Today (31-March-2015) there has been a minor earthquake swarm in Krísuvík volcano. Total number of detected earthquakes was 27 so far.
The earthquake swarm in Krísuvík volcano today. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 2,6 according to reviewed results from Icelandic Met Office. Other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. This is just tectonic activity at the moment. There has been inflation and deflation taking place in Krísuvík volcano for past several years and such activity is known to start strong earthquake activity in both deflation and inflation stage. At the moment there is nothing suggesting there is an eruption imminent in Krísuvík volcano.
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Today (28-March-2015) there has been deep earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. This suggest that there is a fresh injection of magma into Bárðarbunga volcano system. If this is going to result in new eruption remains to be seen. It is not impossible at current time to happen. So far however nothing has happened. Deepest earthquake had depth of 21,1 km, others earthquakes are shallower.
Earthquake activity in Vatnajökull glacier today. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Today (28-March-2015) there has also been deep earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano [Wikipedia link here]. This activity is not new and has been taking place every few months for the past 10 years or so. Quiet times are different in length. Each earthquake swarm that takes place is different in both magnitude and length, current activity appears to be deep, but mostly small earthquakes, less then magnitude 1,5 for most part. Deepest earthquake in this swarm had the depth of 25,0 km. This earthquake activity is only due to fresh magma entering Öræfajökull volcano system, not tectonic activity in this area due the depth of the earthquakes are taking place.
Based on historical accounts of earlier eruptions (1362 and 1728). It appears that eruptions in Öræfajökull start with powerful earthquake swarm (magnitude 4,0+ earthquakes). The following eruption is an ash cloud one with glacier floods taking place, with that phase lasting up to 48 hours. What happens after that is unclear, since it was not documented properly by historical records (at least not properly mentioned or lost due the old age of the historical records in question). Eruptions can last for up to 45 days, based on earlier documented eruptions. Current earthquake swarm is inside Öræfajökull volcano, since it is not round volcano, but goes a little to north where the earthquake swarm is taking place. There is no fissure swarm connected with Öræfajökull volcano, it does not rule out that one exist, it is at least not known at the moment. At the moment there are no clear sign that there is increased eruption risk from Öræfajökull volcano. That might change without warning, as is always the risk with volcanoes.
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Due to risk of landslide a viewing area in northern Skagafjörður has been closed. Tip of a cliff in the area is about to break off at any time and without warning and there appears to be considerable area getting ready to go forward into the coast line below. Please see attached news for pictures.
Útsýnisstað lokað vegna öryggisástæðna (Vísir.is, Pictures)
Hættulegar sprungur í Ketubjörgum (Skagafjörður.is, images)
Lokuðu vinsælum útsýnisstað í Skagafirði (Rúv.is, Images)
Since yesterday (26-March-2015) a minor earthquake swarm has been taking place in Hekla volcano. This has not been continuous earthquake swarm and there has not been huge number of earthquakes taking place. Largest earthquake had the magnitude of 1,4.
The earthquake activity in Hekla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This earthquake activity took place deep inside Hekla volcano, with the deepest earthquake being on 17 km depth (mag 1,4). Other earthquakes took place on shallower depths, but all depths where greater then 10 km. What exactly is happening I do not know, at this depth it is possible the earthquake activity taking place is due to magma movement rather then tectonic changes. I don’t expect any eruption to take place in Hekla volcano at current time.
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During the night (on 21-March-2015) a minor earthquake swarm took place close to Eldeyjardrangar on Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,2. Total number of earthquakes in this swarm was around 30.
Earthquake swarm close to Eldeyjardragnar. The green star shows the magnitude 3,2 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Earthquake swarms like this are common in this part of the Reykjanes ridge. It is difficult to know if more earthquake activity is going to take place soon.
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Article updated at 20:01 UTC.
Today (19-March-2015) at 15:24 UTC a minor earthquake swarm started on the Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake swarm was minor, it however might be clue that more activity might happen soon in this part of the Reykjanes ridge.
