Strong earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano yesterday (20-May-2017)

Yesterday there was a strong earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano (GVP has new information about Bárðarbunga volcano). Two of the largest earthquakes had the magnitude of Mw3,9 and Mw3,8 other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude and around 10 earthquakes happened in Bárðarbunga volcano. This activity is also different from historical activity from 1970’s and towards 1994 (Gjálp eruption), when a magnitude 5 earthquake would happen in Bárðarbunga volcano once to twice a year. Current activity suggests that magma is inflating Bárðarbunga volcano faster than in the period between 1970’s and 1994. Why that is is not known to me.


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

Current change is that in recent weeks there are fewer earthquakes taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano, but when they happen they are often larger in magnitude and more than one large earthquake happens during the earthquake swarm.


The magnitude (Mw) 3,8 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano as it appeared on my geophone in Böðvarshólar. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, see CC licence for more details.


The magnitude (Mw) 3,8 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, see CC licence for more details.


The magnitude (Mw) 3,9 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano as it appeared on my geophone in Böðvarshólar. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, see CC licence for more details.


The magnitude (Mw) 3,9 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, see CC licence for more details.

According to reports on Global Volcanism Program the most magma collection is happening at the depth of 10 km (or around that depth), no clear or oblivious signs are that magma is collecting at shallower depth at the moment. If that is required for a eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano is not know at the moment, there is a possibility that magma might collect at 10 km depth and then pump out with a dike as was seen in the Holuhraun eruption (2014 – 2015). What has been confirmed is that magma is collecting under Bárðarbunga volcano and the volcano is inflating. This inflation is either going to stop or its going to continue until a new eruption happens.

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Please remember to support my work here. While it is quiet in Iceland some days to weeks that can change without warning. I mostly update when something is happening in Iceland since I write mostly about current events. Thanks for the support. 🙂

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Earthquakes, Inflation, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 5 Comments

Earthquake activity in Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ)

For the past month (or so) there has been a constant earthquake activity close to Flatey island on the Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ). This earthquake swarm has not been strong, with majority of the earthquakes only having the magnitude of 0,0 – 2,5 and only one or two earthquakes with magnitude 2,8 – 3,0. While this earthquake swarm might not be a risk, it might suggest that something is about to give in this area.


The earthquake activity in TFZ as it is today. The activity close to Flatey island is clearly visible. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Other areas of TFZ have also been having minor earthquake swarms. I don’t think they are connected to this activity near Flatey island. None of those earthquake swarm have been big in both number of earthquakes and magnitude. TFZ is Iceland most active earthquake area with hundreds of earthquakes taking place each year. What is unusual now is the earthquake activity close to Flatey island, but this is not the first time this type of earthquake swarm happens in TFZ. Normally this type of earthquake swarm slowly die out without anything major happening.

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Please remember to support my work. I haven’t written many articles here in recent days due to lack of activity in Iceland. That lack of activity was both quiet times and due to bad weather taking place in Iceland (wind did go up to 45 – 50m/s). Thanks for the support. 🙂

Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Swarm, TFZ, Tjörnes Fracture Zone | 9 Comments

Earthquake swarm in SISZ (South Icelandic Seismic Zone)

Today on 6-May-2017 a magnitude 4,4 – 4,5 earthquake hit South Icelandic Seismic Zone (SISZ) at 12:08:58 UTC. This earthquake was felt over a wide area, a magnitude 3,3 earthquake also took place around one minute after the main earthquake. The earthquake took place on a fault that might have last moved in the year 1623 or 1624, as is detailed here. Current earthquake activity does classify as a “Suðurlandsskjálfti”, only earthquakes with magnitude above 5,5 are classified as such. This is regardless a strong earthquake activity in SISZ for a long time now.


The earthquake activity on SISZ. The green stars mark the location of the magnitude 4,4 – 4,5 and the magnitude 3,3 earthquakes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


The magnitude 4,4 – 4,5 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Böðvarshólar, north-west Iceland. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence page for more details.


The magnitude 4,4 – 4,5 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð, the earthquake happens just west of this geophone location. The geophone is saturated by incoming earthquake signal. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence page for more details.


The magnitude 3,3 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð, the earthquake happens just west of this geophone location. This earthquake also saturates the geophone (just a little). This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence page for more details.

