Minor earthquake swarm in Torfajökull volcano

Since last weekend there has been a minor earthquake swarm taking place in Torfajökull volcano. This appears to be normal earthquake activity for this volcano, it often has this type of swarm activity, mostly due to changes in hot springs and hydrothermal activity in the volcano.

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Torfajökull volcano is located north of Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

This is normal earthquake activity in Torfajökull volcano as it looks at the moment. Since this has happened before, this earthquake swarm might last for few more days to weeks. It is difficult to know for sure. New hot springs might open up and old one close while this is taking place, so people who are travelling in this area need to be aware of that risk.

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14 Responses to Minor earthquake swarm in Torfajökull volcano

  1. ian muir says:

    Is there any possibility that there is a connection between Torfajökull and the stress in the Reykjanes peninsula. Could it be that Torfajökull and even Hekla are the furthest points of the stress which has built up in that area of Iceland ? Just a thought.

  2. IngeB says:

    Has anybody elso also seen the direction of the fissures marked by the quake swarm? They cut through the Torfajökull caldera from SW to NE.

    Normal quake activity of Torfajökull caldera should be more or less around the rim ….

  3. Ian muir says:

    That’s one of the reasons why I would ask this question as it is in the same line as those sprungurs we see on the map and also the same direction as Hekla in that area. The area of most stress ?

  4. IngeB says:

    See literature links on earthquakes in this region, search “Torfajökull + earthquakes”, eg. by Páll Einarson. They show the “usual” patterns for comparison.

    And there are the SW fissures of Bárdarbunga touching and transversing the Torfajökull system in SW-NE direction. (compare eg. to G. Zellmer, etal./Veidivötn).

    • Scots John says:

      Yes this area is at the end of the Veidvotn system, and during all of the Holuhraun event, the borehole strain gauges (uncorrected data stream) at Hekla, Hella et al reflected larger eq’s at BB. We all know that prior to BB, the Hekla area was closed and people warned to stay out due to the risk from this unpredictable beauty.

      Who knows what Iceland will offer up, maybe we should all have a sweepstake – someone’s going to win!

  5. Jaycee says:

    Kudos SJ great idea I am a total amateur in this but I defer to others the likelihood of seeing any activity before next year Say of the greater than 5 .1 eq or better. Action.

  6. Porsche928 says:

    If you look at the articles Jon has written about Torfajökull starting 2010 most of them are about its own private minor swarms except for http://www.jonfr.com/volcano/?p=111

    where some commentors link this probable intrusion indeed to the BB fissure system.

    • Scots John says:

      That link you gave has some comments including these three –

      Renato Rio says:

      October 18, 2010 at 16:17

      Jón: Could this “dike intrusion” cover such a large stretch from Torfajökul to Eyjafjallajökul? For that’s what deep earthquakes seem to tell.

      Jón Frímann says:

      October 18, 2010 at 21:33

      The answer to that question is no. But a magma intrusion into the fissure system from Bárðarbunga volcano that crosses Torfajökull volcano can do that and has done so in the past.

      Irpsit says:

      October 19, 2010 at 14:16

      The intrusion at Torfajokull linked to Bardarbunga fissure would be a scary possibility, this is the fissre where Laki occurred! It’s interesting the awakening of activity goes all the way along the volcano fissure, between Torfajokull to Askja, and close to Grimsvotn.

      Besides that, there is an intrusion and swarm currently at Katla.

      Seems both Bardarbunga and Katla will be the next eruptions in Iceland. When we see a bigger M4 earthquake, then we know it’s about to begin.

  7. bilha says:

    i am a tour guide and i heared that the way to askja is cosed.do you have some new information.i suppose to be there at aug 9.
    thanks

  8. wurzeldave says:

    A bit OT but at the moment on Mila Bard cam there is quite alot of steam to the left of the image! (the most i’ve seen for a while)

  9. wurzeldave says:

    Steam now drifting across the screen at Bard cam.

  10. wurzeldave says:

    Oh well that’s the end of watching that, curse the low cloud! 🙂

  11. Mikegrimsvotn says:

    Katla and Tjornes are the busiest earthquakes at the moment. I would guess this is geothermal activity. There shall be some deep quakes nonetheless. Tjornes Fracture zone eqs are stronger at the moment. Mostly between magnitude 1&2 but some above 2
    8-11 km for many of them.

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