Earthquake swarm far north of Kolbeinsey island

Early morning (14-April-2021) an earthquake swarm took place far north of Kolbeinsey island. Largest recorded earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,5 but it possibly was larger but because of distance from the SIL network the magnitude is underestimated. I did record this earthquake on my only seismometers and it showed a lot of surface wave activity, suggesting a larger magnitude than Mw3,5.

Green stars far north of Iceland that show the loaction of the earthquake swarm out in the ocean
The earthquake swarm far north of Iceland. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Because of remote location of this earthquake swarm it is not possible to know what is going on there. The area is also under an ocean that is 2 to 4 km deep at this location. If anything happens it is not going to be noticed outside of being detected with seismometers.

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Currently total of eight craters are erupting in Fagradalsfjall mountain

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

Yesterday (13-April-2021) the following thing happened around 09:00 UTC.

  • Four new crater started erupting. This did not reduce the lava output of the other craters that are erupting.
  • This means that now are total of eight craters erupting in the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. The area is slowly being buried by fresh lava as the eruption goes on.
  • On Sunday 18-April-2021 it is going to be 1 month (30 days*) since the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain started. *This is a calendar thing, but using a website to calculate this correctly then this is the correct day using 30 day month calendar.
  • There continues to be high risk of new eruption fissures opening up without warning. Both north and south of the crater 1.
  • Gas output from the eruption has more than doubled in last few days. This is starting to create problem if wind blow the gas over populated areas.

I don’t have any more updates as is. If anything more happens I’ll update soon as I can. Since there is a risk of this eruption is going to last for a real long time, up to several years I might change my update schedule from what it is now. I’ll figure that out as the eruption continues.

News of the new craters

Drónamyndir: Fjórir nýir gígar (Rúv.is, video, map of the new craters)

Update 18:24 UTC

MorgunblaĂ°iĂ° has released new video of the eruption craters.

Flögrað yfir nýju gíg­un­um (mbl.is)

Article updated at 18:25 UTC.

Deep earthquakes in Katla volcano

During the night of 11-April-2021 deep earthquakes took place in Katla volcano. Depth of this earthquakes was from 22,1 km to 24,5 km.

Earthquke activity in Katla volcano caldera rim and in east-west direction
Deep earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

All of the earthquakes where small in magnitude and none of them did get to magnitude of Mw1,0. Earlier in the morning a swarm of smaller earthquakes took place at shallow depth but those are probably not connected to this deep earthquake activity. This earthquake activity has stopped and I am not expecting anything more to happen.

Update on Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 9-April-2021

This is a short article about the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

This week has been busy and please read the older articles about what happened earlier in this week.

  • Lava output is now 50% more according to University of Iceland measurements compared to start of the eruption (19-March-2021). Gas output is also more then in start of the eruption. It has resulted in problems depending on wind direction.
  • There is a high risk that an eruption might start south of Geldingadalir valley eruption. There is also a high risk that new eruption is going to start north of the 5-April-2021 eruption.
  • There is no change in inflation in the area. It has slowed down but remains the same.
  • There continues to be low level earthquake activity along the dyke from Keili to Fagradalsfjall mountain.

Any change that is going to happen without warning and might not happen without any earthquake or little earthquake activity.

Next update is going to be on 16-April-2021 unless something major happens. This eruption is always changing and this weekend and next week might get interesting. If anything happens I am going to write new article soon as possible.

Update at 22:43 UTC

Icelandic Met Office released this map and press release (in Icelandic only) about the risk new fissures can open up both north and south the the current craters that are erupting. This page is updated regularly so if you are looking at this later than 9 to 10 April 2021 you might have to look for this information.

Map showing marked area that goes little south and north of the current erupting fissures in Fagradalsfjall. That area has been marked as dangerous by Icelandic Met Office. The map also shows the lava fields in purple.
The new area that has a risk of new fissures opening up without warning. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The map shows the area that is now at risk of new fissures opening up without warning.

Update 10-April-2021 at 15:20 UTC

Around 03:14 UTC on 10-April-2021 fissure number 4 did open up between fissure number 2 (5-April-2021) and fissure number 3. The eruption from this crater doesn’t seem to be large but it did happen under a new lava that had flowed over that same area few days before from fissure 2. In fissure/crater 1 the amount of erupting lava did drop a little just before the new eruption.

I am noticing that it seems new fissures are opening up more frequently then before. This seems to have changed after opening up of fissure 3.

Timeline of fissure openings so far.

1st fissure 19-March-2021
2nd fissure opened 5-April-2021
3rd fissure opened 7-April-2021
4th fissure opened 10-April-2021

Time period between new fissures opening up currently seems to be 3 to 4 days. I suspect that this is going to change soon and it is possible that new fissure that opens up might get larger as the eruption goes on. There seems to be phase in this eruption that is happening in Fagradalsfjall mountain. I am not perfectly sure what that phase is now since I’ve never seen this before and I don’t have any data on this type of eruption behaviour from other volcanoes outside of Iceland. That I know of.

Video of the eruption fissure 4 opening up.

Nátt­úr­an er óút­reikn­an­leg og ófyr­ir­sjá­an­leg (mbl.is)


Article updated at 22:48 UTC.

Article updated at 15:39 UTC on 10-April-2021.
Article updated at 15:54 UTC on 10-April-2021.

Update on Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 8-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

Last 24 hours have been busy in the eruption. Here are highlights of what has happened best to my knowledge.

