Possible dyke intrusion in Fagradalsfjall volcano

Early morning today (10-November-2022) an swarm of earthquakes took place slightly north of the place where the eruption in August 2022 took place in Fagradalsfjall volcano. This possible dyke intrusion was small and only lasted for about 1 hour before it stopped. Depth of the earthquakes was from 5 km to 7 km.

High resolution image of the earthquakes in Skjálfta-Lísa interactive earthquake map from Icelandic Met Office. It shows the dots line up in a fissure like location.
Skjálfta-lísa high resolution map of the earthquake activity. From Icelandic Met Office website.

This activity might give a clue on in what area next eruption is going to take place in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Based on earlier eruption there won’t be any warning before an eruption earthquake swarm starts. In August that eruption started with a minor earthquake swarm, created from a dyke intrusion that was happening. In the hours before an eruption starts there’s going to be a strong earthquake swarm, based on what happened just before the eruption in August. It is interesting if the eruption activity moves north-east, rather than south-west. Why that happens, if it does so, is not something I am clear on why happens.

Earthquake swarm in west part of Fagradalsfjall volcano

This morning on 23-October-2022 an earthquake swarm took place in west part of Fagradalsfjall volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm so far had a magnitude of Mw3,0.

Green star just west of main Fagradalsfjall volcano. Few blue, yellow and red dots on the map showing earthquakes in other nearby volcanoes
Earthquake activity west of Fagradalsfjall volcano. Picture from Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity is the result of magma pushing up into the crust at around 5 km depth. This is not a large dyke intrusion and possibly won’t result in a eruption, unless there’s a sharp increase in earthquake activity and that has happened (the August 2022 eruption started this way). This is currently a situation that requires monitoring for changes. If anything is going to happen is impossible to know.

Magnitude Mw3,5 earthquake in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano

Today (12-October-2022) at 14:18 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,5 took place in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano. This earthquake was followed by few smaller aftershocks. This earthquake seems to be happening because of a inflation that is taking place in Fagradalsfjall volcano and this strongly suggests that inflation in Fagradalsfjall volcano is slowly reaching critical levels. There is no eruption expected from Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano as is.

Green star with few red dots just west of Kleifarvatn lake, showing increase in activity in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano
Earthquake activity in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity suggests that more stronger earthquake activity is possibly on the way. When it might start is difficult to know for sure. This has been the pattern in recent months. Earthquake activity starts to appears like this and then one day a major earthquake swarm starts. What happens now is a wait and see as before.

Earthquake activity has started to increase in Fagradalsfjall and Reykjanes volcanoes

Since yesterday (06-October-2022) the earthquake activity has been increasing in the volcanoes Fagradalsfjall and Reykjanes volcanoes. Please note that Global Volcanism Program has updated the informations regarding Fagradalsfjall mountain and now classifies it as its own volcano, this is after a new report and information from Icelandic Met Office. From now on I am going to use that classification when updating on activity in Fagradalsfjall volcano. I’ll not update older articles (too much work), but this also applies to them as such.

This also means that Fagradalsfjall is a new volcano in Iceland.

Earthquake activity in Fagradalsfjall volcano, Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja and Reykjanes volcano. Shown with red, orange and blue dots
Earthquake activity in Fagradalsfjall volcano and Reykjanes volcano along with Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity at start of an eruption cycle in Fagraldsfjall volcano are not large. They grow larger once magma has started to push into the crust, until then the earthquake activity only seems to happens with minor earthquake swarms.

Article updated with new information.

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Magnitude Mw3,5 earthquake south-west of Keilir mountain

During the night of 6-September-2022 an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,5 took place 1,2 km south-west of Keilir mountain. The depth was 4,1 km. This earthquake was part of a swarm of earthquakes in that same area. All of them smaller than this earthquake.

Green star just south-west of Keilir mountain, with blue dots showing older and smaller earthquakes in the same line to Fagradalsfjall mountain
Earthquakes close to Keilir mountain. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake swarm and activity strongly suggests that a new earthquake time period is about to start. If it is going to end in a eruption like in July – August is a wait and see situation. How this develops is also impossible to know. It seems that for now, this earthquake swarm is over. Earthquake activity is ongoing and continuos on Reykjanes peninsula and has been since 2021 when cycle of earthquake and volcano activity started.

