Magnitude Mw3,1 earthquake in Torfajökull volcano

Today (06-September-2022) at 13:19 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,1 took place in Torfajökull volcano. This earthquake took place in the caldera rim. There were few other minor earthquakes in the same location.

Green star on the line in Torfajökull volcano that shows the caldera rim of that volcano. Few orange dots under the green star.
Green star in Torfajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This area of the Torfajökull volcano caldera has been having activity for several years. The amount of activity in this area goes up and down and for the longest time now, there hasn’t been anything going on there. What is going on in this area is unclear, since I don’t see any obvious signals that an volcano activity is about to start in this area. Torfajökull volcano does not erupt lava flows, since its magma are Andesitic magma and up to Rhyolitic magma types [Magma types on Wikipedia]. That results in a ash cloud eruption. Last eruption in Torfajökull volcano was in the year 1477, probably triggered by a dyke intrusion from Bárðarbunga volcano.

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Long period, low frequency earthquake activity increases in Torfajökull volcano this morning

Around 10:00 UTC this morning (31-October-2021) the earthquake activity of long period and low frequency earthquakes increased this morning in Torfajökull volcano. The current swarm now seems to be coming from the glacier part of the caldera, the earlier activity seems to have taken part some place in north part of the Torfajökull volcano caldera. Location of the this earthquake activity is difficult if not impossible because of the type of earthquake activity being generated in Torfajökull volcano.

The volcano system of Torfajökull volcano north of Mýrdalsfjökull glacier. With few dots in it showing few poorly located earthquakes.
The located earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The situation is difficult to figure out just by looking at seismometer data. Icelandic Met Office is going to make a flyover today with the help of Icelandic Coast guard and try and see what is going on in Torfajökull volcano. Last eruption in Torfajökull volcano was in the year 1477 and I don’t have any idea what happens before an eruption in this volcano.

Swarm of low frequency earthquakes in Torfafjallajökull volcano

According to an announcement made by Icelandic Met Office there has been a swarm of low frequency earthquakes in Torfajökull volcano since midnight of 28-October-2021.  The earthquakes don’t appear clearly on the Icelandic Met Office map but they can be seen on nearby SIL stations. According to Icelandic Met Office the rate of earthquake activity is about 1 – 2 earthquake every 15 minutes.

A image show earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano as it appears on nearby SIL station. This is a plot with line showing every hour. The earthquake activity appears as thickness on the earthquake plot.
Earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Harmonic tremor plot showing the earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano since midnight as it appears on Slysaalda SIL station tremor plot.
Harmonic tremor activity showing the earthquake activity. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There are two things that can create this type of low frequency activity. The first one is water that has been superheated in the crust. The second option is that magma is now moving in Torfajökull volcano. This type of activity has happened before without any eruption happening. I think that is going to be the same now at the writing of this article. Since this is an active volcano the situation can change quickly and without warning.

There are no web cameras in the area that I know of. It is remote and there is almost no mobile coverage at this location. If there is a mobile connection, it is limited to 2G (GSM) or slow 3G connection.

Earthquake in Torfajökull volcano

Today (20-Juli-2019) at 14:15 UTC an earthquake with the magnitude of 3,3 took place in Torfajökull volcano. This earthquake took place in south part of the caldera of Torfajökull volcano. This earthquake might have been felt by tourists in the area.


The earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There has not been a lot of aftershocks following this earthquake for now. Last earthquake with magnitude above 3,0 took place on 12th of July and this means there might be a serious increase in earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano. There are no obvious signs that Torfajökull volcano is about to erupt but it is also not known what is needed to make an eruption happen in Torfajökull volcano. Best action for now is to continue to monitor the activity in Torfajökull volcano.

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Magnitude 3,2 earthquake in Torfajökull volcano

Today (12-July-2019) at 17:16 UTC a magnitude 3,2 earthquake took place in Torfajökull volcano. This earthquake might have been felt by tourists in the area. This earthquake being felt has not yet been reported according to any news media.


The earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano (green star). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This area of Torfajökull volcano has been having earthquake activity since January 27 when a magnitude 3,7 earthquake took place there. That activity was followed by a larger swarm of aftershocks than have so far happened. That might change without warning. This earthquake activity is interesting but I am not sure if it means anything, at least for now.

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Activity in Torfajökull volcano

Sometimes nature does something unexpected. This applies now to Torfajökull volcano. It seems that this earthquake activity started on 27-January-2019 without any warning. The article about that earthquake swarm can be found here.


