Today (05-December-2020) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Askja volcano. All earthquakes in this earthquake swarm where under Mw2,0 in magnitude.
Earthquake activity in Askja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This earthquake activity suggests that magma is on the move in Askja volcano. Nothing however suggests that Askja volcano is close to an eruption of any type. Current situation seems to have been created by the fact Bárðarbunga volcano 2014 eruption almost started an eruption in Askja volcano by injecting magma into it. That didn’t happen because the magma stopped before reaching Askja volcano magma chambers. That interaction might have changed the situation inside Askja volcano magma chambers resulting in the earthquake activity that is now appearing in Askja volcano.
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Yesterdat (02-December-2020) at 11:38 UTC an small earthquake swarm started on Tjörnes Fracture Zone just south-east of Grímsey island. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,1. This earthquake swarm was small but there is also a strong snowstorm in Iceland and that has limited detection of earthquakes since late Monday (30-November-2020).
The Tjörnes Fracture Zone earthquake activity. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This is a different area from the area that had strongest earthquake swarm in 40 years on Tjörnes Fracture Zone in June 2020 when the largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw6,0. It is difficult to know if there is going to be more earthquake activity in this area. There is always a risk that is going to happen.
Yesterday (01-December-2020) at 20:40 UTC an magnitude MW3,5 earthquake took place on Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake was located close to Geirfuglasker rock on the Reykjanes ridge.
A single earthquake on the Reykjanes ridge. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Since this was just a single earthquake it is not possible to know what happens in this area. More earthquakes might happen in this area in next few days and even larger ones.
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At 11:23 UTC today 1-December-2020 an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,6 took place north of Grindavík town in the Reykjanes volcano. This earthquake was felt but few reported on it. A swarm of smaller earthquakes has followed both earlier of after the largest earthquake.
The earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This earthquake activity is part of the process of magma injection into this area since January 2020. There is a risk of stronger earthquake in this area following this earthquake swarm. Earthquake activity happens in high activity time period with quiet period between them. This earthquake swarm suggests that new activity period is about to start in this area of Reykjanes volcano.
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Today (22-November-2020) at 11:08 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,1 took place in Katla volcano. No change in harmonic tremor was seen after this earthquake and no other earthquake activity has happened after this earthquake besides a one earthquake with magnitude Mw1,2 at 13:31 UTC.
The earthquake in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Current activity in Katla volcano is below normal background activity for this time of the year. It has been a quiet year for Katla volcano and I am not expecting any change to happen soon.
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After months of being quiet there has now been new earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. The earthquake activity that took place was all just minor earthquakes but the deepest of them had a depth of 14 km and the second deepest had a depth of 12 km. Other earthquakes where at shallower depth.
Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
It is not possible to know what is going on in Öræfajökull volcano because what happens before an eruption is not documented in any details and the documents that exists today are old and the oldest documents of an eruption in Öræfajökull volcano are getting close to 660 years old. The younger documents are only 293 years old. This earthquake activity seems to be over at the writing of this article but it might resume without warning at any time.
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This evening (15-november-2020) an earthquake swarm started in Hengill volcano. It is unclear if this earthquake swarm is because of water injection in this area of just normal earthquake swarm.
The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
The largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude Mw3,3 currently. This earthquake swarm might be ongoing even if it seems to have stopped at the writing of this article. The largest earthquake was felt in Reykjavík, Hveragerði, Selfoss and other nearby towns.
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Today (11-November-2020) a swarm of small earthquakes took place north of Grindavík town in the Reykjanes volcano. This where all small earthquakes and largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw1,7. At the writing of this article Icelandic Met Office website lists 76 earthquakes on Reykjanes peninsula.
The earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
There is not a big change in the GPS data but there is a small change that suggests that Krýsuvík volcano has started to inflate more after the magnitude Mw5,6 earthquake. The GPS data can be viewed at University of Iceland GPS Reykjanes time series.
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The earthquake on 20-October-2020 was followed by a strong inflation in Reykjanes volcano. Current levels of inflation are about ~50mm according to Icelandic Met Office and can be seen on GPS measurements in recent days (GPS time series for Reykjanes).
The inflation in Reykjanes volcano. I had to scale this image because of WordPress requirements. Full size image can be found here on Icelandic Met Office website. Red is more inflation, blue is deflation or lower areas. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This inflation appears clearly on GPS stations that are closest to this area. The area where the most inflation is a small mountain called Keilir. Last eruption in this area was sometimes during last ice age. This inflation also explains the earthquake activity that has been going on in this area for the last few days as I have written earlier about.
Current earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Detection of smaller earthquakes is lower because of bad weather in Iceland. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
As of the writing of this article I am expecting more earthquakes and more inflation to happen in this volcano and other close by areas. It is not possible to know when a eruption is going to happen in Reykjanes volcano.
Icelandic Met Office News
Significant ground deformation detected associated with recent earthquakes (en.vedur.is)
Today (24-October-2020) I noticed that there has been since yesterday (23-October-2020) a swarm of small earthquakes on what appears to be a west to east fault on the Reykjanes peninsula in the Reykjanes volcano. All of this earthquake activity is mostly just small earthquakes that don’t appear on the automatic map on Icelandic Met Office website. This earthquake activity only appears after a manual review that Icelandic Met Office has do. The total length of the fault that is in west to east direction seems to be 20 km to 30 km, it is difficult to be sure at the writing of this article.
The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninusla in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
There are more faults at work in this. One or two fault are in mostly north-south direction and one fault is at southwest to northeast direction. There is also some cluster earthquake activity in Krýsuvík volcano but it doesn’t seem to have formed any fault like direction as of writing of this article. This changes seems to be supported by movement on the automatic GPS data from this area that can be viewed here (GPS time series for Reykjanes). It is difficult to be sure what happens next in this. There is now a storm passing over Iceland and that prevents detection and recording of the smallest earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula. The weather forecast for next week doesn’t look so good today (Saturday 24-October-2020).
It is a fact that not every eruption requires a big and strong earthquake swarm to start. I don’t know if that is true for Reykjanes volcano.