Strong earthquake swarm in south Iceland yesterday (20-October-2017) – minor damage reported

Yesterday (20-October-2017) a strong earthquake swarm happened in south Iceland on the SISZ fault zone. This earthquake swarm is currently ongoing and stronger earthquakes cannot be ruled out at this point.


The earthquake swarm as of the writing of this article. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake that has happened so far had the magnitude of 4,1 and four magnitude 2,9 earthquakes have happened at the writing of this article. During the strongest earthquake yesterday some minor damage has been reported, items falling out of shelves and breaking, picture frames getting skewed on walls. For a short time the village of Stokkseyri lost all line phone communication, I don’t know how long that outage lasted but phone service was restored quickly according to the news on Rúv. Largest earthquake was felt over a wide area, all the way to Reykjavík and up to Akranes village and east to Hella village.


The magnitude 4,1 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Dellukot. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC Licence page for more details.


The magnitude 4,1 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Böðvarshólar. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC Licence page for more details.

I don’t know if this earthquake activity signals a new period of earthquake swarm in SISZ. I have listed large history of earthquakes of the SISZ in a article from 2011 here.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, SISZ, Swarm | 1 Comment

Strong earthquake swarm in Tjörnes Fracture Zone this morning (19-October-2017)

Today (18-October-2017) at 06:00 UTC (Icelandic time) people of Grímsey Island got a rude awaking when a magnitude 3,8 to 3,9 earthquake took place. At 05:01 UTC a magnitude 2,9 earthquake had taken place. For the past 48 hours total of 105 earthquakes have taken place in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone. The largest earthquake took place in what seems to be north part of Grímsey Island, there is no population in that part of Grímsey Island but the population lives only few hundred meters away.


The earthquake activity in Tjörnes Fracture Zone in Grímsey Island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity started in this part of the Tjörnes Fracture Zone on 05-October-2017 as I wrote about here. Since then it is has been continuously ongoing, for a time it looked it was slowly stopping but the earthquake this morning increased the activity again. Since around 19:00 UTC this earthquake swarm seems to have slowed down a bit again, but the earthquake swarm is still ongoing as of writing of this article. More strong earthquakes in this area cannot be ruled out.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Swarm, TFZ, Tjörnes Fracture Zone | 6 Comments

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano on 13-October-2017

On Friday 13 of October 2017 there was an earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest earthquake in this activity had the magnitude of 3,1. Earlier earthquake had the magnitude of 2,9.


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

This latest earthquake is at an interesting location. This earthquake happens close to or inside the hydrothermal area in the Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim. This area has not seen a lot of earthquake activity in recent months. Magma at this location is at shallow depth as is shown by the hydrothermal activity. Geologists are estimating that magma is at around 1 km depth at the hydrothermal location. This hydrothermal vents have melted hundreds of meters of glacier already due to how energetic they are. The magnitude 2,9 earthquake took place in the normal north-east place in the Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim. There is also a interesting cluster of earthquakes in the north part of the caldera happening in last few hours.

At the moment there isn’t anything that suggest that an eruption is imminent in Bárðarbunga volcano.

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Posted in Bárðarbunga, Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | Leave a comment

Minor earthquake swarm on Kolbeinsey Island

Today (Sunday 08-October-2017) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Kolbeinsey Island. Only three earthquakes where detected, but that does not rule out that more earthquakes happened but where not detected due to distance from land and the SIL network.


The earthquake activity is marked by the green star to the north on this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake detected had the magnitude of 3,1 and the second largest earthquake detected had a magnitude of 2,1. Since 10:33 UTC this morning, that lack of activity does not rule out more activity in next few days.

New SIL station

I did see in the news today that Icelandic Met Office has added a new SIL station at Bjarnarey Island. This increases the earthquake resolution for Vestmannaeyjar area along with improving earthquake detection in Katla volcano and making it possible to detect small earthquakes deeper south of Iceland.

Icelandic news about the new SIL station, Jarðskjálftamælir í Bjarnarey að frumkvæði Vinnslustöðvarinnar (eyjafrettir.is).

Icelandic Met Office has also moved the SIL station in Vestmanneyjar Island around. The old location was not usable any more due to cultural noise from the population in Vestmannaeyjar Island.

Posted in Earthquakes, Kolbeinsey Island, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 9 Comments

Sulphur smell felt from Múlakvísl glacier river

On the 3-October-2017 there was an increase in earthquake activity in Katla volcano as I wrote about here. This activity was deeper than suspected as during the night there was an small harmonic spike as was mentioned in this comment here.