More aftershocks are expected in this are for the next few hours to days. It is difficult to know if this means there is going to be a larger earthquake activity at this location or nearby. It’s always a chance, but it is not possible to know that for sure.

Donations

Please remember to support my work with donations. May is rather difficult month for me financially. Thanks for the support. 🙂

Article has been updated at 15:55 UTC. Minor text fixes.

Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, SISZ, Swarm | 13 Comments

The April 17 earthquake sequence in Chile (ongoing) [test article]

During 14 to 18 day period in April a earthquake swarm took place in Chile. This earthquake swarm started with a minor earthquake swarm with around dozen or so earthquakes with magnitude above 3,0 (other magnitudes might not be registered with EMSC). This earthquake sequence appears to have started on 17th of April-2017 with just a few earthquakes. I don’t have the information on the exact time it started. The first earthquake swarm was located in a narrow area above the subduction zone (where compression takes place). Few days later after the earthquake activity started the first large earthquake hit and had a magnitude of Mw6,0 (EMSC Information). Largest earthquake in this activity so far had the magnitude of Mw6,9 (EMSC Information). I don’t have any information on total number of earthquakes, but just based on the amount of earthquake activity show on EMSC total number of earthquakes must run in the low thousands (up to 10.000 earthquakes).

I don’t have the number of total earthquakes with magnitude above 4,0, at least dozen or so earthquakes (or close it) must have happened in this earthquake swarm in Chile. This area where this swarm took place had a magnitude 8,3 earthquake in 2015 and a magnitude 8,8 earthquake in 2010. This means that this part of Chile has a well documented history with extremely large earthquakes happening. If that’s going to be the case now is difficult to know, it can’t be ruled out based on the area history.

Detailed reading material from people that know more

Earthquake sequence in Central Chile: what we know so far

Test article

This is a test article to see if there is any interest for articles like this on their own website. I would not update it in real-time like Iceland Geology, but few days after the main earthquake has happened. Major earthquakes might get a extra speedy article if required (not guaranteed). I might write one or two articles like this more to do more tests in next few weeks if there is any interest for this type of articles.

The new website would be on its own domain, not a sub-folder of the domain jonfr.com.

Posted in Chile, Earthquakes, Experimental article, subduction zone | 5 Comments

Donations needed for May (and future plans)

It appears that May-2017 is going to be a money problem month, just like April. The reason now for this problem is due to my electric company changing their billing policy in such a way that I now get a electric bill every three months instead of monthly. This change resulted in a unusually high electric bill this month and that is creating problems for me. The electric bill is in total 283,12€ or 2.106,20 DKK. I also had problem (to make matter worse) with the VISA in Iceland (that I use for emergency cases) due to a dental problems I now have and have to be fixed by June or the tooth might be lost. I don’t know the cost of that at the moment since I have applied for a grant from the multiplicity I live in Denmark due to how poor I am.

If people can help me with the electric bill it would be welcomed. I have already moved 1000 DKK / 134,42€ to next month with VISA, that leaves me just short of 1106 DKK for the electric bill. I think that others bills are covered with what remains in my bank account in Iceland, its not much, but should cover the internet [5th May] and the hot water bill [3rd May] (that are paid in the next few days). I know this seems to be endless problems for me and sometimes they are, its unusual that this happens two months in a row. I normally get a month or a two as a break in this endless problems I have with money at the moment. That didn’t happen this month and is increasing my problems at the moment. Since I have to be able to pay the electric bill.

The good news are this. I have now paid down one loan (since last year, due to the move to Denmark) and earlier this year (February) I finished paying off the debt with the Danish tax from 2014. This means that the situation is getting better slowly. I wish this would happen, but reality doesn’t agree with me and there little I can do about it.

Thanks to a donation at the end of the month I was able to buy some extra food and put into the freezer and that means I don’t have to buy food for the next few days.

