Inflation from start of September in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano and in Reykjanes volcano

According to GPS data from Icelandi Met Office that can be viewed here for Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano (Þorbjörn) and here for Reykjanes volcano. It seems that a inflation period, at least in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano started in early September and is ongoing at the writing of this article. Earthquake activity is low at the moment, but the area has already moved a lot in recent earthquake swarms and that might he dropped the crustal stress in the area. It might also explain some of the GPS movements. I have some, but limited understanding of reading GPS data so my assessment might be off, wrong or both.

There also seems to be inflation going on, without many earthquakes in Reykjanes volcano. That seems to be have been going on since start of August. There have not been any eruption in Reykjanes volcano even after repeated inflation and deflation cycles in the volcano. Inflation cycles often have earthquake swarm activity if dyke activity follows an inflation event. That does not seem have happened this time around.

If this inflation continues, in either one or both volcanoes. It is clear a new period of high earthquake activity is about to start on Reykjanes peninsula. When that earthquake activity is going to start is impossible to know. Since recent earthquake and volcano activity has changed how the crust works in the parts of the Reykjanes peninsula where magma has been active. Since hot magma slowly softens the hard rock in the crust at depth and that lowers the earthquake activity. Rather then at the start of an volcano activity, when the crust is cold and brittle, resulting in high earthquake activity before an eruption.

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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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Strong earthquake this morning north-east of Grindavík town

Today (23-May-2022) at 07:14 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,5 took place north-east of Grindavík town. This earthquake was felt in Grindavík and in Reykjavík. The earthquake was located in a area that is either inflating or on the edge of area that is inflating.

Green stars both north-east and north-west of Grindavík town along with several orange dots that show smaller earthquakes in the area
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula close to Grindavík. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

According to Icelandic Met Office news, the inflation around Þorbjörn mountain since the start of this earthquake activity is currently at 45mm. I don’t know how much inflation the crust can take in this area before an eruption starts in this area. Any eruption in this area is probably going to start with few craters that shut down with time and then there is just one crater that erupts until the eruption ends.

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Earthquake swarm north of Grindavík town

Around 14:00 UTC an earthquake swarm started north of Grindavík town. This look like a tension breaking earthquake swarm and that suggests an inflation is happening again in Fagradalsfjall volcano (mountain). Largest earthquake so far had a magnitude of Mw3,3 and second largest earthquake so far had a magnitude of Mw3,0.

Green star on the map north of Grindavík town shows the main earthquake swarm
Earthquake activity north of Grindavík town. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Red dots north of Grindavík town showing the main area of earthquake activity
Area of earthquake activity. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake swarm is ongoing, but like with all earthquakes swarms in this area it shows a sign of slowing down for few hours before continuing. There is a chance this earthquake swarm might be over. But I am not yet sure if that is the case.

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Deep inflation detected in Fagradalsfjall mountain

According to a news report today (16-November-2021) inflation has been detected deep under Fagradalsfjall mountain, that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system. This inflation suggests that an eruption might start again in Fagradalsfjall mountain, it remains impossible to know when such an eruption might start. Since there is a lot that suggest this inflation is because of magma collecting at depth under Fagradalsfjall mountain. When or if that results in a eruption in the future is impossible to know.

This inflation is now large enough to be seen on satellite images that monitors deformation in the upper crust. In the upper crust this deformation appears small, but that is not all the story in this.

Icelandic News (in Icelandic)

Gosið enn í dvala – Mæla litlar hreyfingar á miklu dýpi (Rúv.is)

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Inflation and earthquake activity in Askja volcano

Inflation has been increasing in Askja volcano over the last few weeks. According to latest news that inflation is now at 14 cm, since the inflation was detected at the end of August. On Saturday 9-October-2021 an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,2 was detected in Askja volcano (I’ll try and add the picture later if I remember). This is was the strongest earthquake in Askja volcano in the last 20 years according to the news.

Askja is remote and there are no or limited amounts of web cameras in the area. With winter arriving going there is impossible for most people. If an eruption happens this winter the best view is probably going to be harmonic tremor data until pictures appears from Icelandic Met Office or someone with an air plane (if the weather allows for that).

Askja volcano placed on uncertain level and yellow alert for flight

Because if Askja volcano quick inflation, that is now currently at 7 cm, Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has declared uncertain level and yellow alert for flight.

Green triangles shows most of the volcanoes in Iceland as green. Only Askja and Grímsfjall are yellow. Krýsuvík volcano is orange in colour.
Current status of volcanoes in Iceland as of 9-September-2021. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Inflation is quick in Askja volcano and is now at 7 cm. When or if that is going to result in an eruption is impossible to know. Current Askja volcano is what remains of a mountain that blew up in an large eruption in the year 1875 century. Most eruptions are just lava flows, unless they happen to start in a water, then explosive activity happens while water remains.

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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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 15-May-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. This eruption is part of the volcano system Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

The eruption continues as before but increase in lava output has been detected and is now 70% more according to latest news from Icelandic Met Office and Earth science of University of Iceland. Compared to the start of the eruption on 19-March-2021.

  • The eruption continues in one main crater. It erupts in lava fountain style at the writing of this article. With highest lava fountains reaching the height of 400 to 500 meters. The lava fountains can be seen from Reykjavík and other nearby area.
  • The lava field is about to reach Nátthagi valley and there is now an attempt to stop that from happening. Because of nearby road and fibre optic cable that runs through that area. It is my estimate that attempts to stop the lava flow are going to fail when the lava flow starts going back to Nátthagi valley.
  • The main crater is now 50 to 90 meters high. But his height is always changing because of continued collapse from it inside it and outside it. The process of collapse is slowly growing the crater volume and size.
  • The magma seems to be coming from even deeper part of the mantle compared to with start of the eruption. Based on lava changes in the chemical makeup.
  • There are no signs of the eruption about to be ending soon.

It is difficult to know for sure what happens next in the eruption. Opening up of new craters outside of current line of craters is something that might happen. With the eruption growing in size it is difficult to know for sure what is going to happen next in Fagradalsfjall mountain.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 30-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 30-April-2021.

There has not been any major changes since last update. This are the noticeable changes since last update in the eruption in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

  • Just one crater is now erupting. All other craters have stopped erupting but for now some of them might contain lava lake for now that might be creating a flow in lava tubes under the surface in the lava field. This process might not be visible on the surface.
  • A lot of activity now is in form of high lava arcs (correct word?) are now being formed in the one crater because of increased gas content of the lava.
  • Lava fields are slowly filling up all nearby valleys that it is flowing into. This is a slow process and is going to take months.
  • There are no signs the eruption is about to end.

No other updates have been reported so far. Rúv has installed a new web camera to give better view of the eruption. That camera can be found on YouTube Rúv channel.

Vacation

I am going on a small vacation between 5th May and 10th May. That means next update about the eruption is going to be on 14th May. I don’t know if I can go to the eruption yet as that depends on the weather and the weather is always unstable in Iceland.