The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano

On the 4th of January 2017 a earthquake swarm took place in Hengill volcano. Largest earthquake had the magnitude of 3,7 and the second earthquake had the magnitude of 2,8. The largest earthquakes where felt in Reykjavík, Hveragerði and Selfoss towns (mostly). In total of 150 earthquakes took place in this earthquake swarm.


The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano from 4th of January 2017. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake swarm was due to a process called rifting, this means that where the earthquake swarm is happening the ground is dropping and cracking at the same time. This over time forms a rift valley (like Þingvellir). The area from Hveravellir and south into the ocean of the Reykjanes ridge is all just one big rift valley. Far as I know a period of high earthquake activity can happen in this area, last time this happened sometimes around the middle of 19th century with possible activity sometimes in the 20th (early) century. Since then it has been mostly quiet.

In the year 1789 (source in Icelandic, 1973) the area around Þingvallavatn lake dropped around 63 cm (that estimate is not accurate and it is estimated that it was far more) in a earthquake swarm. When this is going to happen next time is impossible to know.

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The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano

For the past two days swarm of earthquakes have been taking place in Hengill volcano. Looking at the earthquake swarm it might look like something was about to happen in this volcano. The fact is however that nothing is happening in the volcano, this earthquake swarm is entirely human made. Largest earthquakes so far have had the magnitude of 3,0 (x2), 3,2 (x1), 3,6 (x1). Over 300 earthquakes in total have happened so far, most less than magnitude 1,0 few dozen above magnitude 2,0.

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The earthquake swarm as it was at 19:20 UTC. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

Source of this activity is water pumping into the ground. The hydro-thermal electric plant (it also serves hot water to Reykjavík area and other towns nearby) does that with unwanted waste water, since that water is full of toxic chemicals. The hot water used in hot taps and showers in Reykjavík now is warmed up cold water (they use thermal exchangers to do this, some houses have this unit installed inside the house).

This earthquake swarm is currently on-going and if anything major happens I will update this article.

Weather warning for Thursday 22-September-2016

It appears that a strong low pressure system is on its way to Iceland and is going to at the south coast on 22-September-2016. I don’t have a exact time at the moment. This might the first real storm in Iceland this fall. More weather details are going to appear tomorrow as the forecast gets better.

Warning of man made earthquakes in Hengill volcano

Almannavarnir put out a warning yesterday (19-May-2015) about increased risk of man made earthquakes in Hengill volcano. This happens when a water is pumped down into the ground it changes the pressure in the rock and creating earthquakes as a consequence. There is a risk of earthquakes with magnitudes up to 4,5 or larger. The first pumping down of this leftover water is expected to end by 19-June-2015.

Icelandic News about this

Vara við jarðskjálftum á Hengilssvæðinu (Rúv.is, Icelandic)
Niðurdæling vegna hitamengunar að hefjast (Rúv.is, Icelandic)

Earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano

Today (4-April-2014) has been marked by an large earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. For the moment this earthquake swarm is man made. This earthquake swarm is due the fact that Orkuveita Reykjavíkur is pumping down large amount of water (full of led and other hazardous things) back into the ground. This creates pressure change in the crust and that starts an earthquake swarm in the area. It is possible to monitor this earthquake swarm here on my webicorder website.

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The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Activity has been so high in this area today that it has been creating ghost earthquakes on the earthquake map of Iceland.

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Some earthquakes on this map are ghost earthquakes due to high earthquake activity in Hengill volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

This earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano is going to continue for as long as they continue to pump down water into the crust in this location. As for the magnitude of the earthquakes that appear during this time is difficult to say. Largest earthquake so far had the magnitude of 2,9, it is also possible that larger earthquakes might take place in this location or nearby location if stress changes due to this activity take place. I don’t know if that is going to happen, but it is worth monitoring for such changes just in case anything happens.

Blog post updated at 20:54 UTC.
Blog post updated at 20:57 UTC.

Three earthquakes in Hekla volcano. Earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano

For the past 24 hours tree earthquakes so far have been recorded in Hekla volcano. There is no sign of eruption or anything other than earthquakes taking place at present time.

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The earthquake activity in Hekla volcano (top left). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

It is possible to monitor Hekla volcano here for earthquakes (almost real-time data).
Here is an list of web cameras that point to Hekla volcano.
Míla web camera of Hekla volcano can be viewed here.
IMO earthquake web page can be viewed here.

