New hydrothermal area found in Steingrímsfirði, north-west Iceland

New hydrothermal area has been found somewhere off the coast of West-Iceland. In a fjord named Steingrímsfjörður. The exact location of this hydrothermal area is not known at current time. But it’s existence was confirmed by a rock that was found by a fisherman in the area. But it was captured by his fishnet.


The hydrothermal area is somewhere in this area out in the ocean. Exact location is unknown at present time. Image is from Wikipedia. Original copy can be found here.

Little is known of this area for now. But it is there based on the evidence of the rock formation. The water in this hydrothermal area is around 60 to 80C warm. That is a guess based on other well known hydrothermal areas close to this area.

Icelandic news about this. With limited details on this.

Hverastrýtur í Steingrímsfirði (strandir.is)

Fish dying in Kleifarvatn lake due to increasing toxic and hydro-thermal activity

According to Icelandic news today. Fish has been dying in Kleifarvatn lake. But Kleifarvatn lake is inside Krísuvík volcano system. The exact reason why the fish is dying is not known at this point. But report suggests that large amount of fish has been seen dead already. I do not know how much fish there is in Kleifarvatn lake.

This suggests that hydro-thermal and hot spring activity in increasing in the lake. This also suggest that increased toxic levels (for the fish) are now changing in the lake. What toxins are at work here I do not know. But it can be assumed that it is what comes with magma.

For the past three to four years. Krísuvík volcano has been inflating and deflating at regular time intervals. What this means in unclear at present time. But this is signs of increased activity in the volcano anyway. Hydro-thermal and hot spring activity has also been increasing during this period. This has also been followed by increased earthquake activity in Krísuvík volcano when inflation takes place. What happens next is impossible to know for sure. But it is clear that Krísuvík volcano is still far away from erupting any time soon.

Icelandic news about this

Fiskar í Kleifarvatni sagðir í andarslitrum (Vísir.is)
Fiskar i Kleifarvatni sagðir drepast í stórum stíl (Vísir.is)

New earthquake swarm in Katla volcano on 11. June 2012

Today from 04:00 to around 08:00 UTC this morning. There was an earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. This earthquake swarm was not large in the magnitude of the earthquakes. With the largest earthquakes being around ML2.0 in magnitude. There has been slight increase in conductivity in Múlakvísl river following this earthquake swarm. That suggests water is now leaking from hydro-thermal vents in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. So far no change in harmonic tremor has been seen. So for now, this are just earthquakes taking place inside Katla volcano caldera.


The earthquake swarm in Katla volcano this morning. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

It is difficult to know what happens next in Katla volcano. As it is bit unclear what is exactly taking place in Katla volcano. With the lack of harmonic tremor following this earthquake swarms. This simply might just be normal summer earthquake swarms taking place. But Katla volcano is well known for that type of behavior during the summer in Iceland. With the most earthquake activity taking place in July and August.

More on Askja lake sudden warming up

Few more news have appeared about the sudden warming of Askja volcano caldera lake. From what I this news say. It seems that this sudden melt of ice in Askja lake did start in beginning of March, by the end of March the lake had gone completely ice free. This is highly unusual and is not known to have happened before. This increase in hydro-thermal activity seems to be located at the bottom of the lake. But so far there is no new change around Askja lake. But it was reported yesterday that known hydro-thermal areas in Askja volcano where well active. It is now being reported that Askja lake got ice-free over period of two weeks so. But that is highly unusual and fast change in Askja lake.

Earthquake activity has not been above background level in Askja volcano so far. But this increase in hydro-thermal activity is interesting from geological point of view, and is the most clear sign that Askja volcano is preparing for a eruption. But there have been earthquakes taking place in Askja volcano. But as I sad yesterday. There have been few earthquakes in Askja volcano during past few months. Askja lake is about 1000 meters above the sea level. This means that once ice settles the lake in December it normally lasts until mid July. But the lake is self is normally up to 22C warm. So the warm increase

If anyone is going to Askja volcano. It is now official advice that people how are travelling in this area not to into Víti lake, or into Askja lake due to risk of dangerous gases that might be coming up from the ground. If you have no special reason going to Askja volcano, you should not go there at this point due to the changes in the volcano. As at this moment it is unknown what exactly is creating this changes in the Askja lake, and possibly nearby hydro-thermal areas.

University of Iceland and Iceland Meteorological Office are going to go after Easter and setup more monitoring hardware and run some test on what might be taking place in Askja volcano.

Update 1: Here is a youtube video by the user gummih that shows how fast Askja lake did thaw during middle of winter.

Icelandic news about this. Use Google translate to make sense of it.

Fylgst með framvindu mála í Öskju (mbl.is)
„Óeðlilegt ástand“ í Öskjuvatni (DV.is)
Fólk fari ekki að Öskjuvatni (mbl.is) – The news with the offical warning about going to Askja lake and Askja volcano.
Vara ferðafólk við Öskjuvatni og Víti (Rúv.is)
Almannavarnir: Ekki fara að Öskju (DV.is)
Óvenjulegt ástand við Öskju (Almannavarnir, Iceland Civil Emergency Authority)
Fólki bent á að fara ekki að Öskju (Vísir.is)

News in English about this

Photos: Iceless Iceland Volcano Lake Causes Speculation (icelandreview.com)

Blog post updated at 18:46 UTC on 04.04.2012.
Blog post updated at 19:12 UTC on 04.04.2012.
Blog post updated at 20:12 UTC on 04.04.2012.
Blog post updated at 01:28 UTC on 05.04.2012.

New hot springs in Greenland after an earthquake (swarm?)

While hot springs are in few areas of Greenland. They are not common and not as hot as those in Iceland. I do not know a lot about the details of geology of Greenland. So I am unsure on the details why there are hot springs in Greenland to start with. But this news is even more interesting for that exact reason.

According to the Greeland Radio new hot springs opened up in the village of Kangersuatsiaq of the west coast of Greenland. After an what appears to be swarm of earthquakes, with the largest one somewhere around ML2.9 to ML3.? (enough to sake people pictures on the wall). A new hot springs did open up following this earthquakes. The water seems to be around 20C to up 36C. It might be warmer, as details on this are few and little.

Best to my knowledge there is no known volcanoes in this area and have not been in the past ~65 million years or longer.

News about this in Danish and Icelandic.

Flere varme kilder i Kangersuatsiaq (KNR.gl)
Jordskælv ved Kangersuatsiaq (KNR.gl)
Vorlykt við glænýja grænlenska hveri (Rúv.is)