Magnitude 4,5 earthquake on Reykjanes ridge during the night

During the night of 10-April-2017 at around 03:39 a magnitude 4,5 earthquake happened and started a earthquake swarm at same location, total number of recorded earthquakes is around 71 but that number is not confirmed as of yet. There is also a good chance a few magnitude 3,0 earthquakes happened, but this earthquake swarm has not been reviewed by Icelandic Met Office as of yet (I don’t know why it’s slow today).


The earthquake swarm as it appears on Icelandic Met Office maps, green star is the location of the magnitude 4,5 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


The earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð. This image is under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC licence for more details.


The earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð. This image is under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC licence for more details.

This appears to be a normal tectonic earthquake in the rift valley that is at this location. No change was observed in the harmonic tremor, that means there was no magma movement during this activity. Based on earlier earthquake behaviour in this area, there is a good chance that new earthquake swarm is going to happen in this area after few days or at most weeks before this area going quiet again.

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This entry was posted in Earthquakes, Kolbeinsey Ridge, Monitoring, Swarm. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Magnitude 4,5 earthquake on Reykjanes ridge during the night

  1. Z says:

    Another one of those occasional EQs at Öraefajökull. Still not manually checked, so uncertain depth for now. Magnitude about 2, judging by the numbers. Looks shallow and “sharp” (see KSK station for example). Ice related?

    I’m only reporting it because EQs this size are pretty rare around here (Jon posted an article early February 2017 about deep EQ activity in this system)

    • There is clearly a increase in earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano. Eruption cycles seems to be on ~300 year period and that is already at that mark since last eruption was in 1728 (ended on 1st May), it started 1727, August 3rd. Meaning it has now been 289 years since last eruption. At the moment the activity is still too little to be concerned about it. But this is a interesting change and progress.

      • Mike Ross says:

        I agree it’s interesting. Futurevolc says slightly different on the period…

        “Eruptions at Öræfajökull are not frequent, with only two eruptions during historical time in Iceland (last 1100 years). Tephrostratigraphical studies in the area reveal up to 13 explosive eruptions that can potentially be connected to Öræfajökull. Four basaltic effusive eruptions have occurred during the Holocene. All eruptions are small in comparison to the eruption in 1362 CE. From these data, the interval between eruptions can be estimated as some 500-600 years.”

      • I don’t know how that is calculated at Futurvolc. I’ve been using the method of just counting the years between eruptions and see if it works. That short of does, there are massive error margins since not all quiet cycles and active cycles in a volcano are the same, some are longer than others while other periods are shorter.

        What makes Öræfajökull volcano different is that it shows the many characteristics of subduction volcano, both in magma type and composition of that magma. I don’t know if this can result in a unpredictable behaviour, but that’s always a possibility.

        According to research, the reason why Öræfajökull volcano exists is due to the fact that an old fragment of a continent crust is being melted away at this location. Resulting on Öræfajökull volcano, Esjufjöll volcano and Snæfell (east Iceland) volcano. Snæfell volcano has never erupted in 12.000 years.

        The research: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/15/E1818.full

  2. William Gunning says:

    Jon those were quite deep earthquakes around Habunga this afternoon

  3. Jack McIlveen says:

    Looks like some poor horse or cow is missing its lunch under that nest!!

  4. Ian Pendlebury says:

    At 11:58 today 17/4/17 Icelandic Met Office are showing a 2.4 earthquake near Bardarbunga. USGS are showing this as a 4.2 if anyone is interested.

  5. I’m currently waiting on more information from Icelandic Met Office on this earthquake swarm. Since they have not reviewed all the earthquakes at the moment. At the latest I’m going to write about this earthquake swarm tomorrow, but I hope to have an article about this earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano in few hours.

  6. Porsche928 says:

    They’re known for nesting in the most impossible places, like storks. Brings good fortune though.

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