Magnitude Mw3,8 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano (01-December-2019)

On 01-December-2019 a earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. There were two magnitude Mw3,0 earthquake in this earthquake swarm and one magnitude Mw3,8 earthquake. Few smaller earthquakes also took place in this earthquake swarm.


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

This earthquake activity is now normal for Bárðarbunga volcano and has been going on since the end of the Holuhraun eruption in February 2015. More of this earthquake activity can be expected to happen without any warning. This does not mean that an eruption is on the way in any imminent future.

I am sorry for how late this article this.

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano

The regular earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano continued today (24-November-2019) early this morning. Two earthquakes larger than Mw3,0 took place. The first earthquake had a magnitude of Mw4,0 at 04:22 UTC and the second earthquake had a magnitude of 04:28 UTC and had a magnitude of Mw3,5. This earthquake activity happens due to inflation of Bárðarbunga volcano. This is a regular earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and is it is going to be like this for the next 10 to 30 years. With occasional magnitude Mw5,0 or larger earthquake happening in that time period.


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

This earthquake activity is not going to result in a eruption of Bárðarbunga volcano since this is too little earthquake activity for that too happen. This earthquake activity shows that an eruption is going to happen in next few years but when that happens is impossible to know.

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Update on the earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge

The earthquake swarm that started today (16-November-2019) on the Reykjanes ridge in the volcano called Reykjanes [Eldey] continues. At the writing of this article 29 earthquakes larger than magnitude Mw3,0 have happened at this location on the Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake so far had a magnitude of Mw4,5. The earthquake swarm slowed down after 17:00 and has remained in slow activity since then but it is ongoing as of writing of this article.


The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


Density of the earthquake swarm. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquakes in this area have reached magnitude Mw5,0 and last time that happened was in June and July-2015. I wrote about all those earthquakes swarms.

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Strong earthquake swarm in Reykjanes volcano

I don’t have a lot of information about what is going on. The area that has having earthquake swarm is located at Geirfugladrangi good 20 to 40 km off the coastline. This earthquake swarm is strong and might even get stronger. I don’t know yet if this earthquake swarm is due to tectonic forces or because magma has started pushing to upper levels in the crust. There are no clear signs of eruption happening at this location at the writing of this article. The volcano in this area is called Reykjanes.


Earthquake swarm on Reykjanes ridge in a volcano called Reykjanes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This activity appears to be moving quickly and there’s a lot going on and information in this article is going to get outdated quickly.

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Update four on earthquake activity in Askja volcano

Yesterday (13-November-2019) has been a little quieter in the earthquake swarm in Askja volcano. Largest earthquake in the last 24 hours had a magnitude of Mw3,1. Over the last 48 hours around 500 earthquakes have happened in Askja volcano. There was a peak in activity after the magntidue Mw3,1 earthquake but it slowed down soon after that. Depth of this earthquake swarm has changed slightly, deepest points are now at 7 to 8 km and that might be a problem since magma is possibly at 10 to 15 km depth in this location. If this is a magma that can erupt I don’t know, if there is magma at this location it might also be a magma that’s too cold to erupt.


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

The earthquakes continue to be rift-zone earthquakes along fault lines and there is as of the writing of this article no signs of magma movement in Askja volcano as a result of this earthquake swarm. This earthquake swarm has been going on for a week from today (14-November-2019). It is a question if this earthquake swarm is over or if this is just a quiet time in this earthquake swarm activity. It is known in Askja volcano eruption history that eruption in Askja volcano and nearby fissure swarms start with long period of earthquake activity that continues to grow over time. This can be read in this studies of earlier eruptions, study 1961 eruption, study 1875 eruption. Current situation continues to keep monitoring what is going on.

Science article on earthquake activity in Askja (added link)

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Update three on earthquake activity in Askja volcano

This is a short update on the earthquake activity in Askja volcano.

Earthquake activity has now moved to a new phase in Askja volcano. This appears to be a rifting event taking place in Askja volcano. They do often result in a fissure eruption of lava and sometimes short lived volcano ash event. That might not happen and as of writing of this article no magma movement has been seen on nearby SIL stations. That might change without warning at any time.


