Magnitude 4,5 earthquake in Katla volcano

Today at 22:18 UTC (26-July-2017) a earthquake with the magnitude of 4,5 took place in Katla volcano. A earlier earthquake happened at 22:15 UTC and it had the magnitude of 3,2. The magnitude 4,5 earthquake was felt in Vík í Mýrdal and nearby area.


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

A considerable number of smaller earthquakes have been happening in the last hour. There is nothing at the moment that suggest an eruption is about to happen. There is no magma signature on the tremor plot at the moment. With total of 55 earthquakes having happened in Katla volcano over the last 48 hours.

Update 28-July-2017

Current 24 hours have been quiet in Katla volcano with no major earthquake activity taking place at the moment. This is normal and was also observed last year when a sudden increase in earthquake activity took place.

Here is a over-view of that activity, from earliest earthquakes on 29-August-2016 until 29-September-2016. More articles can be found on Katla volcano activity during that time period just by searching. This are the articles when the most activity took place.

Katla volcano earthquake activity update (29-August-2016)
Magnitude 3,9 earthquake in Katla volcano (25-September-2016)
Heavy earthquake activity in Katla volcano, high conductivity in glacier rivers (29-September-2016)
Katla volcano update at 10:48 UTC (30-September-2016)

This article is going to be updated as needed.

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Article updated on 28-July-2016 at 00:26 UTC.

Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 20 Comments

Strong earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula

Currently there is a strong earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes peninsula. Largest earthquake so far was a magnitude 4,0 with second largest earthquake having magnitude of 3,8. This earthquake swarm is currently ongoing. Over 150 earthquakes have been detected so far (this number is going to get obsolete soon).


The earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula at 15:10 UTC. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


The earthquake swarm is highly active at the moment. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

According to the Icelandic Met Office (news at 12:20, Rúv) this earthquake swarm is a mixture of tectonic forces and magnetic (magma) forces in the ground. It is currently too early to know if this is going to result in a eruption.

Update 1 at 00:04 – 27-July-2017

Over 300 earthquakes have happened so far on the Reykjanes peninsula. Largest earthquake so far had the magnitude of 3,8 and second largest had the magnitude of 3,3.


Earthquake activity remains heavy on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


Earthquake activity is heavy as is shown here. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity is ongoing and strong when this is written.

This article is going to be updated as needed.

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Article updated at 00:04 UTC on 27-July-2017.

Posted in Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Reykjanes, Swarm, Volcano | 28 Comments

Earthquake activity in Katla volcano

On Friday 22-July-2017 and on Saturday 23-July-2017 earthquake swarm activity took place inside Katla volcano caldera. Largest earthquake on Friday 22-July was magnitude 3,1 and on Saturday a magnitude 3,2 earthquake took place. Before and after the main earthquakes a swarm of smaller earthquakes took place.


The earthquake activity in Katla volcano during the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Interesting earthquake activity has been appearing in the south-west part of the caldera. That area had a minor eruption in 1999 (lasted for ~6 hours maybe). This is directly above Sólheimajökul glacier (tourist attraction). Currently Katla volcano is quiet but that can change without warning given recent history of earthquake activity in the volcano.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 30 Comments

Magnitude 3,1 earthquake in Krýsuvík volcano

During the night of 15-July-2017 a magnitude 3,1 earthquake took place in Krýsuvík volcano. This earthquake does not seems to be connected to the volcano it self, rather the tectonic forces that are common in the Reykjanes rift zone that runs in this area with many fault lines.


Activity in Krýsuvík volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Other earthquakes that happened in this swarm had smaller magnitude. It also appears that this earthquake swarm is over. Earthquake swarm like this one are common in this area, it has been quiet for past few months and that is perfectly normal too, since last major earthquake activity happened in Krýsuvík in the year 2000 (several magnitude 5,0 earthquakes) and several magnitude 4,0 earthquakes in the year 2008 following major earthquake activity in SISZ.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Krýsuvík, Monitoring, Reykjanes, Swarm, Volcano | 22 Comments

Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano yesterday (13-July-2017)

Yesterday (13-July-2017) an earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. As earthquake swarms goes this one was minor one and largest magnitude was only 2,7 all other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude.


Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

One magnitude 2,5 earthquake happened today (14-July-2017) at 16:29 UTC. Since then everything has been quiet in Katla volcano. This current repeating earthquake pattern is starting to look like long term signs that Katla volcano is going to erupt soon. How long is not known, but it is my best guess that an eruption might happen either this fall or next year (2018). It is not possible to get any better idea how long it might be until an eruption happens in Katla volcano.

Update 1 (July-15 earthquake activity)

At 19:12 UTC on 15-July-2017 a magnitude 3,3 earthquake took place in Katla volcano. Earthquakes that followed where smaller in magnitude, with only one having magnitude 2,8 today (16-July-2017) at 10:51 UTC. I was unable to record it due to high noise level on my geophone.


The earthquake activity in Katla volcano during last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity has quieted down again for now in Katla volcano.

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Article updated at 22:22 UTC on 16-July-2017. New information added.

Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 19 Comments

Deep earthquakes in Katla volcano yesterday (09-July-2017)

Yesterday (09-July-2017) there was a minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. Deepest of the earthquakes in this swarm had the depth of 28,9 km, the most shallow of the earthquakes that happened had a depth of 21,1 km. At this depth it is only magma that can create earthquakes.


