Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano

Today (22. April 2024) at 04:53 UTC an earthquake swarm started in Reykjanes volcano. This was not a strong or a large earthquake swarm. Largest earthquake only having a magnitude of Mw3,1. All other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude.

Green star just off the south coast of Reykjanes peninsula to the west part of it. There are also smaller dots that show smaller earthquakes in the same area.
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge and in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity suggest a magma movement. It is however too little to start an eruption at the writing of this article. That can change without warning. Since the condition that the Reykjanes volcano is in is unclear, since its in part under the ocean and that makes monitoring it properly difficult and impossible in some areas.

Moderate earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano this morning (21. April 2024)

This morning on 21. April 2024 at 06:37 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw5,4 took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest aftershock had a magnitude of Mw3,0. There’s no earthquake swarm going on at the time of writing of this article. This earthquake was felt in some parts of Iceland but was possibly detected over most of Iceland in a quiet locations.

Green star showing the location of the large earthquake. Its located in the eastern part of Bárðarbunga volcano caldera.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This is the strongest earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano since the eruption in Holuhraun in the year 2014 to 2015. This earthquake activity is a long term signal that inflation in Bárðarbunga volcano has reached a new level. Eruption is not going to happen or is extremely unlikely to happen following this earthquake or in next few years. Shortest time between eruptions in Bárðarbunga volcano is around 10 years.

This is how I recorded the earthquake on my own seismometer.

The wave form from the earthquake. A sharp dark spike on the recording of the seismometer. At the end there are strong separated waves that show the surface waves.
The magnitude Mw5,4 earthquake as it was recorded on my own seismometer.

Earthquake swarm in Krýsuvík volcano (13. April 2024)

I am sorry how late I am with this article. I was busy yesterday (13. April 2024) and I was unable to write this article at that time.

Yesterday (13. April 2024) at 10:02 UTC an earthquake with a magnitude of Mw3,3 took place just south of Kleifarvatn lake in Krýsuvík volcano. This earthquake swarm seems to have happened on a fault that is mostly known for earthquakes that are connected to tectonic movements in the area. This is not a fault that is connected to volcano related activity, as those are more in south-west and north-east direction. Faults that are connected to crust movement in this area have the direction north-south as seems to be the case this time. It complicates matter that magma movement deep in the crust can result in earthquakes happening on both type of faults. As I suspect what happened here.

Green star and a lot of smaller yellow to blue dots showing smaller earthquakes that happened in Krýsuvík volcano yesterday (13. April 2024).
Earthquake activity in Krýsuvík volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Krýsuvík volcano is not ready to start an eruption, best I can see. It is also missing a lot more earthquake activity before an eruption starts. But the signs that it is moving in that direction have started to appear. How long the wait is going to be when a eruption starts is impossible to know.

Earthquake swarm in Askja volcano

Today (25. March 2024) starting at 08:06 UTC and ending around 11:00 UTC an earthquake swarm started in Askja volcano. The largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,5. The area is remote and this earthquake was not felt.

At the bottom of this image. There's a green star and few yellow dots. This is the earthquake activity in Askja volcano.
Green star in Askja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity suggests that this was a dyke intrusion. Eruption is unlikely at the moment in Askja volcano. This activity might be the first indicators that Askja volcano has started to prepare for an eruption in the future. When is impossible to know.

Update on the eruption in Sundhnúkagígar on 22. March 2024 at 03:42 UTC

This is a short update on the eruption in Sundhnúkagígar in Svartsengi volcano.

  • The eruption is now the longest eruption in Svartsengi volcano since this eruption cycle started on 18. December 2023.
  • There are five to seven craters erupting at the writing of this article. Bad weather has blocked the view to the eruption site for most of yesterday and today (22. March 2024).
  • The outflow of lava, based on my own estimate (that might be wrong) is that the flow is around 20m3/sec. Its not a lot at the moment and that means the lava flow goes shorter distances.
  • Large lava ponds have formed and those empty regularly, resulting in a fast moving flow of lava going down to any area downhill from the eruption.
  • One person working at the be Blue Lagoon got sick from SO2 poisoning on 20. March 2024. That person did go to a hospital and is now recovering fine, according to the news.
  • A gravel mine got filled with lava yesterday (21. March 2024) when the lava pond broke and emptied it self.
  • Bad weather makes it difficult to monitor the eruption. Next good weather won’t be until Saturday (23. March 2024).
  • Early GPS data however suggest that there is not much of a deflation or inflation happening in Svartsengi volcano. That means the magma is flowing directly to the eruption and making minimal stop on the way to the surface.