Today (08-October-2017) there was a news on Rúv about sulphur smell being detected and higher conductivity in Múlakvísl glacier river at the same time. The main idea is that one of the twenty cauldrons was emptying it self of hydrothermal melt water that builds up in them, resulting both in the increase conductivity and the harmonic tremor being detected as the cauldron empted it self. This does result in a minor glacier flood in Múlakvísl glacier river. I don’t know for sure what the case is here, but this type of activity has been happening consistently for the past few months in Katla volcano. Conductivity remains rather high in Múlakvísl glacier river according to latests automatic readings on Icelandic Met Office website.

Icelandic news on this

Brennisteinslykt á Mýrdalssandi (rúv.is)

Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Volcano | 17 Comments

Ongoing earthquake swarm in Tjörnes fracture zone (TFZ)

Currently there is an ongoing earthquake swarm in Tjörnes Fracture Zone. This earthquake swarm has been going on since 05-October-2017. Over 120 earthquakes have happened so far. Largest earthquakes have had the magnitude of 3,9 (05-October), 3,5 (06-October), 3,0 (06-October). There is a good chance that in recent hours a new magnitude 3,0 earthquake has happened or is going to happen.


The earthquake swarm in TFZ as of 23:15 UTC on 06-October-2017. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The largest earthquake are felt by the local population in Grímsey Island and the magnitude 3,5 earthquake woke up the population last night (night of 06-October). No damage has happened so far in this earthquake swarm. I don’t know how far away from the population centre this earthquake swarm is happening but the distance is not that great. A 1 – 3 km at the most from the looks of it. Any large earthquakes are going to appear clearly on my geophones and they can be viewed here, the geophone station in Böðvarshólar gives the best signal if an earthquake with magnitude above 3,0 happens in TFZ.

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Article updated at 23:53 UTC. Minor text fixes.

Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Swarm, TFZ, Tjörnes Fracture Zone | Comments Off on Ongoing earthquake swarm in Tjörnes fracture zone (TFZ)

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano

On 05-October and 06-October-2017 there was an strong earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. The first earthquake had the magnitude of 3,7 on 5-October and the second earthquake had the magnitude of 3,4 on 6-October-2017. The first earthquake was in the south-west part of the caldera an area that for some reason does not see a lot of earthquake activity. The magnitude 3,4 earthquake was in the usual place of north-east part of the Bárðarbunga volcano caldera.


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

Few other earthquakes happened in this activity, they where all smaller in magnitude. Largest of the aftershocks had the magnitude of 2,2 and all other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Volcano | 2 Comments

Test article #2

This article is on the new server (I have confirmed that). Earlier test article is on the old server and does not appear on the new server.


Test image. Copyright of this image belongs to Jón Frímann Jónsson

Posted in Website | 8 Comments

Magnitude 3,4 earthquake in Öræfajökull volcano

Today (03-October-2017) a magnitude 3,4 earthquake took place in Öræfajökull volcano. So far this earthquake has not resulted in any more earthquake activity.


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

This is the strongest earthquake in Öræfajökll volcano since the year 2005. This earthquake was felt on nearby farms and tourist areas.

Article updated at 00:41 UTC on 4-October-2017. Magnitude of the earthquake has been updated by Icelandic Met Office.

Posted in Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Öræfajökull, Volcano | 2 Comments

Increase in earthquake activity in Katla volcano

On the 01-October-2017 there was an increase in earthquake activity in Katla volcano. This increase continues but bad weather is making it difficult to monitor this activity. The largest earthquakes so far had the magnitude of 2,6 (two) all other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude.


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

I have also started to detect low period earthquakes that are possibly from Katla volcano. The increase in that type of activity seems to follow increase in earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Why that happens is not known to me. For the past 48 hours the activity seems to be lower then two days ago, but the weather is bad in the area preventing good detection of small earthquakes in Katla volcano. It also seems that the bad weather has damaged Goðabunga SIL station. It might take a while until Icelandic Met Office can fix Goðabunga SIL station.

Server upgrade

In the next few days the server for this website is going to be upgraded and moved to United Kingdom since it is slightly cheaper to host it there. I don’t have the exact date on the transfer. I just hope it happens without a problem. If everything remains quiet this should happen without anyone noticing much. I expect the response of this website and everything else that I host to be quicker after the server upgrade.


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Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 9 Comments