Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge

Yesterday (11-August-2021) there was a earthquake swarm on Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake swarm was not felt because of distance from the coastline.

Few green stars in the far left corner of the Reykjanes ridge along with few red dots. Image is from 11-August-2021
Earthquake activity on Reykjanes ridge. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of mb4,4 according to EMSC. Information about this earthquake can be found here. The distance from the SIL network made it difficult to know when this earthquake swarm started and stopped.

It is unclear if this part of the activity period that Reykjanes peninsula and Reykjanes ridge is now entering and is going to last for few centuries.

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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 10-August-2021

This is a short update on what is going on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

  • The eruption continues as before with few hours of eruption and few hours of no activity. (This is my personal view of the situation) Each event is an active eruption as it would happen with any other volcano. The time between eruptions now is just shorter than in any volcano in Iceland. Its hours, not decades between eruption. I don’t know why this is happening like this.
  • Cracks have appeared in the viewing area hill closest to the erupting crater. Why this is happening is unclear. There are two explanations for this. The first one is that this are tension cracks because of the eruption and lava flows nearby to this hill . The second explanation is that this is deformation cracks because magma is about to start erupting in this part of the hill. Formation of new cracks was observed early on in the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain few days before an eruption started in that area.
  • There is now slightly less lava flowing from the crater. Current flow is up to 9m3/sec according to latest reports about the lava flow. This studies are done by Earth Science of University of Iceland and Icelandic Metrology Office.

This eruption remains small. Currently it is even smaller than Hekla volcano 2000 eruption that was the smallest eruption in Hekla in recorded history (according to the news). While the eruption remains this small the lava is not going to flow far or is going to do so slowly. Most of the lava is just going to build up next to the crater and next nearby area.

People continue to walk out in the lava and that is extremely dangerous. The lava field, where it is deep enough has large caves full of 1100C hot lava and if the roof breaks and people fall into it there is no saving anyone from this. Just break in the lava field crust allows for lava flows to break out with same deadly consequences.

Unconfirmed report about ash cloud off the coast of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano (Krísuvíkurberg)

This is possible mistaken reporting. There have been reporting of ash clouds or steam clouds off the coast during the evening of 7-August-2021. This would be in the volcano system Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja.

The ash cloud or steam cloud would indicate an activity off the coastline or possible eruption activity in the ocean. Explosive events like that appear a lot more clearly as harmonic tremor on SIL stations and according to news reports nothing has been seen so far in the harmonic tremor data. There have been no earthquake activity in the area where the clouds are supposed to have been seen.

The coast guard has been sent to this area, as they where nearby anyway. I don’t know if anything has been reported so far. The weather is fine in south Iceland and I don’t think there is a lot of ocean waves, but as this is the Atlantic ocean there can be ocean waves even if there is no wind, since the ocean waves can arrive from parts of the ocean with bad weather thousands of kilometres away.

If anything new is reported I am going to update this article or write a new one.

Short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall on 7-August-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system on 7-August-2021.

Over the last few weeks there has not been a lot to report about the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. That changed tonight. The eruption seems to have entered a new stable phase. With constant eruption, rather than erupting every few hours and nothing happening for several hours after that. I don’t know if that is going to continue for long, but that is the situation at the writing of this article.

Red glow from the crater lights up the nearby lava field that has three gas funnels rising up from it. Lava is flowing from the crater down into nearby Meradalir and some of the lava is flowing underground
The eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Copyright of this image belongs to Rúv ohf.

Most of the lava flow is going into Meradalir at the writing of this article. Some of the lava flow is happening underground and that lava flow is going into south-Meradalir that is just above Nátthagi valley. That can be seen as gas is now coming from that lava field and increase in gas emission shows that fresh lava is flowing under the crust of the lava. Surface lava paths can change without warning at any time.

Tourist continue to place them self in great danger by walking out in the lava field. If there is an accident there won’t be any recurse because it is going to be already too late anyway.

