in flooding over nearby roads and blocking them.
The changes have not appeared properly in pictures in the news media. Below are the pictures in Icelandic News that I was able to find.
Hús rýmd og enn hætta á aurskriðum (Rúv.is)
Loka vegum og rýma hús eftir aurskriðu (mbl.is, pictures)
I’ll try to update on this situation if I see any news about this. That might not happen since this might not stay long in the news cycle in Iceland.
Rúv News has released a new video of the landslide that shows the area that it covers. There is a lot of water flow in the landslide as can be seen in the video.
Enn vatnsrennsli úr aurskriðunni og grannt fylgst með
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Amazon Advertisement phase out
After using Amazon Associate for 10 years I’ve made the chose to phase them out slowly in next few days. The reason is that they don’t pay enough to keep their banners on my website. Amazon Associate is going to be replaced with Google Adsense but that won’t happen in full until after I move back to Denmark sometimes in 2021 if the covid-19 situation gets better.
Article updated on 08-October-2020 at 14:21 UTC.
Today (06-October-2020) an large landside took place on a farm far south of Akureyri town. There was no house damage in this landslide but a water well for the farm and other houses was destroyed in this landslide according to the news.
All pictures are from the police of Akureyri / north-east police.
Side view of the landslide.
Side view of the landslide.
Front view of the landslide.
It is unclear why this landslide took place according to the news. Some ideas have connected this landslides to the earthquake activity in Tjörnes Fracture Zone but that connection is unclear at best.
Rúv News has a video that can be viewed below.
Aurskriðan í Eyjafirði mögulega vegna jarðskjálfta (Rúv.is, Icelandic)
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Early morning today (6-October-2020) an large earthquake swarm took place in Flatey – Húsavík fault in Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Total of seven earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 took place during the earthquake swarm this morning. Largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw4,1 other magnitudes where smaller. Around 300 earthquakes took place during this earthquake swarm.
The earthquake activity on Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
The largest earthquakes where felt and no damage was reported from this earthquake swarm. This earthquake swarm might be ongoing at the writing of this article. There is continued high risk of a earthquake with magnitude Mw6,0 to Mw7,0 in this area and on larger area in Tjörnes Fracture Zone because how complex the faults are in this area.
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On Friday (2-October-2020) Icelandic Met Office announced on their Facebook page that they had added three new seismometers. This means that on the Icelandic Met Office Iceland map there are now going to start appearing earthquakes on Snæfellsnes peninsula and earthquakes when they happen in Westfjörd and other nearby areas out in the ocean and on land. Areas that have until now not had great detection of small earthquakes. This are just three seismometers so locations might be slightly inaccurate for the smallest earthquakes. But this is the first time that Snæfellsnes peninsula is being monitored all day directly. I don’t know where the new seismometers are located since they are not yet on the tremor plot website that Icelandic Met Office has.
The new seismometers on Snæfellsnes peninsula are going to show earthquakes if any from this volcanoes that are on Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Today (30-September-2020) Icelandic Met Office moved Grímsfjall volcano to a yellow warning status for air traffic. This strongly suggests that Icelandic Met Office thinks that an eruption might happen in next few days to weeks. It is expected that an eruption might happen if a glacier flood happens from Grímsvötn glacier lake that is inside Grímsfjall volcano caldera.
Current status of Grímsfjöll volcano is yellow. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
It is difficult to know if this is going to be a large or small eruption until it happens. Best thing to do right now is to keep monitoring Grímsfjall volcano activity to see if anything is going on. Currently everything is quiet.
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It was reported in the news in Iceland few days ago that ground heat and hydrothermal activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is increasing and has been doing so for at least few months. Steam has been observed according to the news coming from one of the cauldron that is now in the rim of Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim. It has also been observed that few areas that have been active for a long time are now expanding in size.
