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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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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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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Strong earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano

Yesterday (12-April-2022) at 21:21 UTC an earthquake swarm started with a magnitude Mw3,9 earthquake. There is a chance there have been a swarm of smaller earthquakes in last few weeks in this area. Since there has been almost always on earthquake swarm activity on this part of Reykjanes peninsula in recent months. The largest earthquake was felt over a wide area in south and west Iceland. Over seven earthquakes with magnitude Mw3,0 have taken place, accurate number is difficult to know for sure at the moment.

A lot of red dots showing the massive earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula in Reykjanes volcano, some of this earthquake activity extends into the ocean
Strong earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula in Reykjanes volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The activity now is happening in a volcano named Reykjanes. Last eruption might have happened last time in the year 1831 but that is difficult to know for sure. At the writing of this article around 264 to 280 earthquakes have been recorded by Icelandic Met Office. This number changes every few minutes because the earthquake swarm is strong and ongoing currently. Earthquake activity seems to be increasing at the writing of this article. This situation can change quickly. I am seeing clues that this earthquake swarm is because of magma movement. I think it might result in a eruption, but that is impossible to know for sure now.

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