Due to the sudden passing of my step father on 11th of July there are not going to be any new updates until at least 29th July, possibly not until 16th of August. I just don’t know yet. I am going to Iceland for the funeral and other things that follow this whole thing.
I’m going to set-up a automatic posts for people can continue comment if something happens (they won’t appear on Facebook or Twitter). If comment get stuck in moderation or go to spam. I’ll do my best to free those comment once I see them. Internet connection is not good at my mother place so I don’t know how that goes once I’m there and my laptop is in really bad shape.
Automatic articles are going to appear on this days. They are going to be marked as such.
A small glacier flood started from Mýrdalsjökull glacier few days ago. The most risk is from sulphur gases and other gases from the glacier flood that might be concentrated in lower areas. There is also a minor risk of the flood destroying walking path bridges in the area it goes over. This glacier flood might go into Emstruá river and there is the risk of destroying walking path bridges in the area. No other risk is expected from this minor glacier flood from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. This is a normal summer release of hydrothermal water from the glacier. Happens every other year and sometimes every year.
Today (05-July-2016) at 05:56 UTC an magnitude 3,4 earthquake took place between Bárðarbunga and Grímsfjall volcanoes.
The green star is the magnitude 3,4 earthquake between Bárðarbunga and Grímsfjall volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.
This earthquake suggests that an complication is on the way. The question here is if an interaction between Bárðarbunga volcano and Grímsfjall volcano is on the way. Since both volcanoes are preparing for an eruption. [Speculation!] All that I get from my models (in my mind, since I don’t have the computer power or the skills to make them PC friendly at the moment) is confusion. At worst a magma dyke from either Bárðarbunga volcano might enter Grímsfjall volcano or an dyke might come from Grímsfjall and enter Bárðarbunga volcano (hint: A result of either of such event is rather catastrophic eruption, even if just for a short time). What can also happen is nothing, just earthquakes and nothing more. However, increase in the earthquake activity at this location suggests that no such luck is on the way. When and if such event happens is impossible to know, what can be done is to keep monitoring, day and night. This is going to happen the when and the way it wants to happen, all that can be done as humans is to wait and see. [/Speculation!]
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Today (05-July-2016) an earthquake swarm took place far north of Kolbeinsey Island. Earthquake activity in this area of the ocean has been increasing over the past few months. It’s unclear what is going on at the moment.
The earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.
Largest earthquakes in this swarm had the magnitude around 2,9 – 3,4. Good magnitude estimate is not possible due to the distance from the SIL network. What exactly is going on at this location is unclear. I do not rule out any eruption activity at this location when earthquake swarms take place. This might also just be normal earthquake swarm without any eruption connection. The depth of the ocean at this location is around 3 – 5 km.
Today (30-June-2016) three earthquakes took place in the root system of Eyjafjallajökull volcano I think. The most depth for those earthquakes was 14,3 km and the most shallow one 1,3 km. The largest magnitude was 1,1 the other two earthquakes had the magnitude of 0,7. Nothing to worry about magnitude wise.
The earthquake activity close to Eyjafjallajökull volcano (three yellow dots). Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.
Eyjafjallajökull volcano extends to this area, however at this area there are no surface craters. If there where they are long lost due to erosion. Unlike many other volcanoes, Eyjafjallajökull volcano does not have an extensive fissure swarm extending outwards for it, that should limit the path the magma can travel in theory. While I am not expecting any type of eruption from Eyjafjallajökull volcano in near future. If this earthquake activity continues I might have to review that outlook. I don’t expect this earthquake activity to continue, since next eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano won’t happen (based on my model) until the year 2199 at the earliest.
It is also question of this earthquake activity belongs to Vestmannaeyjar volcano system. Over the past few years deep earthquakes have been taking place there at regular time. Not many, just one or two at the time.
Few days ago an earthquake swarm started deep on the Reykjanes Ridge, this is as far as the Reykjanes ridge extends at the end of it. After that the north Atlantic ridge starts. It is close to impossible to know for sure what is going at this location, however the data suggests that an eruption is taking place there and it appears to be a big one. How big I don’t know and I’m not willing to guess it due to lack of data.
The earthquake activity has been interesting, with the largest earthquake having a magnitude 5,5 (EMSC info). Other earthquake magnitudes are 4,9 (EMSC info), magnitude 5,0 (EMSC Info), magnitude 4,9 (EMSC Info).
This earthquake activity is currently ongoing, since the distance from land is ~1100 km it is impossible to know for sure what is going on. There is also around 4 km deep ocean at this location. If an eruption is taking place at this location, it is not going to show in the surface of the ocean. I’m sure a lot of smaller earthquakes are taking place, they are just not being recorded by any seismic detecting network due to distance.
This is little short on details as of yet. There is clearly something going on in Bárðarbunga volcano. I don’t know what at the moment, several earthquakes have appeared, the strongest one with the magnitude of 4,0 so far. I’ll post more updates soon as I know more.
The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
No volcanic harmonic tremor has been seen as of yet. That means no eruption for the moment.
Today (23-June-2016) at 20:36 UTC an magnitude 3,2 earthquake (current data, might change) took place in Torfajökull volcano. The depth was 2,1 km.
Green star in Torfajökull volcano shows the location of the earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.
If anyone was close to this earthquake, it would have been felt. No other earthquake have so far followed this earthquake, that might change in few hours. It does happen once in a while that just one magnitude 3,0 earthquake happens and nothing more. I don’t know if there is any hydrothermal activity in the location where this earthquake took place.
Update at 22:24 UTC
According to an announcement from Iceland Met Office. This earthquake was felt in a nearby camping area.
Article updated at 22:24 UTC.
According to news report on Vísir.is (Icelandic), it appears that Bárðarbunga volcano is continuing to inflate at the same rate as it has been doing since the eruption ended in Holuhraun in the end of February 2015. Gas measurements from cauldrons that formed on the caldera rim during the eruption in 2014 show that gas output from Bárðarbunga volcano have not dropped during the last year and continue to be high. The glacier drop that formed during the eruption is now almost full of new glacier and snow from last winter. Nothing suggest that water has been collecting at the caldera bottom during the last two years.
The research trip to Bárðarbunga volcano was taken during the days of 3 – 10th of June. A new seismometer was also installed on the caldera rim. I don’t know if it’s a SIL station or not. If it is, it is going to appear soon on Iceland Met Office website.
Few days ago a glacier flood started from western Skaftárkatlar cauldron. Due to how short time it is since last time glacier flood took place from the western cauldron a major glacier flood is not expected. No damage is also not expected from this glacier flood due to how small it is.
Harmonic tremor disturbance due to the glacier flood from western Skaftárkatlar cauldron. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.
When the water pressure is released from the hydrothermal area that powers this cauldron, a spike in harmonic tremor is normally seen on nearby SIL station. The reason for this is unclear, with leading ideas that magma moves in the hydrothermal system when the pressure drops. The image above shows such harmonic tremor spike taking place at Jökulheimar SIL station. Eruption is not expected to happen due to this glacier flood, what happens is impossible to know for sure. Normally nothing more than just harmonic tremor spike happens.