Earthquake swarm north of Kolbeinsey island

Yesterday (22-May-2019) at 15:47 UTC a magnitude 3,4 earthquake took place around 12 km north of Kolbeinsey Island. This earthquake was part of a small swarm in this area yesterday. It appears to be over but there is a risk of more activity in this area. Due to distance from the coastline and next populated island this earthquake was not felt.


Earthquake north of Kolbeinsey island (green star north of Iceland). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake swarms happen in this area frequently. This is not part of the TFZ but borders it just a little south of this earthquake activity.

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Added

If you donate with a bank please update your information. I have changed the bank information again in April and the new information can be found here. The Icelandic bank account that I have been using is going to be closed soon.

Personal note

I have added a personal note on what is going on with me in the comments. It explains why I changed my mind on moving back to Denmark and other issues that I’ve been dealing with in recent months.

Updated at 13:45 UTC. Added updated information about bank donations.
Updated at 14:11 UTC. Added updated information about bank donations.

Earthquake swarm north of Kolbeinsey island

Today (19-October-2018) a earthquake swarm took place north of Kolbeinsey island. Due to distance from the SIL network only the largest earthquakes are being recorded.


Earthquake swarm north of Kolbeinsey island (green star). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake detected so far has a magnitude of 3,3 and the second largest has a magnitude of 3,0. Other earthquakes that are being detected are smaller in magnitude but all are over 2,5 in magnitude. The sensitivity of the SIL network isn’t good this far from the coastline. It is unclear if this earthquake swarm is ongoing or not.

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Strong earthquake swarm 88 – 90 km north of Kolbeinsey Island yesterday (8-September-2018)

Yesterday (8-September-2018) there was a strong earthquake swarm 88 to 90 km north of Kolbeinsey Island. Due to distance from the SIL network it is impossible to know how large and strong this earthquake swarm actually was. Largest earthquake reported by Icelandic Met Office had a magnitude of 3,3. Total of ten earthquakes with magnitude 3,0 or larger happened during this earthquake swarm.


Earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island (green stars). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Total around 30 earthquakes were detected but it can be assumed that total number of earthquakes might have been higher. At the distance from the SIL network smaller earthquakes are not detected. It is not possible to know for sure what is happening at this location due to distance from the coast and the SIL network.

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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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Earthquake swarm in Kolbeinsey island

Yesterday (24-May-2017) and today (during the night of 25-May-2017) there was an earthquake swarm in Kolbeinsey island. Largest earthquakes had the magnitude of 3,6 (x2) and one magnitude 3,5 earthquake took place. Other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude. No harmonic tremor where detected during this activity, that does not rule out that this activity is due to dyke intrusion taking place in Kolbeinsey island. It just didn’t reach the surface this time. Kolbeinsey island is far away from the SIL network, with the closest station being in GrĂ­msey island (~25 km) with other SIL station at ~60 km distance. If an eruption starts in Kolbeinsey Island, a harmonic tremor signal is going to appear in GrĂ­msey island SIL station.


Green star mark the area where the earthquake swarm took place in Kolbeinsey island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Last eruption in this area took place in the year 1755, but that eruption might not actually have been in Kolbeinsey Island, but in a other unnamed volcano north of it (where is not known). Last confirmed eruption in Kolbeinsey island took place in the year 1372, it was closer to land somewhere north-west of GrĂ­msey island (suggesting that fissure swarm of Kolbeinsey island comes close to GrĂ­msey island).

At the moment the activity has quieted down and no earthquakes are being detected by the SIL network.

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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 HeklubyggĂ°. This image is under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC licence for more details.


The earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in HeklubyggĂ°. 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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Strong earthquake swarm 80 km north of Kolbeinsey Island

During the night of 26-March-2017 there was an strong earthquake swarm about 80 km north of Kolbeinsey Island. This is around 250 km from the coast in north Iceland. It is not clear what is happening in this location, since this area has been seeing higher than usual earthquake activity in recent months. This is the largest earthquake swarm so far to take place.


The earthquake swarm as it appears on Icelandic Met Office maps. Green stars are earthquakes with magnitude above 3,0. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquakes in this swarm had the following magnitudes. Magnitude 4,6 (EMSC Information here), magnitude 5,0 (EMSC information here), magnitude 4,8 (EMSC information here). The largest earthquakes where not felt due to distance from the coast. It is not possible due to distance to see if there is an eruption taking place at this location. All harmonic tremor get lost due to distance from nearest SIL station. A really large eruption might slightly appear on tremor plot on Icelandic Met Office website, at the moment that has not happened.


The magnitude 5,0 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Böðvarshólar. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence for more details.


The magnitude 5,0 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in HeklubyggĂ°. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence for more details.

It is difficult to know if an earthquake activity is continuing in this area or not. Since the distance from nearest SIL stations does not allow for micro-earthquakes to be detected properly or at all.

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Continued and strong earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island

For the past few weeks something has been going on in the deep ocean far north of Kolbeinsey Island. The area north of Kolbeinsey Island has been having strong earthquake swarms for several weeks now, what is creating them is less clear.


The earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island (blue dots). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

All magnitudes are under-estimated at this location. I managed to record the last earthquake swarm (largest earthquakes) and it was clear by this activity that something was going on. Five earthquakes that where at least magnitude 3,2 (estimate) took place in the space of 4 – 8 minutes. This where only the earthquakes that I was able to record, distance from my geophone to this area is ~230 km at shortest distance. Making it difficult for me to record earthquakes on my simple geophone. Icelandic Met Office SIL network is not having much better luck recording earthquakes at this location, due to distance the SIL network underestimates the magnitude and location of the earthquakes has higher than normal error margins (up to several dozen of km at most).

There is a possibility that an eruption is taking place at this location now. There was a possible eruption or dyke injection at this location in October of the year 1999, the Global Volcanism Program report on that activity can be found here.

Strong earthquake activity on Kolbeinsey Ridge

Yesterday (27.01.2017) and today (28.01.2017) has seen some strong earthquake activity on Kolbeinsey Ridge. Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of Mb4,6 according to EMSC (information here). This area, or area close to it possibly had a dike injection or an eruption in the year 1999. That was however never confirmed.


The earthquake swarm on Kolbeinsey Ridge. Green stars show earthquakes with magnitude above 3,0. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.


The Mb4,6 earthquake as it appeared on my geophone in Böðvarshólar. This image is under Creative Commons Licence, please see CC licence website for more information.

There have been around 5 earthquakes with magnitude above 3,0, I don’t know exact numbers of earthquakes with magnitude around and above 3,0. Due the distance of this earthquake swarm from the SIL network it is difficult for Icelandic Met Office to estimate the numbers and magnitudes of the earthquakes that happen. The distance was around 85 km from Kolbeinsey Island and around 160 km from Kolbeinsey Island. It does appear that two earthquake swarm took place in this area for the last 24 hours, but not much else is known at the moment. This activity is currently ongoing at the moment (I think).

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