Strong earthquake swarm deep on the Reykjanes ridge

Few days ago an earthquake swarm started deep on the Reykjanes Ridge, this is as far as the Reykjanes ridge extends at the end of it. After that the north Atlantic ridge starts. It is close to impossible to know for sure what is going at this location, however the data suggests that an eruption is taking place there and it appears to be a big one. How big I don’t know and I’m not willing to guess it due to lack of data.

The earthquake activity has been interesting, with the largest earthquake having a magnitude 5,5 (EMSC info). Other earthquake magnitudes are 4,9 (EMSC info), magnitude 5,0 (EMSC Info), magnitude 4,9 (EMSC Info).

This earthquake activity is currently ongoing, since the distance from land is ~1100 km it is impossible to know for sure what is going on. There is also around 4 km deep ocean at this location. If an eruption is taking place at this location, it is not going to show in the surface of the ocean. I’m sure a lot of smaller earthquakes are taking place, they are just not being recorded by any seismic detecting network due to distance.

This entry was posted in Earthquakes, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm, Volcano. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Strong earthquake swarm deep on the Reykjanes ridge

  1. Daniele says:

    Good Afternoon Jón, I’m closely watching this earthquake swarm and I’m trying to understand what it is happening there. You say that data suggests that an eruption is taking place there but obliouvsly it is still difficult to say because there are not signals at surface. But I know that in the last few years there were many earthquake swarms along the Ridge, with strong earthquakes, as it is happening in these days. Do yo think that there was a good chance of eruptions in those places? I mean in February 2015, in January 2014, in March 2013 etc..
    Thanks for the answer.

    • Some of those other events are just normal earthquake swarms. This has a slightly different pattern. The problem is that Reykjanes ridge is covered with active volcanoes. I think there is a volcano every 5 to 10 km (like seen on Reykjanes peninsula). While most are dormant, some of those volcanoes are going to erupt, even more than one at the same time.

      • Daniele says:

        Why do you think this swarm has a different pattern? What do you mean?

      • Rift earthquake swarm often start sharply and end sharply also. This one started with just a few earthquakes, then suddenly there was an sharp increase in earthquakes. This suggest that an eruption might have been taking place, even if its close to impossible to confirm directly.

  2. Irpsit says:

    Jon, can you have a look of what is this??

    One webcam at Jokulsa river north of Vatnajokull shows what seems to be a large new hot spring steaming. I tracked the webcam pics backwards and the steaming started at least 4 days ago, but the webcam is only available since April 2015, back then the steaming is not there. But steaming only became strong today.

    I think the webcam looks south towards Vatnajokull and Holuhraun but the steaming seems quite near, further north of Holuhraun, probably somewhere east of Askja caldera.

    Very curious about what it this.

    http://brunnur.vedur.is/myndir/webcam/2016/06/26/webcam_jokulsaS.html

  3. Peter says:

    The better side won.

    I’m going to be supporting them against the French, that’s for sure.

    Now I’m going away to bang my head repeatedly against a wall.

  4. SPL says:

    From over here in Wales it looks like an VEI-6 erupting in Iceland from over here in Wales, well done.

  5. Well done Iceland…although clueless, England faced a wall of Icelandic rock !

    This defeat will go down as a VEI- 7 in England.

    • WurzelDave says:

      I said to someone in work yesterday that Iceland would beat England, nice one!
      Henk, I wish you (& your countrymen) luck if you do get a vote on Nexit, also while I’m at it a belated thanks to the Dutch who helped out my county (Somerset) with pumps to help rid us of severe flooding two years ago (around 70 sq km).
      Looks like some pumping is going on at Hengill.

  6. Porsche928 says:

    How is this hill called in Reykjavik where all the fans gathered, mental hill, sonns&dottir hill, acceptit hill, haka hill, younameit hill…

    Annnyway, there’s more to the picture than meets the eye

  7. SPL says:

    VEI-7 is what Icelamd will meet in the final.

  8. Ian F says:

    I have completed updating data so now have all the quakes, over 350000, since 1995 and will be making more maps based on times, specific eruptions, depths etc… in the coming weeks.

    here is a first rough off map

    https://vatna.cartodb.com/viz/d3fa7afa-39b3-11e6-8d52-0e5db1731f59/public_map

    You can turn off the quake locations or animation, you can hover over a quake to get details.

  9. Jack McIlveen says:

    http://en.vedur.is/photos/jarrnhr/160710_2135.png
    More shaking on the Reykjanes Ridge

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