Askja volcano started inflating in August 2021

Icelandic Met Office published the news today that Askja volcano has started to inflate.  This inflation started in August 2021 and has been measured at 5 cm a month. The inflation is happening just outside the Askja lake in area known as Ólafsgígar (Ólaf craters).

Inflation map of Askja volcano. Triangle in the centre of Askja volcano caldera show the location of the inflation in red to blue colour.
Inflation in Askja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is impossible to know if this is going to result in any eruption. This inflation however seems to have resulted in earthquake activity in Askja volcano. Most of the earthquakes so far have been minor in magnitude.

Inflation map of Askja volcano. It show displacements in north - south and east - west directions and up displacement of 5 cm
Inflation in Askja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Icelandic Met Office announcement

Land rís við Öskju (Icelandic)

Uplift signal detected in Askja volcano

Icelandic News

Grannt fylgst með landrisi við Öskju (Rúv.is)

Landris við Öskju í fyrsta sinn í áratugi (mbl.is)

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Earthquake activity in Esjufjöll volcano

Today (3-September-2021) an small earthquake swarm took place in Esjufjöll volcano. This is the first earthquake activity in a while and suggest that there might be about to start more earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. Since activity in Esjufjöll volcano seems to result in activity in Öræfajökull volcano. How that works and why is unknown.

Few dots in Vatnajökull galcier close to its border. Showing the earthquake activity in Esjufjöll volcano.
Earthquake activity in Esjufjöll volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Last eruption in Esjufjöll volcano may have happened in the year 1927 but that remains unconfirmed. If that eruption happened, it only lasted for 4 to 5 days at most. This area is covered with a glacier, so any eruption there is going to result in a glacier flood.

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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 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.

More earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Today (28-July-2021) at 12:36 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,1 took place in Katla volcano caldera. Few smaller earthquakes have followed the largest earthquake.

Green star in north-east part of the Katla volcano caldera where the magnitude 3,1 earthquake took place. One red dot in the same location shows a new earthquake that has happened there.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This looks like a normal summer earthquake activity in Katla volcano. If that changes is impossible to know. There is no change in harmonic tremor on SIL stations around Katla volcano.

Strong earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano

After a long while of not writing about Bárðarbunga volcano it is now time for new article.

On 27-July-2021 at 19:02 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,9 took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. At 22:12 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,5 took place in eastern part of Bárðarbunga volcano.  EMSC is reporting this earthquake as mb4,8. That information can be found here.

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga voclano shown by two green stars. One little to the west and the second one to the east in the rim of the main caldera.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is because there is now inflation going on in Bárðarbunga volcano. This inflation is going to continue until there is a new eruption. When that happens is impossible to know.

Earthquake activity in Ljósufjöll volcano

Today (26-July-2021) at 16:35 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,0 took place in Ljósufjöll volcano. Earlier earthquake with magnitude of Mw2,2 also took place at 15:44 UTC.

Red dot on western Iceland shows the earthquake activity in Ljósufjöll volcano.
Earthquake activity in Ljósufjöll volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

In this area there is also a fault zone that is between Langjökull and Snæfellsnes. That fault zone normally doesn’t have many earthquakes. With only activity happening every few decades and sometimes even less frequency. The area where the earthquake activity is inside the volcano named Ljósufjöll. Earthquake activity in this area started in May-2021. Currently its too early to know if this means anything, since this might just be earthquake activity and nothing more might happen, even if this earthquake activity is happening in a volcano.

More earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Since yesterday (24-July-2021) and until today (25-July-2021) there has been rather strong earthquake activity in Katla volcano. The earthquakes are not strong with largest earthquakes having a magnitude of Mw2,6. It is unclear what is going on.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano caldera. A lot of yellow dots showing the locations of the earthquakes from south to north and then turn to east direction.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

One of the reasons this earthquake activity is happening is that cauldron might be emptying in the Mýrdalsfjökull glacier. That creates a drop in pressure that can start earthquake activity. I don’t know if that is what happened now. If that is what is going on it is going to take the melt water few hours to reach the rivers in Mýrdalssandur sand area. There has not been any change in harmonic tremor activity following this earthquake activity.

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Since 22-July-2021 there has been an earthquake activity in Katla volcano. This earthquake activity has been mostly located to the east of the caldera and largest earthquake so far detected had a magnitude of Mw3,0.

Earthquake activity to the east of Katla volcano caldera shown on the image by ring line. A second smaller cluster of earthquakes is the west and little bit inside the caldera of Katla.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There has not been any change in harmonic tremor activity following this earthquake activity. That strongly suggest that this is normal summer earthquake activity for Katla volcano. Earthquake activity is also far too low for it to signal any eruption risk. That might change if earthquake activity changes and grows in size.

Earthquake activity north of Grindavík town in Reykjanes volcano

Early morning of 11-July-2021 an earthquake swarm took place north of Grindavík town. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw2,5. Most of the other earthquakes had a magnitude of Mw0,0 to Mw1,0. There was also an earthquake swarm on Reykjanestá area that is part of Reykjanes volcano.

Earthquake activity north of Grindavík town show as cluster of small orange dots on Icelandic Met Office image.
Earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is difficult to know for sure what this earthquake activity means for this volcano. Since it has already been proven that eruption activity can start on Reykjanes peninsula without any warning or earthquake activity. Currently there are no clear indicators that suggest anything is about to happen but that can change without warning.

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