Current risk is large glacier floods from Bárðarbunga volcano as the heat is melting large amounts of glacier in this area and possible damage and danger from those glacier floods. This increase in ground heat suggests that magma is slowly pushing its way up in the caldera rim of Bárðarbunga volcano. It is not possible to know if this is the case in the caldera since that is full of glacier that is ~600 meters thick at the most deepest end. If it wasn’t for Vatnajökull glacier and the pressure it puts in Bárðarbunga volcano there would already be an eruption going on there today. It is only when the magma gets above the pressure of the glacier an eruption can happen and in the eruption of 2014 and 2015 that didn’t happen as the magma found a easier way out by forming a dyke that travelled ~46 km away from the main volcano before an eruption started. This option for the magma might be closed now since dyke like the that formed in 2014 and 2015 eruption normally only erupt once after the magma flow stops.
Jarðhiti í Bárðarbungu sífellt að aukast (Rúv.is)
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Hard drive problems
I am currently dealing with failing hard drives in my main computer and that makes it really slow. This might slow down my response until Friday when I finally get replacement hard drives. I also had hard drive problems with my main earthquake computer but that issue has been resolved with new hard drives.
It’s been ten years since I started writing about earthquake activity in Iceland. First articles are from 27th September 2010 as can be seen here. At the beginning I used to call this website Iceland, earthquake and volcano blog if my memory is correct. I changed this to Iceland geology so I would be able to cover all aspects of Iceland if I needed too. Along with other few minor experiments over the years that failed but are recorded into this website history. Over the last 10 years I have only covered four eruptions. This are those eruptions.
Grímsfjall – May 2011 – Major eruption
Katla – July 2011 – Minor eruption
Hamarinn – July 2011 – Minor eruption (same week as Katla volcano minor eruption)
Bárðarbunga – August 2014 to February 2015 – Major eruption
Most of this website lifetime it has been a sub-domain website on my jonfr.com (Icelandic) website. This summer I made the chose to change that as that allows me to do more and to keep it separate from my main website if needed for any reason. I hope that I can continue to write about Icelandic volcanoes and earthquakes for the next ten years, just slightly less broke would also be nice for the next ten years.
I want to thank everyone that has supported my work over the last ten years. It has helped keep me working and keeping this website going for the last ten years when everything seemed impossible.
Today (27-September-2020) at 00:06 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,8 took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake is the strongest earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano since April 2020 according to Icelandic Met Office.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office. Used with permission.
This earthquake activity suggests that magma might be pushing up at this location but no data for now confirms this. This might just be the caldera pushing up after it dropped 60 meters in 2014 to 2015 eruption of Bárðarbunga volcano. There are no signs of possible eruption and after this earthquake took place there has only been minor earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and nearby areas.
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During the night of 26-September-2020 the earthquake swarm that has been going on east of Grímsey island in area called Nafir increased. Total of six earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 took place during the night and the largest earthquakes had a magnitude of Mw4,3. This area has a volcano that is unnamed but often called Nafir. There is no Global Volcanism Program profile on this and last eruption in this volcano is unknown. The largest earthquakes where felt in Grímsey island and other nearby populated areas. According to Icelandic news people of Grímsey island are tired of the constant earthquake activity that has been going on in Tjörnes Fracture Zone since 19th June 2020.
The earthquake activity east of Grímsey island in Nafir volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
In February 2018 a magnitude Mw5,2 earthquake took place in this location. There are no sign that an eruption is about to happen with this volcano but that is difficult to be sure about. All this earthquake activity currently seems to be tectonic in nature as it is happening in a rift valley in this location. Magma movement and any eruption is going to appear clearly on Grímsey SIL station and other nearby SIL stations in north Iceland. More earthquake activity is expected in this area and current earthquake swarm is ongoing at the writing of this article.
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Today (25-September-2020) at 11:37 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,7 and this earthquake started an earthquake swarm in this location for the last several hours. At the writing of this article between 80 to 90 earthquakes have taken place at this location. There are no reports about this earthquake having been felt in Grímsey island.
The earthquake swarm east of Grímsey island. This image is used with permission and copyright belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This earthquake swarm is not connected to the earthquake activity on the western part of Tjörnes Fracture Zone. This earthquake swarm is ongoing at the writing of this article.
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