Update on ongoing earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano on 11-February-2021

The earthquake swarm that started more than one year ago in Reykjanes volcano continues to be ongoing. Largest earthquake on 11-February 2021 at 07:56 UTC had the magnitude of Mw3,0. Other earthquakes had smaller magnitude as has been ongoing since 20-January-2020.

Earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula and is mostly east of Grindavík town. Newest earthquakes are red dots and oldest are blue dots. Some earthquake activity west of Grindavík town.
Earthquake activity east of Grindavík town. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Since this magma activity in Reykjanes volcano started around 20-January 2020 there has been ongoing earthquake activity in this area. I don’t expect this to stop. When a eruption is going to happen is not something that is possible to know. Currently GPS data does not show any interesting change and doesn’t suggest anything is about to happen.

Ongoing earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano

On Friday 22-January-2021 an earthquake swarm took place just east of Grindavík town. This earthquake activity then stopped but resumed at midnight on Sunday 24-January-2021. All of the earthquakes where small in magnitude and only few did go above magnitude Mw1,0 in size.

Yellow dots east of Grindavík town on Reykjanes peninsula. Few blue dots showing earthquakes that are older then 1 day.
Earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The earthquake swarm that started on Sunday lasted for 12 hours according to Icelandic Met Office website. There is no change in GPS location data (can be viewed here) and there is no change in harmonic tremor. Currently there is a bad weather in Iceland preventing automatic detection of small earthquakes all over Iceland.

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Strong earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano

Today (10-January-2021) at 03:15 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,1. This earthquake was felt far away as Reykjavík. A swarm of small earthquakes is currently ongoing in this area. This earthquake activity is in the Reykjanes volcano.

Green star north of Grindavík town. Groups of small earthquakes north and east of Grindavík town on the map little from the coastline. Earthqukake activity in Krýsuvík lake and in Hengill volcano.
The earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Over 100 earthquakes have happened in this area for the last 48 hours. Most of them are small, less than magnitude Mw1,0 in size. There are not many earthquakes with magnitude over Mw1,0 currently in this earthquake activity. There is no sign that magma has started to find a way to the surface. Currently the magma remains in the crust. GPS data suggests that there is some type of change going on but I am unclear what that means. The GPS data can be viewed here.

Earthquake activity continues in Reykjanes volcano

Today (07-January-2021) two earthquakes with magnitude of Mw3,1 and Mw3,2 took place in Reykjanes volcano. A swarm of smaller earthquakes is currently ongoing in the volcano.


The earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity has been going on for one year. Inflation was detected on 21-January-2020 by Icelandic Met Office and it has continued since then. Area of activity is now larger then it was at the start of this activity. There is currently no sign that an eruption is about to start but that might change without warning.

Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano and earthquake activity on Reykjanes ridge

Today (29-December-2020) an earthquake swarm took place in Reykjanes volcano. This was just small earthquakes but the amount is considerable. This earthquake activity happens because of magma inflation in this area.


Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Reykjanes ridge

Today (29-December-2020) and earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,1 took place on Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake was far out in the ocean. Only one other smaller earthquake seems to have happened in that same area after the largest earthquake. Otherwise there has not been any more earthquake activity today out on the Reykjanes ridge.


Earthquake activity on Reykjanes ridge. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano early morning

Early morning on 16-December-2020 at 04:30 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,1 took place close to Reykjanestá in Reykjanes volcano. The largest earthquake was felt over a large area. A swarm of small earthquakes started soon after the largest earthquake and this swarm was active for few hours.


The green star shows the area of activity early morning in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

A second smaller earthquake swarm started just north of Grindvík town few hours after the earthquake swarm close to Reykjanestá. GPS data for the area doesn’t seems to have updated on the web and because of that I don’t know if the area is entering new inflation phase or not. The earthquake activity suggests that Reykjanes volcano is about to enter a new inflation phase but that is currently not certain.

Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano and deep earthquake activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano

Today (10-December-2020) at 00:08 an earthquake with the magnitude of Mw3,5 took place in the volcano Reykjanes. This earthquake was felt in nearby area. Since then there has been a minor earthquake swarm going on in the area of Reykjanestá.


Green star shows the earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Brennisteinsfjöll volcano

Today (10-December-2020) an deep earthquake swarm took place in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano. All earthquakes that took place where small in magnitude but depth was from around 5km to 12 km depth. It is not known at the writing of this article if this suggests an magma movement inside Brennisteinsfjöll volcano.


Orange dots to east of Krýsuvík volcano show the activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I am expecting more earthquake activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano in next few months. It is going to take few weeks to months to see if anything more is going on there.

Earthquake swarm north of Grindavík town in Reykjanes volcano

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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Swarm of small earthquakes in Reykjanes volcano

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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Strong inflation detected in Reykjanes volcano after Mw5,6 earthquake

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)