Increased earthquake activity off the coast of Reykjanestá

Today (20-May-2022) around 18:00 UTC the earthquake activity off the coast of Reykjanestá, that is part of Reykjanes volcano, increased again after few days of little earthquake activity. The earthquake swarm is ongoing and always changing so this article is going to be short because of that.

Green stars out in the ocean where the main earthquake swarm is taking place just off the coastline of Reykjanestá. This is in south-west direction
Earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge, close to Reykjanestá. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake so far had a magnitude of Mw3,8 and the second largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,5. The Mw3,8 earthquake was felt in Grindavík and on nearby towns on Reykjanes peninsula. A Mw3,0 earthquake took place just north of Grindavík and was felt in the town.

Earthquake swarm north of Grindavík (ongoing activity)

Yesterday (18-May-2022) I forgot to write about the earthquake activity that is ongoing north of Grindavík town. This earthquake activity is either in the new dyke that has formed or ongoing path of the dyke in Svartsengi that has now reached north of Grindavík town. I don’t know what applies here. Skjálftalísa map that Icelandic Met Office has strongly suggests a second dyke, but the results are bit unclear. In the area east of Þorbjörn is a older eruption fissure, I don’t know when it erupted, but it might have been as early as 12th to 13th century.

Six green stars north of Grindavík town, Few red dots show smaller earthquaeks.
Six green stars north of Grindavík town. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Yesterday (18-May-2022) total of five earthquakes happened with magnitude larger than Mw3,0. Largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,5. Today (19-May-2022) at the writing of this article, only one earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,0 has happened. Earthquake activity seems to be slowing down. I am not sure why that is.

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Magma dyke has formed between Þorbjörn mountain and Eldvörp on Reykjanes peninsula

According to news today (18-May-2022) and based on recent measurements, a magma dyke has formed between Þorbjörn mountain and Eldvörp on Reykjanes peninsula. Eldvörp on Reykjanes peninsula where formed during last eruption cycle in the volcano of Reykjanes during 12th and early 13th century, exact times are poorly known. This is in a volcano named Reykjanes and is not connected to Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano that erupted in 2021 (Fagradalsfjall mountain).

The dyke is shallow and narrow according the news that quote scientists from University of Iceland, Earth science department and Icelandic Met Office. The length of dyke is 7 to 9 km and depth is down to 4 to 8 km (?). This also shows up in the GPS data and other data that Icelandic Met Office has access to (I don’t have this level of access).

Red dots north of Grindavík town and a green star showing the main centre of earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano
Earthquake activity north of Grindavík town. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is not possible to know when a eruption start or in what area. The main risk areas now are Blue Lagoon, HS hydrothermal energy thermal plant. The town of Grindavík is slightly south of this and is possibly in danger. How this goes depends on where the eruption starts and how large it is going to be. Smaller eruption is less of a problem than a big eruption in this area. All that can be done now is to continue to monitor the situation.

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Magnitude Mw4,3 earthquake in Eldvörp (Reykjanes volcano)

This is a short article about ongoing activity in Reykjanes volcano.

At 17:38 UTC an magnitude Mw4,3 earthquake took place in Eldvörp crater row. This earthquake was felt over a wide area of south Iceland and on Reykjanes peninsula.

A lot of earthquake activity west of Grindavík town in Eldvörp. A lot of green stars in this area along with new red dots showing smaller earthquakes.
Strong earthquake activity west of Grindavík town. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

As it currently is, the earthquake activity in this area is going to continue to increase until an eruption starts. When that might happen is not something I can predict.

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Updated at 20:52. Icelandic Met Office downgraded this earthquake when it was reviewed again. This article has been updated in accordance with the new information.

Strong earthquake swarm in Eldvörpum (Reykjanes volcano)

Today (15-May-2022) a strong earthquake activity started in Eldvörp crater crow west of Grindavík town. Largest earthquake at the writing of this article had a magnitude of Mw4,1. Stronger earthquakes are a possibility. Total of five earthquakes with magnitude stronger than Mw3,0 have taken place since 11:00 UTC this morning. More than 100 earthquakes that are smaller in magnitude have happened since then.

Five green stars on top of each other west of Grindavík town on Reykjanes peninsula. The area is swarmed with smaller earthquakes and older earthquakes from recent days, few green stars out in the ocean from older earthquake swarm
Earthquakes in Reykjanes volcano in Eldvörp crater row. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I am not seeing any clear signs that this earthquake activity is because of tectonic activity. This earthquake activity is in my personal view because of magma trying to find a path to the surface, something that it seems to struggle with. A process that was also seen just before the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. The difference now is that an eruption in this area might be a magnitude or two larger than an eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain, until an eruption starts, this is just a speculation. It is impossible to know when an eruption is going to start at this location, or if it is going to start. That is the most likely outcome of all this, but volcanoes remain unpredictable.

