Magma movement in Askja volcano (Dyngjufjöll)

For the past few days there has been a earthquake activity in Askja volcano. All of the earthquakes so far have been small in magnitude and only few have reached magnitude above 1,0. This earthquake activity is due to magma movements and its the first time I have seen it reported at this shallow depth (above 10 km depth).


Earthquake activity in Askja volcano. North of Vatnajökull glacier. There is also activity in Herðubreið to the east, but that’s an unrelated activity and is due to tectonic forces in the area. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There are no clear signs that an eruption is about to happen in Askja volcano or in Dyngjufjöll as this area is also called. If an eruption starts in this area outside of any major water area its only going to erupt lava with minimal risk. Explosive eruption due to water is also a possibility but those are impossible to predict.

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40 Responses to Magma movement in Askja volcano (Dyngjufjöll)

  1. David Cook says:

    Conductivity in Múlakvísl now soaring to almost 800 and showing no signs of slowing down. I’m surprised this has not been commented on as this is a very high figure and surely suggestive of further geothermal activity in Katla, especially given the time of year and fact it has been below freezing for many days.

    • The hydrothermal systems in Katla volcano are boiling over and expanding. I don’t understand why this isn’t alarming the scientists monitoring the volcano.

      This is the last phase before an eruption in my view. I give it ~3 months at the moment.

      • David Cook says:

        Indeed, 800 now reached and the line graph is as steep as it was at midnight. This is a brewing story and no doubt it won’t be long before the media and scientists are interested. Perhaps the latter don’t want the public to panic?

      • Currently the Icelandic Met Office is blaming the high values on the cold weather. I’m not sure that is the reason. Since the water level is reported high at the moment.

      • Mike Ross says:

        Isn’t this somewhat a seasonal thing? Yes the hydrothermal system is certainly active just now – but it’s winter and everything up there is frozen; the water from the hydrothermal system is the *only* liquid water currently available. In summer it would be diluted by other meltwater not of hydrothermal origin – so higher readings are to be expected in winter. Does that make sense?

      • That is what the Icelandic Met Office is saying at the moment. It is going to start to get warmer in Iceland from today and start raining. It will be interesting to see if that changes anything about this conductivity numbers from Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

    • Thomas Spencer says:

      It’ll be interesting to see how much higher the Conductivity will get and whether it’ll drop down anytime soon; especially with it being higher than it was back during the Summer. Little amount of EQ’s have been picked up around the area atm

      • The top spike so far is 804 uS/cm. I don’t know how long Katla volcano can continue to do this, but it is clear that when a eruption starts everything is going to go straight to hell and quickly.

    • Z says:

      When Swedish public service recently had an article on Öraefajökull, they did a short interview with Reynir Bödvarsson (from Iceland, but stationed at Uppsala university). In the article he mentioned two other Icelandic volcanoes that might be soon to erupt – namely Bardarbunga and HEKLA. This is the main man for Swedish news to contact about seismology, and he couldn’t even get the name right.

  2. Jonas Nilsson says:

    It seams like many volcano’s are preparing at the same time. Much activity in the zones through Iceland.

  3. Múlakvísl is now 947, having risen by 200 over 24 hours. Surely something other than cold weather is responsible for this. It will be interesting to see if the scientists comment now!

  4. David Cook says:

    1,000 up for the conductivity and still going higher.

  5. Debra Jones says:

    This morning EC continues to skyrocket, now at 1037!

  6. Robo says:

    Maybee a senor failure?

  7. David Cook says:

    It might be cold, but the weather has been like this for a couple of weeks up there. I’ve not seen these sort of figures in recent times (normal figures seem to be between 100 and 200).

  8. Suzie says:

    Up 200 in the last five and a half hours!
    Now approaching 1100 … is this some sort of record???

  9. Robo says:

    Sensor failure?

  10. David Cook says:

    Conductivity now almost a staggering 1,200 and looks like it could go higher still. I’d have though there would also be reports of H2S gas at the junction between Múlavísl and Route 1. Surely the Icelandic Met Office are now revising their opinions about the cause of this exponential increase.

  11. Please be aware that my anti-spam system is going crazy for some reason. It takes me few moments to de-spam comments that go into the spam folder as I only look into that folder few times a day.

  12. The weather forecast is that tomorrow it is going to start go above freezing point. That means fresh water into the glacier rivers coming from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. It is going to be interesting to see if that changes the conductivity level.

  13. jenneke says:

    I just wish somebody would fix al the Mila webcams. Katla’s has been looking only at the sky for a while now. Anyone with some connections there? 😉

  14. Adrian says:

    What is the situation with Öraefajökull ? It’s look like a little earthquake swarm today:
    https://earthquakes.volcanodiscovery.com/map/oraefajokull?L=28

  15. Suzie says:

    1406 …. +200 in three hours!
    As Robo suggested, maybe it’s equipment failure.

  16. The cauldron in Öræfajökull volcano caldera continues to get deeper. Taken by a passenger on a flight over the volcano.

    Image here.

    http://www.ruv.is/frett/sigketillinn-dypkar-enn

    • HolgerS says:

      I believe I can see a second cauldron on that picture, left above the big cauldron.

      • Gizmo says:

        I downloaded the picture and played with contrast and brightness.
        What Holger says can be easily seen. He is right, I think. A second cauldron is born.

      • Porsche928 says:

        Is there a third one more to the north around Hvannadalshnúkur?

  17. Eivind van Marion says:

    Conductivity realy dropped now. From 1400 to under 600 in just sine minuttes.

  18. Jan B says:

    We had a lot of small and rather shallow Earthquakes at Öræfajökull yesterday evening. This is really interesting. But also worrying…

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