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The eruption in Meradalir is going to end in next few days

Today (19-August-2022) there hasn’t been any lava flow seen from the crater in Merdalir valley in Fagradalsfjall mountain according to University of Iceland, Earth Science on Facebook. Few splashes of lava have been seen coming from the crater. This has also been observed on web cameras watching the eruption. Harmonic tremor has also dropped considerably since yesterday (18-August-2022) and continues to drop.

When the eruption ends exactly is unclear, but it might happen in the next few days.

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Increasing pulse activity in the eruption signals end of the eruption

It has been reported in the news today (18-August-2022) at Rúv that more pulse activity has been seen. This results in lava being thrown up high in the air.

This is the same pattern as happened last year in the eruption in Geldingadalir valley. It took a while for that eruption to end and that might also be the case now.

Other than this, there have not been any other news of the eruption. There also has been interesting events out in the lava field, where the new lava is compressing the lava from 2021, resulting it being squeezed out at the edges. Since there is still flowing lava in the lava field from 2021 and that is going to be like that for many decades until this lava field cools through.

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Changes in harmonic tremor in Meradalir valley eruption

This morning on (13-August-2022) at 06:30 to 08:00 UTC there was a sharp drop in harmonic tremor activity in the eruption in Meradalir valley. What happened is unclear, since no change has so far happened on the surface. From the looks of the harmonic tremor now, it seems that it is unstable currently.

Harmonic tremor plot on 0.5 - 1Hz, 1 - 2Hz, 2 - 4Hz, showing small drop in harmonic tremor around date of 13/08 as shown on the tremor plot
Harmonic tremor plot in Fagradalsfjall mountain, SIL station Fagradalsfjall (faf). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

New fissures might be about to open up, this can happen both north and south of current eruption. New fissures might also open up on either side of current eruption if that is a path that the magma can take. What happens is unclear and it is impossible to know when that might happen. Depending on the were next eruption happens, might mean a lot when it comes to possible lava paths and possible road damage if lava flows over a important road on Reykjanes peninsula.

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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjalli mountain in Meradalir valley on 12-August-2022

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain in Merdalir valley. As expected there is not a lot of news in this eruption, since lava type of eruptions are normally not news heavy eruptions.

  • The amount of lava that is now erupting according to latest news is about 15m3/sec. This is higher than the eruption in Geldingadalir in 2021.
  • The lava seems to have filled up the valley the eruption started in. The floor seems to be about 10 to 30 meters high depending on location.
  • The crater has formed to some extend. The lava lake that remains there blocks the formation of a normal crater for now. This might change with time as the eruption continues.
  • Lava flow go both in south and north direction. The north lava flow goes into a smaller valley that was there. This is the long way out of the valley for now.
  • There is a risk that the lava flow is going to reach road 427 (Suðurstrandavegur) in few weeks time.
  • The risk of new eruption sites opening up remains high and that risk increases as the eruption goes on.
  • There is a swarm of small earthquakes that has been happening regularly since the start of the eruption in the dyke.  It is unclear why that is happening.
  • I’ve been seeing what appears to be a lava fountain taking place in the eruption in the last few hours. This has not yet been confirmed, I have however observed this on the web cameras.

I think this is all. I hope the next update is going to be on Friday 19th August 2022 unless something major happens.

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Earthquake with magnitude Mw4,1 just west of Kleifarvatn lake

Today (7-August-2022) at 11:52 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,1 took place just west of Keifarvatn lake. This earthquake was felt in Reykjavík.

Green star just west of Kleifarvatn lake, in swarm of red and orange dots that show earthquakes from today (red) and few hours ago (orange)
Earthquake activity west of Kleifarvatn lake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity is ongoing in this area. This might be tectonic earthquakes because of pressure changes that are now taking place because of the eruption in Meradalir valley. That is however unclear in my view.

Reykjanes volcano

At 10:52 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 took place west of Grindavík in the Reykjanes volcano. This might not be an earthquake related to pressure changes because of the eruption in Merdadalir valley. I am however not sure if that is the case. The Reykjanes volcano is going to erupt one day, since it goes out in the ocean, an ocean eruption and island formation is a possibly. An eruption on land is also an possibility. When and how an eruption happens in Reykjanes volcano is something that just has to wait and see.

The eruption in Meradalir valley

Newest reports is that a pulsing activity has started in the largest eruption fissure in Meradalir valley. This suggest to me that the old lava that is now erupting is almost all erupted. When that magma supply is gone a short break in the eruption might happen and then a new, larger eruption is going to start with the new magma that is on the way to the Fagradalsfjall mountain. When and if this happens like this is a big wait and see.

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