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Ongoing earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano

There is a an ongoing earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano and it has been going on for more than a week now. Location of this swarm has moved a little and the main earthquake activity is now at Reykjanestá area out in the ocean. There have been five earthquakes with magnitude above Mw3,0 today (13-May-2022) and the largest so far had a magnitude of Mw3,5.

Five green stars on top of each other out in the ocean at Reykjanestá. A green star north of it from a unverified earthquake. Swarm of small earthquakes close to Grindavík town
Earthquake activity on Reykjanes ridge and on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity suggests two things. Either the magma has not been able to find a path to the surface close to Grindavík town. The second option is that there are two dyke intrusions happening in Reykjanes volcano. This earthquake activity slows down but never fully stops it seems. It is unclear why that happens. I am expecting earthquake activity to get stronger until an eruption starts somewhere in Reykjanes volcano.

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Earthquake activity in new location in Reykjanes volcano

Today (10-May-2022) during the night an earthquake swarm started in a new location in the volcano Reykjanes. This location is about 11 km south of Keflavík International Airport, it is also close to a village named Hafnir. Largest earthquakes in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,0 and Mw3,2. The second earthquake was felt in the area. A lot of smaller earthquakes also took place at this location.

Two green stars on top of each other on the most west Reykjanes peninsula in Reykjanes volcano
Green stars in Reykjanes volcano where the activity took place. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity suggests that a new magma injection is taking place in this location. The chance of an eruption is in my view high for this location, when it might happen is impossible to know. There is a old lava field in this area and some say it might be from last ice age. I am not sure on the exact age of this lava field, the crater that created this old lava field has eroded away by the ocean centuries ago.

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Earthquake swarm in Kleifarvatn lake in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano

Yesterday (04-May-2022) an earthquake swarm started in Kleifarvatn lake that is in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano. Largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,4 but earthquakes down to magnitude Mw2,9 where felt in Reykjavík.

Green star in Kleifarvatn lake on Reykjanes pensinsula. This is in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano
Earthquake activity in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is difficult to be exactly sure what is going on. However, most signs suggest that this earthquake swarm that is ongoing is because if magma movement or magma trying to push upwards in the crust at this location. Earthquake activity is showing a small amount of fluctuation and I don’t know why that is happening. Eruption in this area is likely, it is however impossible to know when that might happen.

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Moving to Denmark

I am currently moving back to Denmark. Until middle of June or start of July updates might be slower because of limited internet access.

Earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano

Earthquake swarm in the Reykjanes volcano (Global Volcanism Program website remains down) is ongoing with little breaks. Largest earthquake in the last 48 hours had a magnitude of Mw3,1. I don’t know if it was felt. This earthquake activity shows that magma continues to inflate this part of the Reykjanes volcano.

Green star and a red dot on the south-westen part of Reykjanes peninsula in the Reykjanes volcano showing where the activity is
Earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity is part of a higher than normal earthquake activity in this area. It has been ongoing since 2019, with the most quiet period during the six month long eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. I don’t know when the crust is going to break on that magma that is in this area. It might not happen with a large earthquake swarm or activity. A earthquake small as Mw2,5 might start an eruption in this area.

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Moving to Denmark

I am moving to Denmark in May. That means that for some time there is going to be a time where I am not going to be able to post a lot of updates even if something happens. This also means that my earthquake monitoring at Hvammstangi is going to shut down. Because of how the internet is today. I am unable to transmit data from a remote computer to a main computer over the internet. I don’t know why this is, but I suspect that there is some type of new attack going on, resulting in WinSDR server program crashing on the data transmission at random times. I am going to start recording earthquakes in Denmark after I finish moving. This are however only going to be larger earthquakes down in the Mediterranean area, Greece and that area where larger earthquakes often happen. I also consider this a fine change for me, since I’ve been recording earthquakes in Iceland since 2008 and I’ve got a lot of backlog to work through because of high earthquake activity because of volcano activity in recent years. My earthquake website can be found here.

More earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano

Happy Easter. This Easter day (17-April-2022) in Iceland started with an earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano (GVP website is down). With the largest earthquake having a magnitude of Mw3,5 so far. Two other earthquakes took place with magnitude of Mw3,2 and Mw3,0. This earthquake swarm is out in the ocean and suggest that magma activity in Reykjanes volcano is increasing from what it was. This earthquake swarm started between 07:00 until 09:00 this morning and seems to be over at the writing of this article.

At the west-south edge of the map there is a lot of orange and red dots along with green stars showing two green stars showing earthquakes larger than Mw3,0
Earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake swarm was not felt according to the news. This activity is taking place far from land for now. This also increases the chance that an eruption might happen out in the ocean. If that happens it might create new temporary islands in this area, since the ocean is rather shallow in this part of the Reykjanes ridge. Earthquake activity seems to be growing in Reykjanes volcano. If that continues is difficult to know, if it does it increases the chance of an eruption considerably in this area.

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