This is all for now. Next update is going to be when something new happens. If this eruption is going to last for a long time. I’ll post regular updates on it. But for now, this eruption is just going to continue as is now doing.

Update on the eruption in Sundhnúkagígar (Svartsengi volcano) on 19. March 2024 at 01:21 UTC

This is a short update since there has not been a lot of change in the last twenty four hours.

The eruption is stable at the writing of this article. This might change without warning.

  • Harmonic tremor has been stable in the last 24 hours. With almost no fluctuation.
  • GPS stations around Svartsengi volcano show a deflation around 200 to 300mm at the writing of this article. There’s uncertainty in this data because of bad weather in Iceland.
  • The lava from this eruption has reached 5,85 km2 according to Icelandic Met Office.
  • There is little to no earthquake activity in this area, but measurements might be blocked by bad weather.
  • Crater build up continues in this eruption.
  • The lava is around 350 meters from Suðurstrandarvegi and around 700 meters from reaching out in the ocean.

If there is a change in the eruption. I’ll write about it quickly as I can. Next article should be by 21. March 2024 if the eruption is still ongoing by that date.

Earthquake with magnitude 4,7 in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (18. March 2024) at 00:45 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,7 (EMSC Information) took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Icelandic Met Office had this magnitude at Mw4,4.

Green star showing the largest earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano. Dots show smaller earthquakes happening in Bárðarbunga volcano.
Earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake is part of the inflation that is happening in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is going to continue to happen every few months for the next few years to decades until the magma chamber in Bárðarbunga volcano in it is fully inflated.

Update on the eruption in Sundhnúkagígar (Svartsengi volcano) on 17. March 2024 at 18:28 UTC

This is a short update because I don’t expect a lot to happen in this eruption.

Here are the main details as they are known on 17. March 2024 at 18:28 UTC. This is the best information I have at current time.

  • The eruption has gotten smaller since it started yesterday (16. March 2024 at 20:23 UTC). The fissure is now only erupting in three to four locations.
  • The lava field did reach the barriers that are protecting Grindavík town.
  • This eruption is not slowing down as quickly as earlier eruptions.
  • Harmonic tremor is mostly consistent but is lower than yesterday when the eruption started.
  • The eruption fissure seems to be around 800 meters to 1 km long.
  • There’s a ongoing risk of new fissures opening.
  • Lava flow seems to have slowed down, but that might because it might be collecting in large lava ponds that break and then the lava rushes forward at great speed.
  • Suðurstrandarvegur is at risk of getting buried by a lava flow. If that happens, the risk of the lava reaching the ocean increases, since from the road the distance is only around 500 meters.
  • There’s no signs of this eruption ending on the web cameras.
  • Craters have started forming in the active parts of the fissure.

If anything more happens I’ll post update soon as I can. Normally, an eruption from Svartsengi volcano only last around 1 day. If this eruption goes longer, then next update should be tomorrow or sooner if anything important happens.

Dyke intrusion into Sundhnúkagígar from Svartsengi volcano yesterday (02. March 2024)

Yesterday (02. March 2024) at 15:57 UTC an earthquake swarm started in Sundhnúkagígar, all earthquakes where small in magnitude and around 150 where recorded. This earthquake swarm was as sign of a dyke intrusion that was starting into Sundhnúkagígar. It did not result in a eruption, but might be a sign of where next eruption is going to happen, when it happens. The dyke intrusion ended around 17:57 UTC.

This is a bit early, but it seems that this dyke intrusion moved or changed the rift valley it happened in. This rift valley was created in the dyke intrusion on 10. November 2023 (Icelandic Met Office has a image of it here). It might also have moved the rift valley that was created on 14. January 2024 (image of that rift valley can be found here, its marked with a blue colour). This rift valley situation is making the geology in this area extremely complex and volatile. Since the crust, the top layer is extremely fractured in areas of the rift valley and that makes it easy for the magma to find a path to the surface.

It is impossible to know when next eruption is going to happen. But it is my own estimated that next eruption might happen between 3. March to 5. March. I might be wrong on this, that’s always an possibility.