In my last blog post I did tell the news about the possibility about a eruption in the Kistufell volcano field. But that field is a part of Bárðarbunga volcano system and has a lot of earthquake activity since the beginning of earthquake recording in Iceland.
In the tonight news on Rúv about this area, Páll Einarsson geologist at University of Iceland says in the news on Rúv that there is a good reason to worry about this area. As it is one of the most active one in Iceland, but it is directly above the mantle plume under Iceland. Páll Einarsson also says in the news on Rúv that before the eruption in the year 1996, that took place in a volcanic ridge now named Gjálp there was a increase in earthquake activity in Kistufell field.
But due to continues earthquake activity there is it hard to know what is exactly going on there. Páll Einarsson also says in the news on Rúv that it is a problem that this area of Iceland lacks the proper coverage with seismometers. But they are few in this area and that makes it harder to detect the depth and the location of the earthquake that take place in this area of Iceland.
After the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in the year 2010. It seems that geologist in Iceland take earthquake swarms more seriusly then they did before. As they did learn from Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption that not all volcano start with few earthquakes just before they erupt, as is common with few volcanoes in Iceland.
The news from Rúv on this matter. Use Google Translate to understand.
Full ástæða til að hafa varann á (Rúv.is)
The earthquake that happened this morning at Hamarinn volcano appears to have magma signature in it based on what I see in my own wave data. The size of this earthquake was ML3.5 according to automatic SIL data. The automatic depth of this earthquake is 1.1 km. This data is a subject to a review by Icelandic Met Office.
So far this has been a single event and no aftershocks or other earthquakes have happened in Hamarinn volcano. That might however change. But sometimes large earthquake swarms take place in Hamarinn volcano. But this volcano is known for a lot of earthquake activity at times.
There are no indications of a eruption starting in Hamarinn volcano.
Other earthquake activity
The earthquake at Hamarinn volcano appears to have started a earthquake swarm in Herðurbreiðartögl. But the area must have been at breaking point anyway and the earthquake that happened in Hamarinn volcano might have just acted as a trigger.
There have been earthquake not far from Kolbeinsey island volcano. The strongest earthquake got ML3.3 by the automatic data by the SIL system. But due to the distance this is a underestimate in size of the earthquakes taken place at Kolbeinsey island volcano. I am not sure if the earthquake swarm that was taking place there has stopped or not, as small earthquakes are not detected by the IMO SIL Network.
There are many volcanoes in Iceland that don’t enjoy the publicity and the fame like the most active volcanoes in Iceland. That list contains mountains like Hekla, Katla, Eyjafjallajökull, Grímsvötn (Grímsfjall) and so on.
Hamarinn or Lokahryggur (Loki-Fögrufjöll) as it sometimes called is a small volcano under the Vatnajökull glacier icecap. Over the history it has not made many known eruptions. The last eruptions was in the year 1910 according to Global Volcanism Program. But according to Global Volcanism Program there might have been a eruption in the year 2008 and before that in the year 2006. The full list of uncertain eruptions can be found here.
This volcano is inside Bárðarbunga fissure system. But is independent of Bárðarbunga volcano. Hamarinn volcano does not have any caldera according to studies.
Icelandic Met Office has a good map of this area, to my surprise. That map can be found here. This map shows well all the volcanoes that are not listed at Global Volcanism Program website as there own volcanoes, or they might not even be listed at all on there web page.
The volcano named Hamarinn in Vatnajökull glacier is a small and relativity unknown volcano in Iceland. As it has not erupted in recent history. Currently it is so unknown that it isn’t even properly registered at Global Volcanism Program website for this region in Iceland.
Currently the area is producing a lot of earthquakes. But those earthquakes appears to more tectonic in nature at this stage. Currently there is nothing indicating a imminent volcano eruption in the area. But that in it self might change with a short notice, as this area is volcano active. But it is also important to notice that the sequence that leads to a eruptions in this area is relativity unknown due to long dormancy in this area.
It is clear however that is worth keeping watch on this area in the nearest future. As history has shown that in Iceland that volcanoes do come with surprise eruptions with little to no warning at all. Hekla volcano is being the most famous volcano that behaves in such manner.