  • New fissure opened up and started erupting between the Geldingadalir eruption, second day of Easter eruption and the new eruption fissure is between the two.
  • The lava fields have now merged and are now one large lava field from Geldingadalir down to Meradalir valleys.
  • The eruption continues at the same slow rate as before even with several new vents erupting.
  • MorgunblaĂ°iĂ° lost their first web camera to the lava flow (news can be found here in Icelandic). Icelandic Met Office had hardware close to the new lava flow. I don’t know if that hardware was saved from the lava flow but it was planned attempt to do so before it was lost to the lava.
  • The fissures might merge at future point and start erupting at one large fissure eruption. It is impossible to know if that is going to happen or when that might happen.
  • There has not been any deflation detected in the GPS data after the eruption started. That GPS data can be viewed here.
  • New fissures have been detected north of the crater that started erupting on 5-April-2021. Those fissure might start erupting without warning.
  • There is a risk of the eruption also going south-west and opening up fissures there. That has not yet happened but the possibility remains as a high risk possibility.

The situation is difficult to predict and new fissures can open up without warning. If nothing major happens then next update is going to be Friday 9-April-2021 on the eruption.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 6-April-2021 (2nd update)

This is a short update and second update for 6-April-2021 for Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngju volcano system.

  • During the night a new fissure was discovered between the new eruption and the old eruption. The fissure is about 150 meters long and there is hot air coming up from it.
  • There are reports of a new fissure north of the new eruption and land has been sinking down at that location. No other changes have been reported at the writing of this article.
  • The lava going down into Meradalir valley slows down once it is there because it cools down quickly once it is there. There is a lava river going down in the Meradalir valley and that lava is moving quickly.
  • It is now estimated that this is a start of a long volcano activity period on Reykjanes peninsula that is going to last for centuries with breaks of 10 to 20 years between active periods of 30 to 50 years.

The situation is currently changes often during the day and the night and the risk of a new eruptions starting without any warning is now extremely high.

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Deep earthquake activity south-east of Katla volcano

Yesterday (5-April-2021) from 17:12 UTC until 17:36 UTC. This where all smaller earthquakes and according to Icelandic Met Office (KristĂ­n on twitter) this area last had this earthquake swarm in this area eight years ago just south-east of Katla volcano.

Mýrdalsjökull glacier that contains Katla volcano. Just south east of Katla volcano a small cluster of  earthquake appeared at great depth in the crust
The earthquake activity south-east of Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity at this location has never resulted in an volcanic eruption in this location during historical times. The depth of this earthquakes was mostly around 19 km and magnitude was from Mw0,7 to Mw1,0.

Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano

On Sunday (4-April-2021) a small of small earthquakes took place in Öræfajökull volcano. Most of the earthquakes that happened where deep, with most depth at 11,3 km.

Blue dots showing earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. The blue dots are on top of each other.
Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is unclear if this means anything at this point. Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano at this point has been slow to start and happens without much warning as is. This might be an early sign that more activity is ahead in Öræfajökull volcano but only time is going to make it clear if that is the case.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall (including Geldingadalir valley) on 6-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain as it is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano.

There has been a slight increase in micro-earthquake activity along the dyke after the new fissures opened up in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Most of them are interestingly forced on a area close to Keilir mountain.

Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula many earthquakes form a direct line with the magma dyke that formed in February and March. Few red dots close to Keilir mountain
The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
  • It has been reported that lava flow from the new and old eruption site is now more than what was most at the old eruption site (Geldingadalir valley). It is now estimated to be total 10m3/second.
  • Craters are building up at the new eruption site. That might change the lava flow long term and there is a risk that it is going to flow towards Geldingadalir valley when that change in lava flow happens.
  • There is a high risk of new fissures opening up both north and south of Geldingadalir valley (1st eruption) and north of Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption (2nd eruption).
  • Lava is now flowing into Meradalir valley. That valley is far larger then Geldingadalir valley and won’t be filled up easily. There seems to be more water in this valley and that might result in lava explosions if the lava gets that far down into the valley.

Currently there are no other new information that I can find. Next update should be on Friday 9th April 2021 unless something major happens.

New fissure opens up north-east of current eruption in Geldingadalir valley

This is a short article.

New fissure started to open up at around 11:37 UTC on 5-April-2021 when a magnitude Mw1,5 earthquake (most likely) took place in Fagradalsfjall mountain. The new fissure is expanding and but I am now estimating that the current length of the new fissure is 1,2 km based on RĂşv News web camera view. The new fissure is north-east of the earlier eruption in Geldingadalir valley any.

Small eruption fissure that is forming north-east of earlier eruption
The new fissure opening up. Copyright of this image belongs to RĂşv. From RĂşv web camera.

I’ll post update about this later today when I know more.

Update at 16:29 UTC

The larger fissure is around 300 meters long according to reports. Part of it seems to be under its own lava flow based on what I am seeing on new videos of the fissure. The second fissure is about 10 to 30 meters long. There is also a one single eruption vent in the area just outside of the fissure areas. The lava flow is going into Meradalir below the new fissures. It might soon go into a what seems to be a lake or a dried up lake in that valley that is a lot larger and deeper than Geldingadalir valley that is now full of lava. The eruption in the original craters continues but at lot less energy levels than before. This might only be temporary change but it is impossible to know for sure what is going to happen.

Drone video of the new fissure from MorgunblaĂ°iĂ°

Nýtt dróna­mynd­skeið af sprung­unni (mbl.is)

Next update is going to be again in few hours as this situation develops.

Pictures are from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.

Two eruption fissures erupting lava from a the ground and the lava is orange in colour. Lava river goes down hill and into a valley
The eruption from a helicopter as seen today. Picture is from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Free to use.
River of lava flowing downhill into a valley called Meradalir
The lava river into Meradalir valley. Picture is from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. The pictures is free to use.

Article updated at 16:36 UTC.