Update on 7-August-2021 at 13:48 UTC

Today (7-August-2021) at 08:00 UTC the eruption stopped. The harmonic tremor dropped quickly as the stop in the eruption was quick after going on for two and half day. Why this happens remains unclear. At the writing of this update at 13:49 UTC the eruption remains inactive.

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Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano

During the night and today on 5-Augustu-2021 an earthquake swarm took place in the Reykjanes volcano.

Few dozen dots just out side in the ocean show the earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano
Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,0 and other earthquakes at the writing of this article have been smaller. That can change without warning. Currently there is a possibly that this earthquake swarm is over.

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Earthquake swarm in Tjörnes Fracture Zone

During the night of 5-August-2021 an earthquake swarm took place in Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ). At the writing of this article this earthquake swarm is ongoing.

Few red dots show new earthquakes just south-east of Grimsey island
Earthquake activity south-east of Grímsey island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,0. Other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. No earthquake has been felt in Grímsey island.

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Strong earthquake swarm ongoing on Reykjanes ridge

At midnight on 1-August-2021 an earthquake swarm seems to have started deep on the Reykjanes ridge. The current distance seems to be around 220 km away from Reykjavík or 190 km from Grindavík town. At this distance the location from Icelandic Met Office are not accurate. At the writing of this article the earthquake swarm seems to be ongoing.

Earthquake activity deep on the Reykjanes ridge. Many green stars are on the map that goes south along the Reykjanes ridge
The earthquake activity as it is shown on Icelandic Met Office map. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake recorded at the writing of this article had a magnitude of Mw5,2 and the rest of the earthquakes have magnitude between Mw4,0 and Mw4,8. Overview of this earthquake activity can be found here on EMSC website. This links works as I publish this article. How long it is going to work I don’t know.

The current distance makes it impossible to know for sure what is going on at this location. The pattern of this earthquake activity suggests that this might be earthquake activity because of magma movement in the crust, but there is not any way to confirm this because of the location. Even if there is an eruption at this location it won’t make any difference to the surface of the ocean, since depth of the ocean at this location is more than 1 km. I don’t know the exact depth.

More earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Today (31-July-2021) at 12:53 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,3 took place in Katla volcano. A swarm of smaller earthquakes continued after the largest earthquake, this earthquake activity seems to be ongoing at the writing of this article.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano at 18:50 UTC this image shows three green stars, two of the stars are earthquakes from 29-July activity. New green star is from the earthquake today (31-July)
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Summer earthquake activity in Katla volcano is common and that makes it less clear what is going on in Katla volcano at the writing of this article. There is now a chance of more earthquake activity in Katla volcano.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano yesterday (29-July-2021)

Yesterday (29-July-2021) there was an earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Two strongest earthquakes had the magnitude of Mw3,2 at 19:20 and 19:22 UTC. Third largest earthquake at 19:28 UTC had a magnitude of Mw2,8.

Cluster of smaller earthquakes in blue and red colours inside Katla volcano caldera. Two green stars on the north-east side of the caldera show the largest earthquakes.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is unclear if this earthquake activity is just summer activity or part of a larger activity. At this time I am not expecting an eruption since the earthquake activity is currently too low for such event to about to take place. There are going to be thousands of earthquakes in Katla volcano before an large eruption. Until that happens. I do not worry about this activity.

Trace of the Mw8,2 earthquake in Alaska, United States

I don’t have anything to say about the earthquake that took place (on 29-July-2021 at 06:15 UTC) in Alaska, United States since I don’t know the area geology features. I am going to show the trace of this earthquake as it did appear on my geophone in Iceland.

The earthquake trace on north-south directed sensor that I have. It shows the P wave, the small S wave and the surface waves that I did record in Iceland.
The Mw8,2 earthquake as I did record it in Iceland.
Trace of the Mw8,2 earthquake in Alaska, shows the P wave that is strongest on the Z (vertical) line, along with the surface waves that I did record in a crude pattern
The Mw8,2 earthquake in Alaska, United States.
The Mw8,2 earthquake on a east-west direction. The P wave is the strongest followed by a small S wave and surface waves.
The Mw8,2 earthquake in Alaska, United States.