Earthquake activity in Askja volcano as of 23:25 UTC on 12-November-2019. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


Density of the earthquake swarm has increased from earlier as is clear here. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is not possible to know what happens next in this earthquake activity in Askja volcano. The only thing that can be done is to wait and see what happens.

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Update two on the Askja volcano earthquake swarm

The earthquake activity in Askja volcano continues with no clear signs that it is about to stop. Since midnight around 200 earthquakes have happened at the writing of this article. Icelandic Met Office is currently holding a meeting about this earthquake swarm in Askja volcano.


The earthquake swarm in Askja volcano as of 12-November-2019 at 11:55 UTC. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There seems to be a pulse activity in this earthquake swarm. Activity drops for several hours before increasing again and then slows down again. That is possible clue that this earthquake swarm has its origins in magma activity that has not yet reached shallow levels of the crust. There is no deep earthquake activity in this swarm and that might not happen. What exactly is going on in Askja volcano remains unclear at the writing for this article.

There are now two possibles of what might happen next

  1. Earthquake activity continues until an eruption happens. This would be a lava eruption with no or limited amount of volcano ash happening in the process.
  2. This earthquake swarm continues until it just stops and no eruption happens.

What happens is impossible to know for sure since this earthquake activity is a mystery as of the writing of this article.

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Update on Askja volcano earthquake swarm

Since I wrote the article yesterday (09-November-2019) on the earthquake swarm in Askja volcano there has been increase in the earthquake activity. One magnitude Mw3,4 earthquake has happened and one magnitude Mw3,2 earthquake also happened. The active earthquake area seems to have expanded a little to both north and south. This earthquake swarm continues to appear to be only tectonic in nature and there are no signs of magma movement in the shallow levels of the crust on nearby SIL stations. It is not possible to know for sure what is happening in deeper levels of the crust.


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

There is a chance this earthquake swarm is going to increase before this activity slows down. What happens next depends on the built up stress levels in the crust in Askja volcano. In the last 48 hours over 300 earthquakes have taken place in Askja volcano.

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Ongoing earthquake swarm in Askja volcano

Since earlier this week (Week 45) there has been a ongoing earthquake swarm in Askja volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm so far had a magnitude Mw2,8 while other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude. This earthquake activity is happening on a fault that is North – South directions. The earthquake activity is happening just inside or just outside (this is unclear) in the main Askja volcano. This might be dyke injection into Askja volcano at this location but that remains unclear since there are no clear signs of what is happening. This might just be a tectonic activity in Askja volcano as often happens in rift zones.


Askja volcano earthquake swarm. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

What makes this earthquake swarm something to monitor is how long it has been going on. Its been going on at least five days and maybe even six days at the writing of this article. In most cases this type of earthquake swarm activity stops without anything more happening in Askja volcano. I suspect that is also going to be the case with this earthquake swarm.

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Donations needed for November

I have almost paid all the bills for November and I don’t have any money left for rest of the month and none bill ($15USD, my online backups).

The reason for current problems is fast debt payment with my bank in Iceland in November because of me moving to Denmark and because how October did go for me the problems I was having then stretched into November. I don’t know yet if they are going to reach into December that is something I won’t see until later.

I am so broke now that I can’t even buy a toothpaste and toothbrush in Denmark. I spent the last few euros (I made a trip to Germany that’s nearby) to buy some food with the last few euros that I had.

I hope that people can support my work and me through this problematic time. If anyone is wondering why this keeps happening the main reason is that the Icelandic government is not paying people on welfare a living wage. Welfare like I am on is now ca 90.000 ISK (ca 652€/$722 USD/4.868 DKK) below minimum wage in Iceland. That creates problems for anyone on welfare in Iceland.

Update one

Currently I only have 0,26€ left. This is outside few euro coins I have but I have exhausted that from today. This is the worst situation I’ve been in when it comes to money for a long time. I have one donation on the way to my Danish bank account with PayPal but there seems to have been some type of delay so I don’t have that money yet. I just hope it isn’t lost in transfer to my Danish bank account.

Thanks for the support. 🙂

Please note that I am now moving to Danish PayPal account and I hope to update the buttons soon. I just have to finish the verification process first with PayPal before I can do so.

Article updated on 11-November-2019 at 18:30 CET.
Article updated on 11-November-2019 at 18:35 CET.