Fluid reason for earthquake swarm north-east of Flatey in Skjálfanda, Tjörnes Fracture Zone

In March-2017 an earthquake swarm started north-east of Flatey in Skjálfanda in Tjörnes Fracture Zone. This earthquake swarm is ongoing as is. Largest earthquake this this swarm only has the magnitude of 2,5. All other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude, since March around 800 earthquakes have been recorded north-east of Flatey in Skjálfanda.


Flatey in Skjálfandi earthquake activity since March-2017. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There are two faults at work here, the first one is in north direction and close to vertical. The other is in the direction of NW-SW (around 145 degrees east) and has an angle of 60 – 70 degrees. Depth is around 10,5 to 11,5 km. Since March, according to Icelandic Met Office report the earthquake activity has slightly migrated north. As the earthquake activity has moved north, they have moved upward to a slightly shallower depth.


The NW-SW fault plane in the earthquake swarm north-east of Flatley in Skjálfanda. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


The fault plane that is almost directly north and vertical. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There are clues in this earthquake swarm that it is caused by some type of fluid migrating in the faults at this location. What type of fluid this might be is not possible to know. There are no known volcanoes at this location or any historical accounts of an eruption in this location. I don’t know if there are many options for what type of fluid this might be pressing it self up at this location, magma is one possibility but this might also just be water moving upwards in the crust at this location.


Number of earthquakes north-east of Flatey in Skjálfandi since Marc-2017 until June-2017. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

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Article updated at 00:47 UTC. Location error fixed. I confused fjords in the area together.
Article updated at 01:47 UTC. I forgot the image with number of earthquakes at north-east of Flatey in Skjálfandi.

This entry was posted in Earthquakes, Flatey á Skjálfanda, Swarm, TFZ. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Fluid reason for earthquake swarm north-east of Flatey in Skjálfanda, Tjörnes Fracture Zone

  1. Jenneke says:

    Bit of topic, but are more people having trouble watching the webcams on livefromiceland.is? Somehow I am only getting an empty screen with a background picture. Just when I want to watch Katla 😉

    • Enno says:

      Yes, the connection to the server is very unstable in the past weeks … if someone has contact to mila please inform them.

  2. Porsche928 says:

    Interesting Oxford study about the Triassic mass extinction with more evidence for the source of the huge Co2 emissions back then

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-06-19-volcanic-eruptions-triggered-dawn-dinosaurs

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