This also means that I have to delay the upgrade of my dedicated server for few months while the largest financial problems I’m currently dealing with are over. According to my plan I should be fully or close to debt free by August-2018 in Iceland. With the exception of possibly one minor loan if needed for buying new 4G hardware for the geophone in Böðvarshólar. Due to new frequency plan in Iceland 4G is soon going to be on 700Mhz and I need to have proper hardware for that once it goes on-line and a better antenna for that station for better gain (I know a lot about antennas and frequency and how that all works)

Thanks for the support. 🙂

Future plan

My plan on moving to Spain seems to have failed. The reason for that failure is simple. Along side with the plan on where I live I also have a plan regarding what I want to do in the field of science. The science plan has a priority over where I want to live plan, but only to such a degree that the plans need to fit together. If they do not, the science plan has priority. This is what happened now. The problem I did see when it came to Spain is that the house architecture and density (even in small villages) is not something I can work with. The second issue was difficulty in getting to Iceland as there are no direct flights from Spain to Iceland and due to that the travel time is up to 11 hours.

This is not a issue in Germany, some areas don’t have direct flight to Iceland but the travel time is around 6 hours less than from Spain at those location. There are direct flights to Iceland from Frankfurt, but not from Berlin or Hanover. I don’t know why that is, I guess its not economical to offer such services at those locations. If my plan fail, they do so quickly, since I normally check all criteria that I’m looking for quickly as was in this case. I’ve set-up a strict checking system to see if the place I want to move to fits my science plans and ideas. When it came to Spain the checks says it would not pass and if I move there it would just mean problems for me regarding my science plans.

The location I’m going to be moving to is going to be a bit outside of Frankfurt, I don’t have the details yet since that part of the plan is not in action yet (starts 2019 – 2020, depending on factors). I plan on setting up a long-period Volksmeter once I have a house (that I own) in Germany. I can’t do a lot with a rental property when it comes to my science plan and other things I want to do.

In Germany I’m going to monitor the West Eifel hotspot (science paper), it is known locally as West Eifel volcanic field. Last eruption took place around 10.300 years ago (8300 BCE) and there seems to be some gas activity in the area. No hydrothermal activity takes place at West Eifel volcano field at the moment. I plan to use the long period seismometers in order to monitor earthquake activity in Italy, Spain and other earthquake activity around the world.


Other notes

I have now moved to Windows 10 from Gentoo Linux. The reason for that move is the fact Linux in general doesn’t do so well as a Desktop operating system and since I started using Linux in 2003 what I need to do has changed along with the technology being used.. I plan to write about this here soon, not sure when that is going to happen. I find Windows 10 adequate, but it is clear that I need to upgrade my sound card (from ~2002) to get rid of sound problems I’m currently having due its age and limited compatibility with Windows 10 (the sound card works, but lacks certain features that limit sound problems I’ve been dealing with in Windows 10).

Please note that I sometimes need a break from writing to recharge my batteries and just to do other things than being in front of the computer writing. It has also been mostly quiet in Iceland since the Reykjanes ridge earthquake activity. Bárðarbunga volcano has so regular earthquake activity now that I have almost stopped writing about it unless its an earthquake above 4,0 in magnitude.

Article update on 05-May-2017 at 18:30 UTC. Future plans part has been re-written and updated. I ran into a few issues with the original plan I had written about.

Posted in Donations, Website | 9 Comments

Magnitude 4,3 earthquake on the Reykjanes ridge today (19.04.2017)

Today (19.04.2017) at 12:34 UTC an earthquake with the magnitude of 4,3 took place on the Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake was felt in Keflavík town and nearby areas. A swarm of aftershocks followed, none of them was above magnitude 3,0. Largest aftershock had the magnitude of 2,9.


The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes Ridge. Green star is the location of the magnitude 4,3 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity appears to be normal rifting activity in line with earlier earthquakes like this that have been happening deeper on the Reykjanes ridge over the past few weeks. There is a good chance that new earthquake activity is going to happen in this same area or nearby area in next days to months.


The earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð. This image is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see CC Licence website for more details.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Reykjanes Ridge, Rift Zone, Swarm, Volcano | 13 Comments

Strong earthquake swarm in Katla volcano today (19.04.2017)

Today (19.04.2017) a strong earthquake swarm started in Katla volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had magnitude of 3,0 and 3,1 other earthquakes that happened where smaller in magnitude. This is the strongest earthquake activity in Katla volcano since January 2017 when a magnitude 4,3 earthquake happened. No harmonic tremor was detected following this earthquake swarm.


The earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. Green stars show the magnitude 3,0 and 3,1 earthquakes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The earthquakes that I detected on my geophone in Heklubyggð show that the largest earthquakes was a mixed type of volcano earthquakes. This means that magma was responsible for today’s earthquake swarm. It was reported today in the news that this earthquake swarm took place away from all major hydrothermal areas inside Katla volcano caldera. The area of activity is close to eruption area of 1755 and a minor eruption close to current earthquake area in 1955 (didn’t break the glacier).


