Strong earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano (30-June-2017)

Today (30-June-2017) a strong earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake swarm was in the north-east area of the Bárðarbunga volcano caldera, area that has showed the most earthquake activity since this started in September-2015. Why that is the case is unclear at the moment.


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

Strongest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,6 but other earthquakes where smaller, one earthquake with magnitude 3,4 and one earthquake with magnitude 3,1. All other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. This earthquake swarm seems to be over for now, but one new earthquake took place at 22:29 and had the early magnitude of 2,7 (or 2,8).

North sea earthquake

I don’t often record an earthquake this close to where I live in Denmark. This is a magnitude 4,8 earthquake (EMSC information) that happened in the North sea. This earthquake was felt in Scotland and Shetland Islands, I don’t know about Norway as the closest distance from Norway was 195 km of Åkrehamn village.


The north sea earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Bov, Denmark. The distance is 644 km. This image is released under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC licence website for more details.

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

29 Responses to Strong earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano (30-June-2017)

  1. Diedre says:

    All sorts of depths with the stronger ones too. One at 0.1km, another at 6.7km and another at 8.4km. Interesting. The later 2.7 I think was at the 8.4km depth too. Possibly indicative of magma movement?

    • This earthquake activity is at majority due to magma movement. Some is due to crust adjusting to new stress levels after the eruption 2014 – 2015. At this location it is just magma far as I am aware of.

      The caldera of Bárðarbunga volcano has not yet started to cool down after the eruption 2014 – 2015 and that makes me slightly worried about what might happen next. I think Icelanders 20th century no-bad or deadly eruption luck is going to run out soon.

      • Diedre says:

        I’m inclined to agree with you that Iceland is close to a bigger eruption. At this point it looks like a dead heat between Katla and Bardy. Katla has been strangely quiet on all regards lately. Fickle volcano, there. In a post from a week or two ago, you mentioned a Eldgja fissure type eruption from Katla is possible. It will be interesting. Thanks for answering. 🙂

  2. Mr Ian Muir says:

    One has to remember that a long tine ago this area was dry land. This was eventually submerged in sea water due to the melting of the sea ice and at the same time the temperature rose of the ice age in other areas for example Canada
    This increased the levels of the sea water. This has created a number of faults in the area due to the pressures and slips in the topology of the sea bed. ( Thats my idea of the scenario)

  3. Porsche928 says:

    IMO had the epicenters of the stronger ones at almost exact the same location.

    Nice 3d visualization by baering

    http://baering.github.io/earthquakes/visualization.html

  4. Scots John says:

    The North sea quake is far more significant than you may realise. 8200 years ago the storegga bank collapsed under sea causing a massive tidal wave that reached as far as Iceland, Scotland and England as well as the major hit on Norway.

    The storegga bank is currently being drilled for gas fields, despite much of the bank still being intact. They ay there’s no risk of collapse from exploration.

    Did anyone allow for earthquakes if this magnitude?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20160323-the-terrifying-tsunami-that-devastated-britain

  5. Porsche928 says:

    It also was the final blow for the Doggerland Kingdom.

    http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/sand-castle-picture-id173701460?s=170667a

    The Doggerlanders however mostly had to abandon it long before already, much to their sorrow and grief

    http://66.media.tumblr.com/1c5eb50cf70a26f82976de1e439a2820/tumblr_o9p9rnabJm1s2wio8o1_500.gif

    All that has left is the Doggersbank now, a sort of Great Barrier Reef with lots of wreckage in the North Sea.

    (Actually this story was more than 30.000 words and not so exciting anyway, so I had to short-cut it.)

  6. Paid the bills and I’m broke. It feels like this nonsense is never going to end. I know it will one day but until then this is just hard to deal with.

    • Jack McIlveen says:

      Better than being broke and not having paid them. Now that is a really sad /bad feeling having been there I know!

      And Scots John no they never look at what bad “might” happen, when they want the oil, its get busy now and worry about the future in the future! Look at the middle of USA where they are doing all the fracking and now there are daily earthquakes happening, that they say is not their fault.