The earthquake activity in Katla volcano during the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Since the earthquakes yesterday Katla volcano remains quiet with no oblivious sign of increase in earthquake activity. It is worth noting that it doesn’t seem that Katla volcano goes over 100 years between eruptions. If an eruption does not happen this year it might happen next year. There is a lack of data, but research on time between eruptions suggests that maximum quiet period between eruptions is 100 years. I don’t know if there is any error margin on that number, there might well be one.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 25 Comments

Ongoing earthquake activity north-east of Flatey in Skjálfanda fjord (north-east Iceland)

Earthquake activity that started in March 2017 in TFZ (Tjörnes Fracture Zone) is ongoing. I don’t know yet how many earthquakes have happened so far, but at last check Icelandic Met Office reported that the mark was at 800 and that was more then a month ago. The fluid that is pressuring up at this location between fault lines is most likely a magma in my view. If that results in a eruption is harder to say, at the moment the magma seems to be stuck at 10 km depth (in or around that depth).


The current earthquake at Flatey in Skjálfanda fjord. The location is where the yellow and orange dots mix (slightly east of Eyjafjörður fjord). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The earthquake activity at this location continues with little signs of stopping. What is also interesting is the fact the magma doesn’t seems to be making any progress up the crust at the moment. With fault line already in place the path to the surface is almost direct in this area if nothing is preventing the magma from moving upwards (impossible to know). At the moment this earthquake activity is limited to minor earthquakes and this magma seems to be lacking pressure to reach the surface at the moment. At this location there are no known volcanoes.

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Posted in Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Flatey á Skjálfanda, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, TFZ, Tjörnes Fracture Zone | 9 Comments

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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Posted in Bárðarbunga, Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 29 Comments

Strong earthquake activity on Kolbeinsey ridge (26-June-2017)

During the night of 26-June-2017 an earthquake swarm started north of Kolbeinsey island on Kolbeinsey ridge. This earthquake swarm is located around 355 km north of Siglufjörður village making it difficult to know for sure what is going on there. Largest earthquake so far had the magnitude of mb4,4 (EMSC Information), at the moment this is the only earthquake to register with EMSC. Total of 20 earthquakes have been over magnitude 3,0 so far, as this earthquake swarm is ongoing that number is going to change in the next few hours.


The earthquake activity on Kolbeinsey ridge (green stars). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I don’t know yet if there is any eruption at this location. At this distance the SIL network might not register the harmonic tremor of a small eruption or dyke intrusion. Ocean depth at this location is 2 – 3 km and that rules out any major signs appearing on the surface of the ocean. Currently there seems to be a break between earthquake swarms, that is just how it appears as the SIL network is not able to detect any small earthquakes at the distance of 355 km (about) and that means only minority of earthquakes is being recorded. There is also a possibility that this is just a normal rift earthquake activity that happens at this location, the area I think is is a rift valley, but this being a dyke or an volcano eruption can’t be ruled out.

This article is going to be updated if needed.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Kolbeinsey Ridge, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 24 Comments

Katla volcano earthquake activity – Update 2

Earthquake activity continues in Katla volcano with activity dropping between swarms. It is unclear at the moment if this is going to result in a eruption but at the moment it is my view that chances of an eruption happening soon (maybe in matter of hours) is high. Official view (government) is more conscious about what is going on in Katla volcano and does not yet issues this type of statements.


Current earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 3,4 at the depth of 0,1 km. Yesterday magnitude 3,6 earthquake had a fore-shock of magnitude 1,9 at the depth of 14,4 km. This is unusual and suggests that the reason for the current earthquake activity is an injection of new magma, rather than moving of old magma in Katla volcano system. For that reason I’m expecting more earthquake activity in next few hours. This change in activity appears clearly in the earthquake activity that has been taking place, the earthquakes that have happened have variety of depth, with most depth at 15,5 km and up to 0,1 km.

There appears to be a cycle of earthquake activity with quiet period between them that last for few hours at the time. The cycles appear to be getting shorter. I don’t know why that is, but this suggest that Katla volcano is getting more unstable as this earthquake activity. I don’t know yet if it does the same thing as last year (2016) when a swarm of activity started and then dropped after few months of activity. Few SIL stations appears to be showing slightly higher tone on 2 – 4Hz band (just two at the moment). I don’t know why that is. Currently the situation is quiet, I am however expecting that to change without warning at any time. If anything more happens remains be seen, but the chances are high at the moment.

Update 1

There has been a new depth record in this swarm. Earlier 15,5 km earthquake has been relocated down to 25,0 km depth. At this depth it is only magma that can make an earthquake, normal tectonic processes do not work at this depth in Iceland since Iceland is not a subduction zone with deep earthquakes. Just three new earthquakes have appeared in last few hours and current activity remains quiet.


Current earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is a lot to suggest that this increase in earthquake activity in Katla volcano is not over. This quiet periods where also observed during large earthquake activity in August-2016. I don’t know why this quiet period happens, they just do.

This article is going to be updated today (21-June-2017) if something more happens.

Article updated at 20:56 UTC. Added new information.

Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 63 Comments