Earthquake swarm north of Kolbeinsey island

This morning (5-March-2022) an earthquake swarm started north of Kolbeinsey island. Three earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 took place in this swarm and there where few smaller earthquakes recorded. Because of distance from the SIL network only the strongest earthquakes have been detected.

Green stars on the top of the map showing the location of the earthquake swarm. Few orange dots showing smaller earthquakes
Green starts show the location of the earthquake swarm in Kolbeinsey island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The strongest earthquakes with magnitude of Mw3,1 and Mw3,2. There is still a chance of stronger earthquakes in this area. It is unclear what is going on because this area is remote and under the ocean. If an eruption happens at this location there is a chance it won’t be noticed or just noticed on SIL seismometers.

Earthquake swarm far north of Kolbeinsey island

Early morning (14-April-2021) an earthquake swarm took place far north of Kolbeinsey island. Largest recorded earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,5 but it possibly was larger but because of distance from the SIL network the magnitude is underestimated. I did record this earthquake on my only seismometers and it showed a lot of surface wave activity, suggesting a larger magnitude than Mw3,5.

Green stars far north of Iceland that show the loaction of the earthquake swarm out in the ocean
The earthquake swarm far north of Iceland. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Because of remote location of this earthquake swarm it is not possible to know what is going on there. The area is also under an ocean that is 2 to 4 km deep at this location. If anything happens it is not going to be noticed outside of being detected with seismometers.

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Earthquake in Kolbeinsey island

Yesterday (24-January-2021) at 09:16 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,1 took place in Kolbeinsey island. Two unconfirmed earthquakes with magnitude of Mw2,5 and Mw2,6 took place at 17:37 UTC and 19:06 UTC.

Green star at the edge of the image shows the location of Mw3,1 earthquake of Kolbeinsey island
Earthquake in Kolbeinsey island shown by the green star. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The area is remote and it is difficult to know if there has been any more earthquake activity there. There is also a storm going on and has been going on for last several days and that limits detection of small and remote earthquakes in Iceland.

Earthquake swarm north of Kolbeinsey island

Yesterday (22-May-2019) at 15:47 UTC a magnitude 3,4 earthquake took place around 12 km north of Kolbeinsey Island. This earthquake was part of a small swarm in this area yesterday. It appears to be over but there is a risk of more activity in this area. Due to distance from the coastline and next populated island this earthquake was not felt.


Earthquake north of Kolbeinsey island (green star north of Iceland). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake swarms happen in this area frequently. This is not part of the TFZ but borders it just a little south of this earthquake activity.

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Added

If you donate with a bank please update your information. I have changed the bank information again in April and the new information can be found here. The Icelandic bank account that I have been using is going to be closed soon.

Personal note

I have added a personal note on what is going on with me in the comments. It explains why I changed my mind on moving back to Denmark and other issues that I’ve been dealing with in recent months.

Updated at 13:45 UTC. Added updated information about bank donations.
Updated at 14:11 UTC. Added updated information about bank donations.

Strong earthquake swarm 88 – 90 km north of Kolbeinsey Island yesterday (8-September-2018)

Yesterday (8-September-2018) there was a strong earthquake swarm 88 to 90 km north of Kolbeinsey Island. Due to distance from the SIL network it is impossible to know how large and strong this earthquake swarm actually was. Largest earthquake reported by Icelandic Met Office had a magnitude of 3,3. Total of ten earthquakes with magnitude 3,0 or larger happened during this earthquake swarm.


Earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island (green stars). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Total around 30 earthquakes were detected but it can be assumed that total number of earthquakes might have been higher. At the distance from the SIL network smaller earthquakes are not detected. It is not possible to know for sure what is happening at this location due to distance from the coast and the SIL network.

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Minor earthquake swarm on Kolbeinsey Island

Today (Sunday 08-October-2017) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Kolbeinsey Island. Only three earthquakes where detected, but that does not rule out that more earthquakes happened but where not detected due to distance from land and the SIL network.


The earthquake activity is marked by the green star to the north on this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake detected had the magnitude of 3,1 and the second largest earthquake detected had a magnitude of 2,1. Since 10:33 UTC this morning, that lack of activity does not rule out more activity in next few days.

New SIL station

I did see in the news today that Icelandic Met Office has added a new SIL station at Bjarnarey Island. This increases the earthquake resolution for Vestmannaeyjar area along with improving earthquake detection in Katla volcano and making it possible to detect small earthquakes deeper south of Iceland.

Icelandic news about the new SIL station, Jar√įskj√°lftam√¶lir √≠ Bjarnarey a√į frumkv√¶√įi Vinnslust√∂√įvarinnar (eyjafrettir.is).

Icelandic Met Office has also moved the SIL station in Vestmanneyjar Island around. The old location was not usable any more due to cultural noise from the population in Vestmannaeyjar Island.

Earthquake swarm in Kolbeinsey island

Yesterday (24-May-2017) and today (during the night of 25-May-2017) there was an earthquake swarm in Kolbeinsey island. Largest earthquakes had the magnitude of 3,6 (x2) and one magnitude 3,5 earthquake took place. Other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. No harmonic tremor where detected during this activity, that does not rule out that this activity is due to dyke intrusion taking place in Kolbeinsey island. It just didn’t reach the surface this time. Kolbeinsey island is far away from the SIL network, with the closest station being in Gr√≠msey island (~25 km) with other SIL station at ~60 km distance. If an eruption starts in Kolbeinsey Island, a harmonic tremor signal is going to appear in Gr√≠msey island SIL station.