  7. Jimmy Walter says:

    What happened during the great flow in 8600 BC? Did it devastate life on the planet, Europe, England????

  8. I have been invited to a wedding in Iceland on 22th July, with a short notice. If anyone wants to support my trip to it with donations that is welcomed. Because I can’t afford to go at present time (no money). I’ll try to find a way to resolve this with some other way if I can but that might not happen.

    The cost of the trip would be 600€ the flight and 81€ the train. Thanks for the support. 🙂

  9. Kovich says:

    Was Katla turned off?

    • It is extremely quiet at the moment. There has been some minor earthquake activity in Katla volcano, but nothing to worry about.

      Currently there is more activity in the mystery spot at Flatey á Skjálfanda in north east Iceland. What is happening at that location is unclear.

  10. Martin says:

    Just seen this headline from the Daily Star. Once again creating a scare story, but interestingly it (mis)quotes you John. Thoughts? http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/626004/Iceland-Katla-volcano-eruption-Europe-UK-flights-ash-cloud-Eyjafjallaj-kull-earthquake

    • The quotes are correct (at least with a quick look at them). The reporter contacted me on Twitter over this article and I told him in great details that Eyjafjallajökull outcome would not happen with Katla volcano once it erupted.

      They didn’t even get the name of my website right, they wrote “[…] “Earthquake activity is increasing in Katla,” the author behind website Iceland Volcano Reports, Jon Frimann, told us. […]”

      I better stop wasting my time talking to the British tabloid press. It useless effort.

  11. I was going to write an article today about the continued activity on the Tjörnes fracture zone, the activity that is taking place east of Flatey on Skjálfanda. But the dentist time today changed that as it left me with a sensitive tooth after the temporary repair of the tooth and that is giving me a headache and that makes it difficult to considerate for a long period of time.

    I hope to write the article tomorrow if the pain has stopped in the tooth. I hope it won’t take any longer than that for the majority of the pain to go away.

  12. Jack McIlveen says:

    Not sure if they sell it over there but “orajel” is sold in Canada (for kids mainly but) I found it really helps adults just as much for tooth pain!

    • Everything has closed now in Denmark for the night. This tooth pain problem is getting slightly better, the temporary filling was set in such a way it was creating pressure on the tooth, resulting in the pain I got. I managed to remove a little bit of that material off the tooth and the pressure seems to have dropped. The pain is still there for some reason, but slowly getting less and I hope that progress continues.

      I have one session left in this tooth problem saga.

    • Tooth is continues to be really sensitive after ~12 hours since the visit to the dentist. This means that I have to talk to him again tomorrow really early. I hope that I can write a new article tomorrow.

  13. Jack McIlveen says:

    Things are getting concerning near Yellowstone in the US as they get a swarm of 17 quakes ranging from a 2.5 to a 5.8 and 21 smaller rattles from 0.1 to 2

    • Mike Ross says:

      Concerning how exactly? And I haven’t heard about any quakes near Yellowstone since they had a tectonic swarm a few weeks ago?

    • This is normal earthquake activity in Yellowstone. Nothing to worry about. The magnitude 5.8 is quite big but I’m not sure if it was connected to Yellowstone.

      The magnitude 5,8 earthquake information from USGS. https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us10009757#executive

    • Mike Ross says:

      Wait you were talking about the Montana quake?! That’s something like 200 miles from bloody Yellowstone!

      If there was an earthquake on Reykjanes would you say things are “getting concerning” about Bárðarbunga?! Sorry but that’s just a silly comment.

      • Matt says:

        Thank you. The belief that the recent 5.8 and its aftershock series are in ANY way related to volcanism is indeed ludicrous.

  14. The tooth seems to be recovering and the pain is mostly gone. I plan on writing a article about TFZ tomorrow if nothing out of order happens.

  15. Canuck says:

    Some questions answered about the Montana quake, which was felt quite far away:

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-earthquake-montana-20170706-story.html

Comments are closed.