The main earthquake with the magnitude of 3,1 in Katla volcano. The trace is filtered at 4Hz due to high wind in the area. This image is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see CC licence for more details.

This earthquake activity might just be a early signs of more activity to come. Since current pattern of activity has been going on since August-2016, with minor drop in activity between January to April. How this evolves depends on many factors that cannot be predicted due to lack properly documented earthquake history. Scientists know some details of Katla volcano eruptions behaviour, but those accounts are not fully accurate due to lack of knowledge at the time, currently the best documented eruption in Katla volcano is from 1918.

Article updated at 20:41 UTC. Correction made to the information about strongest earthquake. I recalled that detail wrongly.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 12 Comments

Earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (17.04.2017) at 11:58 UTC a magnitude 4,2 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is the strongest earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano for several weeks now. Following this earthquake a earthquake swarm started and lasted for about one hour in Bárðarbunga volcano.


Green star shows the magnitude 4,2 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest aftershock activity had magnitude of 2,8 as the information is currently on Icelandic Met Office website. That might change tomorrow and it’s possible that I might update this article if any major change happens in earthquake magnitudes. No harmonic tremor was detected following this earthquake swarm. Weather is currently bad in Iceland and that’s going to last for few more hours.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Earthquakes, Inflation, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 7 Comments

Magnitude 4,5 earthquake on Reykjanes ridge during the night

During the night of 10-April-2017 at around 03:39 a magnitude 4,5 earthquake happened and started a earthquake swarm at same location, total number of recorded earthquakes is around 71 but that number is not confirmed as of yet. There is also a good chance a few magnitude 3,0 earthquakes happened, but this earthquake swarm has not been reviewed by Icelandic Met Office as of yet (I don’t know why it’s slow today).


The earthquake swarm as it appears on Icelandic Met Office maps, green star is the location of the magnitude 4,5 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


The earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð. This image is under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC licence for more details.


The earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Heklubyggð. This image is under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC licence for more details.

This appears to be a normal tectonic earthquake in the rift valley that is at this location. No change was observed in the harmonic tremor, that means there was no magma movement during this activity. Based on earlier earthquake behaviour in this area, there is a good chance that new earthquake swarm is going to happen in this area after few days or at most weeks before this area going quiet again.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Kolbeinsey Ridge, Monitoring, Swarm | 15 Comments

Strong earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (6-April-2017) a strong earthquake activity took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake activity started this morning at 10:46 UTC and has continued during the day at slow phase. The largest earthquake so far took place at 15:08 UTC and had magnitude of 4,1 and second largest earthquake had a magnitude of 3,2. Other earthquakes are smaller and a around dozen or so have taken place today in Bárðarbunga volcano.


The earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity is in line with earlier earthquake activity that has been going on in this area since September-2015. What is slightly different now is that I got two different seismic signals on my geophone stations in Böðvarshólar and the one in Heklubyggð on the North-South direction (Heklubyggð is west-south of Bárðarbunga, Böðvarshólar is west-north of Bárðarbunga). This difference seems to suggest that some type of slip movement took place during this earthquake. I don’t know for sure what this change in pattern means at the moment. The best I can do now is to monitor the earthquakes I detect in the future for more such earthquake signal changes like I did just see on my geophone. I’m not fully sure what is going on in Bárðarbunga volcano at the moment, what is known is that inflation is currently taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano and that process has been ongoing since September-2015.

Update 07.04.2017 – Anomaly detected on my Böðvarshólar geophone

This is the anomaly detected on my Böðvarshólar geophone. It can be seen on N-S direction. This is not the geophone, its working as expected and that got confirmed today when a minor (magnitude 2,1) earthquake took place not far from the Böðvarshólar geophone.


Böðvarshólar geophone.


Heklubyggð geophone.


Detailed image of the earthquake at Böðvarshólar geophone.


Detailed image of the earthquake in Heklubyggð geophone.

The difference is appearance of the P-wave and the S-wave. I don’t know why this is or why it happened. I’ve not seen this before.

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Article updated at 21:32 UTC on 07.04.2017.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 10 Comments