Currently there is bad weather in south Iceland that makes observation and monitoring of Hekla volcano difficult.

Earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano

Yesterday (23-March-2014) and Today (24-March-2014) an earthquake swarm took place in Hengill volcano. This earthquake swarm has its source in water being pumped down into the ground from Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (geothermal plant in this area).

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The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

This are not volcano related. This happens when cold water (polluted) is being pumped back into the ground. That makes earthquake swarms like this one common.

Minor earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano

Yesterday (16-February-2014) an minor earthquake swarm took place in Hengill volcano. This earthquake swarm took place because Orkuveit Reykjavíkur (OR) was pumping down water from hydrothermal processing in this part of Hengill volcano.

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The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano yesterday. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

This type of earthquakes happen regularly when Orkuveita Reykjavíkur pumps water down into the ground at this location. At the moment this is just making minor earthquakes. This type of earthquake swarm only last during the period when water is being pumped down into the ground. Once that process is stopped the earthquake activity stops almost immediately.

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Earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano

A earthquake swarm of minor earthquakes took place in Hengill volcano today. This earthquake swarm was due to Orkuveita Reykjavíkur was pumping down water in the area.

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The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano this evening. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The largest earthquake had the magnitude of 1,4. Other earthquakes were smaller.

Continued earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island

During the week the earthquake activity continued north of Kolbeinsey Island. Two more earthquakes appeared, they had the magnitude of 3,0 and 3,1 according to EMSC. I do not have any image of that activity since I was travelling the days it was on Icelandic Meteorological Office website.

Webicorder images still do not update

Something failed in my hardware few days ago so no webicorder images are updating at the moment. I do not know what did go wrong or what did fail and it is going to be few weeks until I know why. According to electronic usage readings from my home something powered down or was powered down (I know what normal usage should be based on what electronics where turned on when I left). I am not sure what was turned off or did go offline and I won’t find out until I get back home. Until then my webicorder images are not going to be updated. International webicorders are updating (mostly) normal now and all large earthquake activity in the world is going to appear on that website. I do not run any of the images shown there so they are unaffected by this failure.

Donations

Like so many projects on the internet. I depend on donations to keep my working ongoing here. They allow me to work on this full time. Since I am not allowed to use the “Donate” button from Paypal. People have send me the donation directly via “Send Money” option on Paypal website. Thanks for the support.

Overview of earthquake activity in Iceland past few weeks

During the past few weeks it has been quiet in Iceland. With few earthquakes. March for instance was rather quiet month. In Week 17 there was more activity in Katla volcano, then the weeks before.

There have been several small earthquake swarms taking place in Iceland during past few weeks. Most noticeable was off the coast of Flatey. That is on TFZ earthquake zone. Also there was a noticeable earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano due to water pumping activity. There has also been earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge. Where the largest earthquake had the size of ML3.3.

Other then this minor earthquake activity. It is has been rather quiet in Iceland for several weeks now. This does happen in Iceland. But even so, there is always something interesting going on when it comes to earthquake activity in Iceland.

Earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano

Yesterday (21.04.2012) an earthquake swarm started in Hengill volcano at 18:57 UTC on 21.04.2012. The area in question is well known for having earthquakes swarms during past few months. It seems that this earthquake swarm is not over, and there is also a risk of stronger earthquakes in Hengill volcano than have currently happened. But the largest earthquake so far was event with the magnitude ML2.8.


Earthquake activity in Hengill volcano at 00:50 UTC on 22.04.2012. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

Icelandic news about this earthquake swarm.

Jörð skelfur við Hellisheiðarvirkjun (mbl.is, Icelandic)

Two minor earthquake swarms in Hengill volcano

Yesterday, last night and this morning there has been minor earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. This earthquake swarm is more or less over for now. But it might pick up at any time. This time around only around 140 earthquakes where detected in this two earthquake swarms.


The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. The location of this earthquake swarm is quite common. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.


The earthquake swarms in terms of each earthquake being marked. This clearly shows the two earthquake swarm pattern. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.

More earthquake swarms should be expected in this area. As Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (OR) continues to pump down water in this area. But that is creating this earthquakes it seems. This earthquake activity takes place at random times.