Strong earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (6-April-2017) a strong earthquake activity took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake activity started this morning at 10:46 UTC and has continued during the day at slow phase. The largest earthquake so far took place at 15:08 UTC and had magnitude of 4,1 and second largest earthquake had a magnitude of 3,2. Other earthquakes are smaller and a around dozen or so have taken place today in Bárðarbunga volcano.


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

This earthquake activity is in line with earlier earthquake activity that has been going on in this area since September-2015. What is slightly different now is that I got two different seismic signals on my geophone stations in Böðvarshólar and the one in Heklubyggð on the North-South direction (Heklubyggð is west-south of Bárðarbunga, Böðvarshólar is west-north of Bárðarbunga). This difference seems to suggest that some type of slip movement took place during this earthquake. I don’t know for sure what this change in pattern means at the moment. The best I can do now is to monitor the earthquakes I detect in the future for more such earthquake signal changes like I did just see on my geophone. I’m not fully sure what is going on in Bárðarbunga volcano at the moment, what is known is that inflation is currently taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano and that process has been ongoing since September-2015.

Update 07.04.2017 – Anomaly detected on my Böðvarshólar geophone

This is the anomaly detected on my Böðvarshólar geophone. It can be seen on N-S direction. This is not the geophone, its working as expected and that got confirmed today when a minor (magnitude 2,1) earthquake took place not far from the Böðvarshólar geophone.


Böðvarshólar geophone.


Heklubyggð geophone.


Detailed image of the earthquake at Böðvarshólar geophone.


Detailed image of the earthquake in Heklubyggð geophone.

The difference is appearance of the P-wave and the S-wave. I don’t know why this is or why it happened. I’ve not seen this before.

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Article updated at 21:32 UTC on 07.04.2017.

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

10 Responses to Strong earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

  1. Jack McIlveen says:

    Jon is it possible for you to post the data from your geophones as an addition to the article ?
    ps End of April I hope to have a bit more to donate.

    • Yes, I can do that tomorrow (I hope) once the Icelandic Met Office has updated the reviewed earthquake list that I use to time my earthquake data.

      This is really strange thing I’m seeing. I’ve not seen this before if my memory is correct.

  2. Porsche928 says:

    Strange things can happen, which makes it even more interesting times.

  3. Exciting times again right now. Jón, I know that now there are current happenings to write about. However, when things are very quiet have you thought about writing an article on an earlier volcanic event? Just an idea, probably personally motivated because I would find it interesting. Also, of course, appreciating that you may not have the time or desire for the amount of work/analysis involved, or may feel insufficient numbers of people would be interested.

  4. Richard Oliver says:

    just a thought, vis-a-vis both the unusual seismic signals and the renewal of seismic activity in the Holorun feeder dyke. The rising magma may have reached the level of the dyke which could account for both phenomena. Que pens tu?

  5. Jack McIlveen says:

    And :
    Sunday 09.04.2017 02:01:51 AM 64.612 -17.492 4.6 km 2.2 99
    3.6 km SSE of Bárðarbunga

    Sunday 09.04.2017 02:17:07 AM 64.618 -17.511 8.0 km 3.5 99
    2.6 km SSE of Bárðarbunga
    So Bardy is not done yet it seems!!

  6. Richard Oliver says:

    Big disturbance on the Reykjanes ridge overnight

  7. Jack McIlveen says:

    Yikes a 4.6 and a mess of 2+ ‘s can Jon or someone tell us if this is simple rift action or is there something more involved??

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