Deep earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano

I haven’t written many articles about Öræfajökull volcano, since most of the time nothing happens in it. Öræfajökull volcano is located outside the main activity area in Iceland, like Esjufjöll and Snæfell (east Iceland). This three volcanoes form a volcano “arch” in south to east Iceland. Research suggests that old continental crust is possibly melting under Öræfajökull volcano and maybe Esjufjöll volcano (unclear). Research into that can be found here. This research shows a possible volcano directly east of Esjufjöll, I don’t have it on my maps so I don’t have a name for it (it might be unconfirmed volcano in that area, some maps show it, other don’t. I don’t know why).


Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. Öræfajökull volcano is in the right-south corner. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The magnitude of the earthquakes in question is only 1,1 and up to 1,8. What makes them interesting and might be a signal about something is about to happen in Öræfajökull volcano is the depth of earthquakes in question. The earthquake (magnitude 1,1) with the most depth has the depth of 21,2 km. The rest of the earthquakes has the depth of 19,0 to 20,7 km. View on the tremor plot suggest that this earthquake activity is magma related, rather than being driven by tectonic forces.

This activity started in the year 2011 with few earthquakes, no earthquakes happened in 2012 according to my data. Since then few earthquakes have been happening each year. How long the process is from just minor earthquake activity until an eruption starts in Öræfajökull volcano is something I don’t know and far as I know historical documents about the known eruptions are limited at best. Last known eruptions took place in the years 1362 June 5th until 1362 October 15 +-45 days, the other known eruption was in the year 1727 on August 3 and it lasted until May 1st 1728 +-30 days.

This entry was posted in Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Öræfajökull, Volcano. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Deep earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano

  1. Down Under (@Recretos) says:

    I made a 3D interpretation of earthquake features under:

    Askja+Herdubreid

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CFjuUjXbsw

    and

    Grimsvotn and Hamarinn

    https://youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=RGd6WS6VM-0

    Katla
    https://youtu.be/oi-TXbTsY7Q

    https://youtu.be/Ty-tf8o6STM

    I made the visualisation to better emphasise some features under volcanoes, which are not normally seen on the normal 2D plots.

  2. Ian muir says:

    Wow !, spectacular detail and interpretation of the volcanoes. This gives us a real view of the systems beneath the glaciers. I don’t know how you did it but we’ll done you ?. Now we must wait and see what’s happens when katla decides to release her fury.

  3. At least one SIL station around Mýrdalsjökull glacier (Katla volcano) is down due the thunderstorm that happened yesterday (08.02.2017) in south Iceland.

  4. Jack McIlveen says:

    Thank you “Down Under” for these stunning views. And thanks Jon for giving us a chance to come together to share this kind of information. I have a request for “Down Under ” would you be able to do something similar for Bárðarbunga before and after the Holuhraun event up to present?
    Jon are you saying that the SIL station was put out of action by the electrical storm.

  5. Jack McIlveen says:

    If Iceland is missing 60 or so cm of snow its here in West Coast Canada and still falling! Willing to trade for your electrical storms !

  6. I paid the electric bill and now I’m broke again, at least until the Amazon US checks clear the banking system in Iceland.

    The good news is that all bills have been paid for February-2017.

  7. Dean Kelly Talbot says:

    Keep me updated on the volcanoes and the earthquake what have been happening is it true that 4 volcanoes are active heard it on you tube video hay v logs was where we heard it’ from im from barking United greater London Essex just Keep me updated please

    • Pete says:

      Dean man, just keep checking in here. Jon keeps things ticking along and there is always lots of sensible analysis here. 🙂

  8. Now has my 16 port Switch died. The power supply in it is dead (smells of burnout). Continues to turn on, but is mostly useless. I got (thankfully) backup switches, just smaller.

    I bought this switch on the used market for 40 DKK four years ago (2013).

    • Jack McIlveen says:

      Bummer I have a 24 port linksys just sitting here that I have not used in months. If only I was closer.

      • I can find something on Amazon DE in next few months. I got few extra smaller switches that I’m going to use in the meantime (connected together). I’m going to upgrade to a 1Gbps system, since I think 10Gbps system is too expensive at the moment and I don’t have any network cards that support 10Gbps at the moment anyway.

  9. Troutwaxer says:

    What do you think of this? Is it sensationalism, or should we be expecting a bad year?

    http://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/nature_and_travel/2017/02/07/four_of_iceland_s_main_volcanoes_all_preparing_for_/

  10. Donald Butler says:

    Great work downunder . Just wondering if this is the 6 th year since Grimsvotn..which is near its average between eruptions. Mind you the last one 2011 was a VEI 4 and those are rare even in iceland. The worst seem to be the spring ones….more ice i guess.

  11. Jan says:

    Green Star

    Magnitude M 3.6 Region ICELAND
    Date time 2017-02-12 09:48:36.0 UTC
    Location 64.68 N ; 17.47 W
    Depth 4 km

    http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=567941

  12. Jan says:

    Sorry this is the link I meant to show its the one I always look at.

    http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/

  13. Porsche928 says:

    Yes, the EMSC is using different scale for colours, red star is for EQ’s 40km depht or less, green is for in between 80 and 150km, all for M3+ (I think).

  14. Luisport says:

    Sunday
    12.02.2017 20:10:38 63.682 -23.194 15.6 km 3.2 99.0 1.8 km SSE of Geirfuglasker
    Sunday
    12.02.2017 20:10:36 63.720 -23.205 12.0 km 3.2 99.0 2.5 km N of Geirfuglasker

    Sunday
    12.02.2017 19:27:27 63.672 -23.150 8.0 km 3.1 99.0 4.0 km SE of Geirfuglasker
    Sunday
    12.02.2017 19:27:26 63.700 -23.191 12.7 km 3.1 99.0 0.9 km ENE of Geirfuglasker

  15. Jan says:

    The earthquake swarm at Geirfuglasker is still continuing.

    25 earthquakes and counting since 17:00 yesterday evening.

    http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/#view=table

  16. Gizmo says:

    In the morning hours of 20.02.2017 one quake happened “7,9 km ASA af Hvannadalshnjúk” which nearly reached a green star. It was an M2,7 just 1,1km deep.
    Quite powerfull for this region, I would say….

    • I did record that earthquake. It was powerful enough for that to happen, the signal was not strong, but I did notice it on my live trace in my computer.

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