Öræfajökull volcano eruptions in 1362 and 1727 possibly larger than previously thought

According to a news report an early result from a field study into Öræfajökull volcano eruptions in 1362 and 1727 suggest that those eruptions where possibly larger then previously thought.

According to the research so far the following has been discovered.

  • Volcano ash layers from the eruption 1362 are 3 meters thick. They where thought be around 0,5 meters thick. This suggests that the eruption in 1362 was larger than previously thought.
  • The craters from the eruption 1727 have been found. That eruption was close to the Fimmvörðuháls eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 (not under glacier eruption).
  • Pictures of the magma that has been found suggest that both eruptions where highly felsic (rhyolitic) type and high in gas content. There are also high in crystals (known as crystallization of magma). What type of crystals is not known at the moment (not mentioned in the news).

That fact does explain the current process of earthquakes in Öræfajökull volcano and why earthquake activity drops down to almost nothing every few weeks in Öræfajökull volcano. The magma in Öræfajökull volcano is slow moving and there is a lot of it. Current volume is around the same that started the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 (there are massive differences between the two, so comparing the volcanoes is subject to limitations).

Icelandic News from Vísir.is

Fyrri eldgos í Öræfajökli mun öflugri en áður var talið (Vísir.is, Video, images, Icelandic only)

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Posted in Öræfajökull, Science, Study, Volcano | 2 Comments

Earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula (close to Hengill volcano)

Today (11-August-2018) there has been a earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes Peninsula close to Hengill volcano (but not in that volcano system). This earthquake swarm is currently ongoing and largest earthquake so far has had a magnitude of 2,6.


The earthquake swarm (red dots) on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is impossible to know how this is going to develop in this earthquake swarm. Stronger earthquakes might happen but it is impossible to know if they are going to happen.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Reykjanes, Swarm | 4 Comments

Earthquake swarm in south part of Katla volcano caldera

Today (9-August-2018) an earthquake activity increased in south part of Katla volcano caldera. It doesn’t appear that any earthquake in this swarm reached magnitude 2,0.


Earthquake activity in south part (towards the coastline) of the caldera of Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is unclear why this earthquake activity is happening at the moment. There isn’t anything unusual on harmonic tremor plots at the moment and nothing suggesting that an eruption is going to happen any time soon.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | Leave a comment

More earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Today (8-August-2018) at 21:39 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of 3,1 took place in Katla volcano. Second largest earthquake in this activity so far had a magnitude of 2,4. This earthquake activity appears to be ongoing and magnitudes and number of earthquakes is going to change.


Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Green star is the magnitude 3,1 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is no change in harmonic tremor at the moment and that for now rules out any movement of magma inside Katla volcano. This might be connected to glacier floods that are now coming from Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | Leave a comment

Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano, ongoing glacier flood from Mýrdalsjökull glacier

Today (7-august-2018) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 2,9 and other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude.


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

There is also a glacier flood coming from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. This has resulted in dangerous levels of Hydrogen sulfide gases close to Múlakvísl glacier river and the police has asked people not to stop in the area due to a risk of gas build up. The Hydrogen sulfide is at lethal levels in some areas where wind cannot move it.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Glacier flood, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 3 Comments

Considerable earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

Since early this morning (2-August-2018) there has been considerable earthquake swarm activity in Katla volcano. This earthquake swarm started yesterday (1-August-2018) at low rate but during the night and after a minor stop the earthquake rate increased and at the moment this earthquake swarm can be considered ongoing.


Green star is the magnitude 3,6 earthquake in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake so far had a magnitude of 3,7 and the second largest magnitude has been 2,2. Other earthquakes are smaller in magnitude at the moment. No change in harmonic tremor has been observed at the moment. There is a lot suggesting that glacier water from hydrothermal areas under Mýrdalsjökull glacier are now flooding into Múlakvísl glacier river. I got a report of that over facebook yesterday, but nothing has been confirmed officially at the moment.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 6 Comments

Glacier flood confirmed from Skaftárkatlar cauldron

It was confirmed today (02-August-2018) that glacier flood has started from Skaftárkatlar cauldron. According to the news the GPS monitoring station close the cauldrons started to drop around midnight. Around same time harmonic tremor started to change on nearby SIL stations.


Harmonic tremor on nearby SIL station due to glacier flood. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It can take up to a week for the glacier flood to finish, but that depends on the amount of water in the cauldron that is emptying it self. According to the news the eastern Skaftákatlar cauldron is now emptying it self. It last did so three years ago.

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Posted in Glacier flood, Hamarinn, Hot Springs, Skaftárkatlar cauldron | 6 Comments

Slight increase in earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano

Today (1-August-2018) there seems to be a minor increase in earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. What has also happened is that magnitude of earthquakes today has been slightly larger then in a normal week. Few magnitude 1,0 and larger and at least one magnitude 1,5 earthquake have happened so far.


Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano (right corner, to the ocean). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Current rate of earthquakes have dropped down to 50 earthquakes a week from earlier 100 earthquakes a week. This change might be normal for Öræfajökull volcano since this magma intrusion seems to be moving slowly inside the volcano. Regular earthquake activity continues to happen and there is no sign that is changing at the moment.

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

Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

Today (1-August-2018) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 2,5. All other earthquakes are smaller in magnitude. It is unclear at the moment if this is connected to a possible glacier flood from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Currently there are no news on this.


A minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

At the moment it appears that this earthquake swarm is over. But it might start again without much warning since that has often been the style of earthquake activity in Katla volcano.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 1 Comment

Minor earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (1-August-2018) at 07:08 UTC an earthquake with magnitude 3,7 happened in Bárðarbunga volcano. Second largest earthquake had a magnitude 2,9. Other earthquakes are smaller in magnitude.


Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano (green star). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The source of this earthquake activity is magma. In the news today it is reported that hydrothermal activity remains high in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim and steam can be observed in the areas were the glacier has been melted through.

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