Earthquake activity in Tindfjallajökull volcano

I don’t write many articles about Tindfjallajökull volcano. This is because as a volcano Tindfjallajökull volcano has spent its last ~12.000 years being quiet.

The earthquake activity in Tindfjallajökull volcano (yellow/red dot). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

All of the earthquakes that took place were small in magnitude and it doesn’t seems that any of them got larger then magnitude 0,3. This earthquake activity also seems to intrude a little into Hekla volcano fissure swarm system (it doesn’t mean or do anything). It is unclear why this earthquake activity is happening.


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Earthquakes in Tindafjallajökull volcano

One of the most quiet volcanoes in Iceland had earthquake swarm today (17.09.2012). I am not aware of any major earthquake activity in Tindafjallajökull volcano during the past 20 years. I am not sure that if there has been any earthquake activity in Tindafjallajökull volcano during this time. One off-earthquake might have happened once in a while. As they do with every volcano in Iceland from time to time. It is unclear why this earthquake swarm took place. But this might be due to stress changes in the area. Rather then anything volcanic taking place in Tindafjallajökull volcano.

Activity in Tindafjallajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 1.1. The depth of this earthquake swarm was from 10.7 km and up to 3.1 km. This earthquake swarm appears to be over by now.

Katla volcano

The image above also shows earthquake activity in Katla volcano. This earthquake activity is well below what did happen in May to end of July this summer (2012) in Katla volcano. Currently the activity in Katla volcano is low and has been so for many weeks now. I am not expecting that change without some increase in smaller earthquakes first. For the moment, everything is quiet in Katla volcano.

The dormant volcanoes in Iceland

While all the active volcanoes in Iceland get all the press and coverage. There are volcanoes in Iceland that are not so active and have remain dormant for thousands of years now and currently do not show any signs of activity. Some have some hot spring activity. But that is about it for them. The following volcanoes in Iceland have not erupted in historical times. Some have not even erupted in past 12.000 years best to my knowledge. But as history has proved in other parts of the world. An dormant volcano can start to erupt when it feels like it and without any warning at all in some cases.

This is based on Global Volcanism Program data. So it might be subject to errors and updates.


Hrómundartindur – Last eruption is unknown. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Grensdalur – Last eruption was in Pleistocene and its current status is Pleistocene-Fumarolic. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Grímsnes – Last eruption is believed to have taken place around 3500 BC. But this volcano is marked as tephrochronology. This volcano makes crater rows when it erupts.
Geysir – This volcano last erupted in Pleistocene and is marked as Pleistocene-Geysers. This is an stratovolcano.

Hveravellir – This volcano last erupted around the year 950 AD. It is currently marked as radiocarbon. This is an subglacial volcano.

Hofsjökull – This volcano has erupted sometimes in the last 12.000 years. It has the marking holocene. This is an subglacial volcano. The second volcano in this system is not marked in GVP database. But that volcano is named Kerlingarfjöll. I do not know when it last erupted. There is also an embeeded second volcano in Hofsjökull volcano that is Independent from the main Hofsjökull volcano (yes, this is the case it seems). I do not have any idea when that did last erupt.

Esjufjöll – This is an sub-glacier volcano in Vatnajökull glacier. Its last eruption is uncertain. But is believed to taken place in the year 1927. From the year 2000 this volcano has been showing signs of increased activity. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Fremrinamur – This volcano is last believed to have erupted in the year 1200 BC. This volcano is an stratovolcano.

Þeystareykjabunga – This volcano last erupted around the year 900 BC. This volcano is an shield volcano.

Snæfellsjökull – This volcano last erupted around 200 AD. It is currently marked as radiocarbon. This is an stratovolcano.

Helgrindur (also known as Lysuhóll) – This volcano has no record of eruption. But it is thought that it erupted sometimes in the past 12.000 years. But exact time is not known. This volcano makes pyroclastic cones. This volcano is the smallest volcano system in Iceland.

Tindafjallajökull – It is unknown if this volcano has erupted during holocene. But the GVP information say that dozen of small eruptions took place in early holocene. This is an stratovolcano.

Snæfell – This volcano is located east of Vatnajökull glacier and south of Kverkfjöll volcano. It was once believed that this volcano was extinct. But new research into it has changed that opinion. This is most likely an stratovolcano. But I do not have it confirmed. This volcano has at least not erupted for several thousands years or more. Currently there are no information about this volcano in the Global Volcanism Program database.

Skrokkalda – This volcano is dormant. But I do not know if it has erupted in historical times or not, but I do no think that is the case. I am also not sure what type of volcano it is.

There are few more volcanoes missing due the fact that they are not in the Global Volcanism Program database. But I have them on a map that I own. So they are going to be added later when I update this blog post.