Around 21:00 UTC today (30-June-2015) a strong earthquake swarm started on the Reykjanes ridge. So far the largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,2, this has not been reviewed so it might be larger or smaller once reviewed.
The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge, this earthquake activity has not been reviewed yet by Iceland Meteorological Office. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
The earthquake swarm is dense as can be seen on this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
It is possible to monitor the progress of the earthquake on my geophone in Heklubyggð here.
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Even if the eruption in Holuhraun and Bárðarbunga volcano is over, there is no shortage of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. With deepest earthquake in past 48 hours having the depth of 28,6 km and earthquakes don’t get a lot deeper than this in Bárðarbunga volcano. At this depth earthquake activity happens due to magma movements rather than tectonic stresses.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano (red dots). Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
Earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano
Since the end of the eruption and any major activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Earthquake activity in Tungafellsjökull volcano has not stopped as expected. The earthquake activity continues at low levels and at great depth. With deepest earthquake in last 48 hours at 26,2 km.
Earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano (yellow / orange dots). Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
It is unclear what is going on in Tungnafellsjökull volcano, it is clear that dyke intrusion is taking place at depth, if and when that might result in a eruption is not clear at this moment. This might lead to an eruption or it might not. It is impossible to know at this moment since Tungnafellsjökull volcano has no recorded or documented history of volcano eruptions in historical times.
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Icelandic Meteorological Office and Almannavarnir have issued a warning about possible large earthquake on the Reykjanes peninsula. This warning is triggered by the earthquake swarm in Krísuvík on 30-May-2015 and a second earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge on 11-June-2015.
Largest earthquakes in this earthquake sequence once it starts might reach magnitude of 6,5. There remains a hope that the stress on the Reykjanes peninsula and Reykjanes ridge is going to be released out slowly without large earthquake taking place. The warning only covers the populated part of the Reykjanes, from Kleifarvatn and east to Ölfus. It is my view that chance is small at best, it might work out that, I do think that is unlikely outcome of this. It is impossible to know when this earthquake activity might happen, but since the warning has been issued it might only be few weeks to month until something happens.
Last large earthquake in Bláfjöll mountains (Breinnisteinsfjöll volcano) took place in 1929 and 1968. Due to the area in question being less populated than it is today there was no or little damage. Current warning says the people should prepare to limit damage, since in past few years the populated areas have moved closer earthquake risk areas of the Reykjanes peninsula.
The warning (in Icelandic)
Skjálftavirkni á Reykjanesskaga (vedur.is, Icelandic Meteorological Office, Icelandic)
Fréttatilkynning vegna jarðskjálftavirkni að undanförnu á svæðinu frá Krísuvík austur í Ölfus (vedur.is, pdf, Icelandic)
Vara við skjálfta til að draga úr slysahættu (Vísir.is, Icelandic, pictures)
Hætta á stórum skjálfta á Reykjavíkursvæðinu (Vísir.is, Icelandic)
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Article updated at 23:52 UTC.
Yesterday (16-June-2015) a small glacier flood started in Skaftárkatlar cauldrons in Vatnajökull glacier. The glacier flood can go up to 900m³/sec at its largest. The main risk from this glacier flood are the gases released into the air once the glacier water gets into the river, it is the advised that people stay away from the glacier rivers called Skaftá, it is also advised that people stay away from the edges of the glaciers named Skaftárjökull glacier, Tungárjökuls and Síðujökuls. It is unclear how big this glacier flood is going to be and from what cauldron is emptying, there is a good chance the cauldron that is emptying is the western one, since the eastern one empted last year and does not hold a lot of water at the moment.
Following this type of glacier flood a peak of harmonic tremor is detected from the cauldron that is emptying, it is thought that this is due to the hydrothermal vents (hot springs) that power those cauldrons start to boil when the pressure is released. There is a small chance eruption taking place in this area due to glacier flood when the pressure of the water is released, this is a chance, but it remains a small one.
Skaftárhlaup líklega hafið (Rúv.is, Icelandic, Map)
Lítið Skaftárhlaup líklega hafið (Mbl.is, Icelandic)
Skaftárhlaup mjög líklega hafið (Vísir.is, Icelandic, image)
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Article updated at 21:52 UTC.
During the night of 12-June-2015 a minor earthquake swarm took place on the edge of SISZ (South Iceland Seismic Zone). Around 9 earthquakes were detected, largest earthquake had the magnitude of 2,9.
Earthquake swarm on the SISZ, it appears as a group of few dots in northern part of SISZ. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
This earthquake swarm did appear clearly on my geophone in Heklubyggð.
The spike in this image is the magnitude 2,9 earthquake. This image is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see CC Licence for more details.
The reason why this magnitude 2,9 earthquake appears so strong on my geophone has normal reasons. The reason is distance, the earthquake was close to geophone and smaller earthquakes appear clearly on my geophone, even if they are small in magnitude.
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During the night of 11-June-2015 an earthquake swarm took place on the Reykjanes ridge. This was a medium sized earthquake swarm, so far 151 earthquake have taken place.
The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge, green stars are earthquakes larger than magnitude 3,0. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
The largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,9, second largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,6. Other earthquakes in this swarm where smaller in magnitude. This earthquake swarm appears to be over at the moment, it might resume without warning. Since often large earthquake swarms in this part of the Reykjanes ridge start slowly and last over few days to weeks.
