Today (13-June-2017) a magnitude 2.6 earthquake took place in Öræfajökull volcano. This is the largest earthquake in this volcano for a long time now and it is worth noting that Öræfajökull volcano normally doesn’t have any earthquake activity. This suggests that something might be up if it doesn’t start to quiet down in next few years. Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano is not high as can be seen in this science paper that covers the years 1994 – 2007 in earthquake activity in Iceland.
Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano (to the south on this image). Some of the activity might be glacier quakes due to summer heat or rain. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Tectonic settings in this area don’t allow for a lot of crustal-tension earthquakes and that suggests that the source of current earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano can be explained by magma movements. If this is going to end in a eruption remains to be seen. At the moment current low level activity rules that out, since a lot more and stronger earthquake activity needs to happen before magma can reach the surface.
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During the last few days there has been a sharp increase in earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. Since there has been no eruptions in the last 12.000 years it is not possible to know for sure what is going on. The earthquake activity suggests that this is a mixture of magma connected earthquakes and stress changes due to Bárðarbunga volcano changes. Making it nearly impossible to know for sure what is going on, at least for now anyway.
Tungnafellsjökull volcano is located north of Bárðarbunga volcano. It is marked by cluster of small earthquakes (red dots) on this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
What is different now, is that after a long period of quiet there was a sharp increase in earthquake activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. If past earthquake swarm activity is anything to go by I expect this earthquake activity to die out slowly and activity should go back to normal in Tungnafellsjökull volcano. That means no earthquake activity at all. I don’t think that anything has changed in that volcano, at least I don’t have any hard evidence of that being the case for the moment. That might change since lack of historical eruptions leaves a room for lot of speculations.
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Today (12-June-2017) a magnitude 3,6 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake activity is mostly normal for Bárðarbunga volcano, there has been slight increase in earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano during the past few days (minor earthquakes), why that increase is taking place is unclear at the moment. This increased happened at the same time as a sharp increase in earthquake activity took place in Tungnafellsjökull volcano (read the article about that for more information).
The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and Tungnafellsjökull volcano. The green star shows the magnitude 3,6 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Currently the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is mostly what is now considered ‘normal’ after the 2014 – 2015 eruption. I don’t know if that status is about to change, but there are clues in current activity suggesting that might be about to happen. This increased activity however might slow down again and go back to normal background levels.
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Few weeks ago an earthquake swarm started west of Langjökull glacier and is on the edge of western fracture zone. That earthquake swarm then stopped and has now started again and it appears that the magnitude of the earthquakes is increasing. The magnitude has gone from mostly 1,0 and up to mostly 2,0.
The earthquake activity west of Langjökull glacier. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This earthquake swarm has all the signs of being intra-plate earthquake swarm, but due to location of it’s hard to be sure if that is the case. No fault lines are document at this location, that means no major earthquake activity has taken place there for a long time.
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Over the last few days there has been increasing earthquake activity in Katla volcano. The increase is slow, but this is a increase in activity. This holds in line with increased glacier melt during the Icelandic summer. What appears to be different now is the phase the increase is happening. At the moment the earthquake activity has not yet reached last year activity levels.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Largest earthquake in last 48 hours had the magnitude of 2,4 and took place in a minor earthquake swarm inside Katla volcano caldera. Since then there has been minor earthquake activity inside Katla volcano caldera, but compared to last year current activity is low. Other earthquakes that have happened have been smaller in magnitude.
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Today (09-June-2017) there has been a earthquake swarm in Tjörnes Fracture Zone east of Grimsey island. This was fairly large earthquake swarm in number of earthquakes that happened. Largest magnitude that happened was 2,2 and second largest was 2,1. All other earthquakes where smaller and I think around 40 earthquakes happened in this earthquake swarm.
The earthquake swarm east of Grímsey island on TFZ. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
It seems that this earthquake swarm is over, at least for now. This area of Tjörnes Fracture Zone has been showing increasing earthquake activity over the last few weeks. It is difficult to know if that keeps up as it has been doing.
The earthquake swarm off Flatey island is now entering its fifth or six week. There are no signs of that earthquake activity quieting down for now at least.
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Yesterday (08-June-2017) and today (09-June-2017) there has been a earthquake activity in Krýsuvík volcano. This earthquake activity doesn’t appear to be connected to the volcano, rather this is a normal rifting valley earthquake activity taking place.
The earthquake activity in Krýsuvík volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Largest earthquake in this swarm so far had the magnitude of 2,6 and the second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 2,0. All other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. The earthquake activity continues but has slowed down considerably from yesterday.
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Today (09-June-2017) there has been earthquake activity in Hekla volcano. Largest earthquake only has the magnitude of 1,0 and greatest depth is 2,2 km.
Hekla is to the right on this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
At the moment there are no signs that this is going to lead to an eruption. That might change without warning. The source of this earthquake activity might be gas or steam activity in the crust in Hekla volcano, at least when it comes to shallower depth. At more depth it’s slightly difficult and increases the changes the earthquakes at those depth are created either by magma or pocket of gas breaking the crust.
At the moment Hekla volcano is not showing any signs that eruption is imminent.
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Today (08-June-2017) there have been deep earthquakes in Trölladyngja (volcano). This earthquake swarm was shallower than last earthquake swarm that took place in Trölladyngja. Several months ago the earthquakes in Trölladyngja where happening at 28 km depth, but now they are at the depth range of 18,6 – 23,3 km, this means that the magma under Trölladyngja is migrating upwards at fast phase, a lot faster then I thought was possible. Earthquake swarm in November-2015 where slight off to the side, those earthquakes had the depth of 15 – 18 km as I wrote about here. Since November-2015 here has been other activity in Trölladyngja, but that has been in the form of one or two earthquakes so I have not written about it (I never bother with just one or two earthquakes at location due to the amount that happens daily in Iceland).
Earthquake activity in Trölladyngja (volcano), north-east of Bárðarbunga volcano fissure swarm. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Last eruption in Trölladyngja was according to GVP (under Bárðarbunga volcano history) was 7000 years ago. Since then nothing has happened. There has been a lot more eruption in Dyngjuháls area and that area is also having deep earthquakes. That area is also covered with ~200 meters of glacier. It remains to be seen what happens next in the Bárðarbunga volcano saga.
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Today (03-June-2017) there has been a minor earthquake activity in Katla volcano. This was a minor earthquake activity and no earthquake did reach magnitude 2,0. Based on location and depth this activity suggests that magma was on the move inside Katla volcano. Most depth in this earthquake activity was 16,1 km.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
It seems that for now the activity has quieted down. June is the start of earthquake season in Katla volcano and until December there is going to be increased earthquake activity taking place.
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