The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge today (19-March-2015). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,5 and other earthquakes where smaller. Last earthquake swarm in this area took place on 3-March-2015 and I did write about it here.
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The eruption in Holuhraun is over and nothing has been happening the crater for the past three weeks. This does not mean the deflation is over in Bárðarbunga volcano. Currently Bárðarbunga volcano continues to deflate at the rate of 2cm/day, total deflation since 31-August-2014 is around 60 meters. All this deflation has started to move the glacier inside the caldera, creating what appears to be inflation, that change in the glacier, that inflation is 1,5cm/day. That inflation should be 3-4cm/day according to Icelandic Met Office, so the difference is the deflation taking place. Currently the GPS sensor inside Bárðarbunga volcano caldera is not working so the only way to monitor this deflation is to continue to fly over the glacier and measure it that way. Next scheduled flight for Bárðarbunga volcano is going to take place after Easter.
News in Icelandic
Bárðarbunga hefur sigið um 60 metra (Rúv.is)
It has been few days since the eruption in Holuhraun has ended and everything is quiet for the moment in Bárðarbunga volcano. What is going to happen next is a big question and nobody has the exact answer. Here are few options.
- Nothing is going to happen. The rift is going to continue without more eruptions.
- New magma intrusion is going to start soon in Bárðarbunga volcano. New eruption is going to start days to weeks later.
There is also high risk in my view of eruptions in Hamarinn volcano (also called Loki-Fögrufjöll). That volcano system is inside Bárðarbunga volcano and dyke intrusion from Bárðarbunga to the south might start a volcano eruption in it. I don’t know how big such eruption would be, it is my estimate. Dyke to Torfajökull volcano is unlikely to happen. I however cannot rule it out at this point.
What is going happen in Bárðarbunga volcano depends on many factors and not all of them are known. What is known is that heat has been increasing in shallower parts of the crust and caldera for the past six months and those signs are not good. What is not known is the time in question. Next eruption could happen tomorrow or nothing can happen for years. There is no way to know when next eruption is going to happen.
Currently I am just monitoring Bárðarbunga volcano and waiting to see what happens next. The text above is just speculation, not fact. It is not clear what is going to happen next. The only way to know that for sure is to wait until next eruption starts and that might be a long wait.
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During the night (3-March-2015) there was a minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake had the magnitude of 3,1. Other earthquakes where smaller.
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge during the night. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Most of this earthquake activity was deep, with most depth being at 16,0 km. This suggest that this earthquake swarm happened mostly due to magma movement at depth. There is nothing suggesting that eruption is imminent in this area. Depth of the ocean at this location is around 400 – 1000 meters, this means that any signs on the surface are going to be hard to detect or not detected at all.
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Article updated at 18:44 UTC.
The eruption in Holuhraun ended yesterday (27-Februar-2015) it seems. Current status of Bárðarbunga volcano is now yellow. While the eruption is over the area continues to be closed for public due to danger of new eruptions in the area, both outside the glacier and inside it. It is unclear what is going to happen next in Bárðarbunga volcano. There is also a considerable gas emission from Holuhraun crater at the moment and that gas is toxic.
Current earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
What happens next is not known. There is a high risk of new eruption taking place under the glacier. I don’t know if subsidence of the caldera is going on at the moment or has stopped. It might take days, weeks or months until inflation starts again in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is a rifting event and that means this is far from over. For the moment however it is going to be a little break (at least, it can be hope) in the activity in Holuhraun or Bárðarbunga volcano. The lava and the crater continue to be extremely hot (~800C) and are going to remain hot for many years (5 years?).
Since the eruption in Holuhraun is over I won’t post any update next Wednesday. Next update is going to be when something happens.
Icelandic Met Office information website
The eruption has come to an end (Icelandic Met Office)
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Article updated at 16:59 UTC.
Posted in Bárðarbunga, Deflation, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Holuhraun, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Rift Zone, SO2, Swarm, Volcano