Earthquake swarm appeared clearly on my only geophone in Iceland, in Heklubyggð in south Iceland. This image is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see CC Licence page for more details.
Any earthquake larger than magnitude 2,5 should appear clearly on my geophone in Heklubyggð, Iceland. Smaller earthquakes won’t appear clearly or not at all.
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More information can be found here (total living), here (food) and more information can be found here (article). I don’t have any lower price grocery (like Bonus) stores where I am living in Iceland due to small population (around 1400 people live in the multiplicity of Húnaþing Vestra). Denmark is considerable cheaper when it comes to buy food then Iceland, since it is possible to buy cheap food and there are always offers in stores. That is not the case in Iceland.
Today (10-June-2015) an magnitude 3,3 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake had the depth of 6,3 km.
Magnitude 3,3 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano is shown with the green star. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
No other earthquake activity has followed the magnitude 3,3 earthquake so far. This earthquake was a long period earthquake, that means it was magnetic in nature and was created by magma at 6,3 km depth. At the moment it is impossible to know for sure what is going to happen in Bárðarbunga volcano, far as I know there hasn’t been any inflation of Bárðarbunga volcano since the eruption in Holuhraun ended, that might have happened, just not detected due to the size of the area.
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During Week 23 there hasn’t been a lot of activity taking place. Normal minor-earthquake activity has been taking place all over Iceland, some glacier earthquakes have been seen in Vatnajökull glacier. This spread out earthquake activity is normal for Iceland, it is also easily detected in Iceland due to the dense seismometer network in Iceland. Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano.
Normal earthquake activity in Iceland at the moment. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorologist Office.
At the moment the earthquake activity in Iceland is within normal background levels. Minor earthquake activity is almost always taking place in Iceland, there are few days when no earthquakes happen, but those days are rare and it is long between them. At the moment there is nothing to report in terms of the activity in Iceland.
This summer I am working Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:00. This means if anything happens I won’t me aware of it until I get back from work.
Please remember to support my work with donations. They help me work on this website and keep my alive. I have found out that food is expensive in Iceland and over the past two years that price has only gone up and it continues to do so. This means the budget I used in Denmark for food is not enough in Iceland (I have adjusted the plans, that type of living is going to be a challenge for the next 9 – 11 months when I am going to be living in Hvammstangi, Iceland). I am now close to getting completely broke. Most of my working income is going to pay up my debt (what I get of it, since I pay full tax [37,30%] of it in Iceland). I hope to be finished paying up all my debt in October. Thanks for the support.
Article updated at 20:48 UTC.
Article updated at 23:04 UTC.
Today (1-June-2015) the alert level around Bárðarbunga volcano was lowered to uncertainty level from danger level. This means there are no longer any travel restrictions in the area. Besides normal spring closure in the highlands due to the snow melting (and creating mud areas). There is a risk of snap floods in the area due to hydrothermal activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. It remains high according to the latest news. The risk area for that melt water is in Jökulsá á fjöllum glacier river, since melt water can collect under the glacier and then flood the river days to weeks later. It is also not known what is going to happen when the summer melt period starts in Jökulsá á fjöllum glacier river. A new lake might from in the area next to the glacier where the lava blocked the glacier river path, the glacier water comes from Dyngjökuli glacier.
Icelandic News about this
Frá hættustigi á óvissustig (mbl.is, Icelandic)
Ekki lengur hættustig vegna Bárðabungu (Rúv.is, Icelandic)
Viðbúnaður vegna jarðhræringa við Bárðarbungu færður niður á óvissustig (Vísir.is, Icelandic)
Yesterday (29-May-2015) there was a strong earthquake swarm in Krýsuvík volcano. Largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,0, a smaller magnitude 3,1 earthquake also took place.
Green star shows the location of the magnitude 3,1 and 4,0 earthquakes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
Other earthquakes in this swarm where smaller, total of 97 earthquakes where recorded. Earthquakes swarms in this area are common, since the volcano has been inflating and deflating for the past few years. I don’t know if this earthquake swarm was related to such movements, since tectonic forces often create strong earthquake swarms in this area and along the Reykjanes peninsula and Reykjanes ridge.
The earthquakes as they appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð. This image is under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC Licence page for more details.
On the geophone shut-down
There has been some discussion about me turning off the geophone network in Iceland. There is one station renaming in Heklubyggð and that station is going to continue to run for some time now (it doesn’t use the 3G network in Iceland). When it turns off I do not know. Besides 3G connection costs that have been going up in Iceland for the past few years, it has also become more expensive for me to fix the computers if they fail, along with 3G signal leak and other issues. It is also time consuming to run a remote network. I do help people if asked on what to buy in terms of hardware if they want to start there own geophone or seismometer. I don’t plan on stop recording earthquakes, I just plan on doing that just from my home once I am back in Denmark.
As for sensitivity of such hardware, it depends on what type of hardware is being used. Geophones are good for local earthquakes but more sensitive hardware is needed to record earthquakes at longer distance, like the magnitude 6,8 earthquake in Alaska this morning. It can be viewed here for the next few hours on long period seismometer (the top one and few others).