The earthquake activity on 29-April-2019. A clear line of earthquake has appeared. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


Second earthquake swarm on 3-May-2019. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


The earthquake swarm on 4-June-2019. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

After Bárðarbunga volcano eruption in 2014 I set-up a new system (that I use for my self. No-one uses something something similar that I know of) to detect possible eruptions. Each volcano is different and there is also a risk of false detection. However I do think that based on latest activity that something is going on in Torfajökull volcano. If this results in a eruption is too early to say at the time of writing of this article. If this is on a path to an eruption there might not be any warning or much of a warning besides few magnitude 3,0 to 4,5 earthquakes in Torfajökull volcano. Last eruption in Torfajökull volcano was in 1477 (north of the caldera) so its behaviour before an eruption is unknown. Last time a eruption took place in west side of the caldera was in the year 1170 or around that year.

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If you donate with the bank please update your information here. I have switched everything back to Denmark since I expect to move to Denmark by September. When I am back in Denmark I am going to open a new Danish PayPal account for donations. It is going to take ~3 months due to security requirements that are now in place by PayPal and the law.

Earthquake swarm in Torfajökull volcano

Today (27-January-2019) at 10:01 UTC an earthquake swarm started in Torfajökull volcano, western part of the caldera. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 3,7 and was felt on nearby farms. There are no tourists in this area of Iceland this time of the year (generally).


Earthquake swarm in Torfajökull volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake in last few hours had a magnitude of 2,3. Other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude. This earthquake swarm is currently ongoing and information might change without warning.

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Earthquake swarm in Torfajökull volcano

Today (16-August-2018) at 15:53 UTC an earthquake swarm started in Torfajökull volcano. Largest earthquakes in this earthquake swarm had an magnitude of 3,8 and 3,3 at the moment other earthquakes that have happened are smaller in magnitude.


Earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano. Largest earthquakes are marked by green stars. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake swarm seems to be ongoing at the moment. It is possible that more earthquakes that might be felt are going to happen. The largest earthquakes in this swarm were felt in nearby tourist areas.

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Magnitude 3,2 earthquake in Torfajökull volcano

Today (23-June-2016) at 20:36 UTC an magnitude 3,2 earthquake (current data, might change) took place in Torfajökull volcano. The depth was 2,1 km.

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Green star in Torfajökull volcano shows the location of the earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

If anyone was close to this earthquake, it would have been felt. No other earthquake have so far followed this earthquake, that might change in few hours. It does happen once in a while that just one magnitude 3,0 earthquake happens and nothing more. I don’t know if there is any hydrothermal activity in the location where this earthquake took place.

Update at 22:24 UTC

According to an announcement from Iceland Met Office. This earthquake was felt in a nearby camping area.

Article updated at 22:24 UTC.

Short overview of earthquake activity in Iceland

This is a short update of earthquake activity in Iceland on 28-February-2016.

Bárðarbunga volcano

Over the past 48 hours there has been earthquake activity and dyke activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Some of this earthquake activity has been on around 15km depth. Suggesting magma movements within Bárðarbunga volcano system. Earthquake activity always seems to increase few hours to days after a swarm of deep earthquakes appear in Bárðarbunga volcano.

A dyke activity has appeared on the edge of Bárðarbunga volcano, it is located south-east in the volcano. In a area that has seen this type of dyke activity before. It is interesting that this activity seems to persist at this location.

Tungnafellsjökull volcano

Over the past few days few earthquakes have appeared in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. Some of those earthquakes have had the depth around 15 km. This suggest some type of magma movements inside the volcano, but nothing that suggests that its going to reach the surface any time soon.

Askja volcano

Earlier this week (Week 08) an deep earthquake swarm took place in Askja volcano. With earthquakes having the depth down to around 22 km. Suggesting that magma is flowing into Askja volcano magma chamber at depth. This has been happening at regular basis since 2010. At the moment there is nothing suggesting that eruption is going to happen any time soon in Askja volcano.

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Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga, Tungnafellsjökull and Askja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

Katla volcano

There was some minor earthquake activity in Goðabunga in Katla volcano. This appears to be normal activity for this region of Katla volcano. No other interesting activity took place this week (Week 08) in Katla volcano.

Hekla volcano

Two earthquake where detected in Hekla volcano. Nothing else happened following this earthquake activity. Why this earthquake activity happens remains unclear.

Torfajökull volcano

A minor earthquake activity took place in Torfajökull volcano during the weekend. This activity is possibly due to changes in hyrdrothermal areas in Torfajökull volcano.

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Earthquake activity in Katla, Torfajökull and Hekla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

Other than this activity things remain quiet in Iceland. There are few minor earthquake swarms on Reykjanes peninsula and Tjörnes Fracture Zone. But they are too small at the moment to write about.

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Move to Denmark

It is now official. I’m moving back to Denmark on 14. April, with just few minor details left to work out (getting a loan for the apartment insurance and few other things). I’ll move into my new apartment on the 15th April. More details later next weeks when I know about the apartment loan.