Earthquake activity in Western Fracture Zone (WFZ)

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Rare earthquake swarm has been taking place in Western Fracture Zone in Iceland. This fracture zone is between Western Volcanic Zone (WVZ) and Snæfellsnes volcanoes. It is mostly dormant with no earthquake activity at all. When earthquake activity happens it tends to be long and sometimes with earthquakes of magnitude up to 5,0. Earthquakes in this swarm have some been deep, with depth below 20 km (I don’t have exact number, forgot to document it).

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Earthquake activity on Western Fracture Zone (WFZ). Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

It is difficult, due to lack of data to know for sure what is going on in this area. I do expect this earthquake swarm to continue for few more days at shortest, longest documented earthquake on WFZ lasted around two months and magnitude 4,0 earthquakes took place.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Swarm, Western Fracture Zone | Leave a comment

Earthquake swarm continues on Reykjanes ridge, small chance of eruption

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Today (01-July-2015) earthquake activity continued on the Reykjanes ridge, largest earthquakes so far are magnitude 5,0 (EMSC information here). Second largest earthquake had magnitude 4,8, other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude. Total of 35 earthquakes that have taken place are larger than magnitude 3,0 and total number of earthquakes when this is written is 537.

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Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge. Green stars are earthquakes that are magnitude 3,0 or stronger. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

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Earthquake activity has dropped but is ongoing at the moment. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

Earthquake activity now happens in pulses, with low activity for 2 – 4 hours before it increases again. It is not clear why this is taking place. Overall earthquake activity is dropping at the moment, it might increase again without a warning.

Yellow alert for risk of eruption

The alert level for this volcano that is now making earthquake noise has been raised to yellow. The change happened during my working hours so I was unable to write about it right away. This means there is a risk of eruption at this location, last eruption in this location was in the year 1879 according to the information I have collected here.

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Current warning for the volcano at Eldey is yellow. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.

I don’t know for sure at the moment what the chances are of an eruption at the moment. That should be clearer in next 24 – 48 hours (I hope).

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Article updated at 23:50 UTC.

Posted in Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm, Volcano | 10 Comments

Strong earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge

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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.

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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.

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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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Posted in Earthquakes, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm | 17 Comments

Deep earthquakes in Bárðarbunga and Tungnafellsjökull volcanoes

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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.

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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.

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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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Posted in Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Tungnafellsjökull, Volcano | 10 Comments

Earthquake warning for Reykjanes peninsula

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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)

Icelandic News

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.

Posted in Breinnisteinsfjöll, Earthquakes, Monitoring, Reykjanes, Reykjanes Ridge | 14 Comments

Glacier flood from Skaftárkatlar cauldrons in Vatnajökull glacier

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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.

Icelandic news

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.

Posted in Glacier flood, Monitoring, Skaftárkatlar cauldron, Toxic, Vatnajökull glacier | 5 Comments

Minor earthquake swarm in SISZ (South Icelandic Seismic Zone)

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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.

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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.

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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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Posted in Earthquakes, SISZ, Swarm | 11 Comments

Earthquake swarm on Reykjanes ridge (11-June-2015)

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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.

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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.

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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.

Donations: Please remember to support my work with donations or by using Amazon. Currently I am having money problem due the fact that everything is extremely expensive in Iceland when it comes to food. Thanks for the support. :)

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.

Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm | Comments Off on Earthquake swarm on Reykjanes ridge (11-June-2015)

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano

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Today (10-June-2015) an magnitude 3,3 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake had the depth of 6,3 km.

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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.

Donations: Please remember to support my work with donations. I also run the risk of getting really hungry this month due the fact that Iceland is really expensive and that problem is going to get worse until I move back to Denmark (where prices are slightly higher than in Germany, but a lot lower then in Iceland). Thanks for the support. :)

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Earthquakes, Magma, Monitoring, Volcano | 4 Comments

Overview of activity in Iceland in week 23

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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.

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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.

Work schedule

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.

Donations

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.

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