Green star mark the area where the earthquake swarm took place in Kolbeinsey island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Last eruption in this area took place in the year 1755, but that eruption might not actually have been in Kolbeinsey Island, but in a other unnamed volcano north of it (where is not known). Last confirmed eruption in Kolbeinsey island took place in the year 1372, it was closer to land somewhere north-west of Grímsey island (suggesting that fissure swarm of Kolbeinsey island comes close to Grímsey island).

At the moment the activity has quieted down and no earthquakes are being detected by the SIL network.

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Strong earthquake swarm 80 km north of Kolbeinsey Island

During the night of 26-March-2017 there was an strong earthquake swarm about 80 km north of Kolbeinsey Island. This is around 250 km from the coast in north Iceland. It is not clear what is happening in this location, since this area has been seeing higher than usual earthquake activity in recent months. This is the largest earthquake swarm so far to take place.


The earthquake swarm as it appears on Icelandic Met Office maps. Green stars are earthquakes with magnitude above 3,0. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquakes in this swarm had the following magnitudes. Magnitude 4,6 (EMSC Information here), magnitude 5,0 (EMSC information here), magnitude 4,8 (EMSC information here). The largest earthquakes where not felt due to distance from the coast. It is not possible due to distance to see if there is an eruption taking place at this location. All harmonic tremor get lost due to distance from nearest SIL station. A really large eruption might slightly appear on tremor plot on Icelandic Met Office website, at the moment that has not happened.


The magnitude 5,0 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in B√∂√įvarsh√≥lar. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence for more details.


The magnitude 5,0 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubygg√į. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence for more details.

It is difficult to know if an earthquake activity is continuing in this area or not. Since the distance from nearest SIL stations does not allow for micro-earthquakes to be detected properly or at all.

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Continued and strong earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island

For the past few weeks something has been going on in the deep ocean far north of Kolbeinsey Island. The area north of Kolbeinsey Island has been having strong earthquake swarms for several weeks now, what is creating them is less clear.


The earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island (blue dots). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

All magnitudes are under-estimated at this location. I managed to record the last earthquake swarm (largest earthquakes) and it was clear by this activity that something was going on. Five earthquakes that where at least magnitude 3,2 (estimate) took place in the space of 4 – 8 minutes. This where only the earthquakes that I was able to record, distance from my geophone to this area is ~230 km at shortest distance. Making it difficult for me to record earthquakes on my simple geophone. Icelandic Met Office SIL network is not having much better luck recording earthquakes at this location, due to distance the SIL network underestimates the magnitude and location of the earthquakes has higher than normal error margins (up to several dozen of km at most).

There is a possibility that an eruption is taking place at this location now. There was a possible eruption or dyke injection at this location in October of the year 1999, the Global Volcanism Program report on that activity can be found here.

Overview of micro-earthquake activity in Iceland 28-September-2016

This is a short overview of the micro-earthquake activity in Iceland on 28-September-2016. Please note that some of this earthquake activity may have started some days ago and only got really busy on 28th September 2016.

Kolbeinsey Island / Ridge

Late on the 28-September-2016 an earthquake swarm took place in Kolbeinsey Island / Ridge. This is the largest earthquake swarm in this article. With the largest earthquakes having the magnitude above 3,0. Due to distance from the SIL network exact calculation of the magnitude and depth doesn’t appear to be possible. Last eruption taking place in Kolbeinsey Island / Ridge took place in the year 1755. No other eruptions have been documented since, but they might regardless have happened. The area is far from land and difficult to observe.

East of Grímsey Island (Tjörnes Fracture Zone)

Minor earthquake swarm has been taking place earth of Grímsey Island in a area that many suspect is a volcano (it is marked as such in the GVP database). The earthquake swarm in question does not appear to be a volcanic in origin. This appear to be a tectonic activity taking place, as the movement of TFZ is 20mm lateral movement/year (they fault slide each other 20mm/year) the rift movement is only 5mm/year (eastern part only). Image showing the movements can be found here (vedur.is).

160929_0025
Earthquake activity in Kolbeinsey Island and Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

South Seismic Zone (SISZ)

A small swarm of earthquakes has been taking place in SISZ this week. The largest earthquake in this swarm has only had the magnitude of 2,1. The activity is only minor and does not suggest a large earthquake is about to happen. This might be aftershocks of the earthquakes in 2000 or 2008.

160929_0045
The earthquake activity in SISZ. It’s only minor and west of Selfoss (red dot). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Reykjanes peninsula

Earthquake swarm started on 28-September-2016 on the Reykjanes peninsula. This earthquake swarm was not strong and the largest earthquake in this swarm only had the magnitude of 2,1 and all other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. Total of 60 earthquake happened when the swarm was active.

160928_1425
The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes peninsula. It was not big in magnitude, but had a total of 60 earthquakes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Few earthquake have also been taking place around Iceland without any other activity. This type of one-off earthquake activity is common in Iceland. Why it happens is unclear.

Article updated at 02:03 UTC on 29-September-2016. Word corrections.