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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New measurements confirm Öræfajökull volcano continues to inflate

This based on news from Rúv. I am not translating the news item it self. The link is at the end of this article in Icelandic.

According to latests news on Rúv. Öræfajökull volcano continues to inflate at an increased rate. This has resulted in larger earthquakes in recent months and larger energy release in those earthquakes. Deformation has been clearly detected in Öræfajökull volcano and magma is now collecting just above 5 km depth according to measurements. Earthquake activity has increase compared to 2017 and seems to be increasing at the moment.

Rúv News

Kvika að safnast saman undir Öræfajökli (Rúv.is, Icelandic)

Two strong earthquakes in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (17-September-2017) at 14:23 UTC two magnitude 3,9 earthquakes happened in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake activity was at the north-east part of Bárðarbunga volcano caldera where earthquake activity has been taking place since September-2015. This earthquake activity is happening due to inflation in Bárðarbunga volcano.


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

Since September-2015 the rate of activity has been dropping. Now earthquake swarm happens every 11 – 18 days or so. Currently there are no clear signs that an eruption is imminent.

Small note on Þórðarhyrna volcano

On the map above a small earthquake with magnitude of 1,3 can be seen in a volcano named Þórðarhyrna. That volcano is part of Grímsfjall volcano system. Last confirmed eruption in Þórðarhyrna volcano was in the year 1902 (December) and it lasted until 12th January 1904. Not many earthquakes happen in Þórðarhyrna volcano and that suggests that an eruption might happen in this volcano without much warning. The eruption before 1902 – 1904 eruption was in 1887 and that eruption lasted until 1889. Suggesting that when eruption happen in Þórðarhyrna volcano they are long lasting and create a lot of damage as this volcano is completely covered with glacier. I make note of this because I suspect that Þórðarhyrna volcano might erupt without much warning in next few years.

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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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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.

Strong earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

During the early hours of 19-November-2016 a strong earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is the strongest earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano for a long time now. Strongest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,0, other magnitudes where 3,5 and 3,1. All other magnitudes where smaller.

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

This earthquake activity suggests that pressure is increasing fast inside the volcano. I don’t know how much Bárðarbunga volcano has inflated since September-2015 but that must be considerable amount since a earthquake of magnitude 4,0 means a slip of few millimetres (I don’t have the information of much movement happens when a earthquake happen. I didn’t find the data about it). Over the past one year there has been a lot of earthquakes taken place in the Bárðarbunga volcano caldera, suggesting a rapid inflation of the volcano. It is not known if this is going to result in a eruption soon or sometimes later, all that is known is that magma is flowing into shallow magma chamber from deep within the volcano.

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Article updated at 22:42 UTC. Added a missing part.

Magnitude 3,5 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (11-November-2016) a magnitude 3,5 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake, like so many before it, is due to inflation of the volcano that started in September-2015. This is going to be happening for a long time now, since last earthquake sequence that started this way started in 1973 and lasted until 1996 (science paper on it can be found here). After that it was quiet for few year until 2010-ish years before the eruption started in 2014.

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

This inflation and earthquake activity is going to lead to an eruption one day. When that is going to happen is impossible to know until it happens.

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Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano (Week 40)

Today (5-October-2016) a minor earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,8 and the second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 3,0. Other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude.

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

The reason for this earthquake activity is inflation in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is pushing the crust that fell down in the eruption of 2014 – 2015 in Bárðarbunga volcano (Holuhraun area) up again and that friction creates earthquakes. New magma is flowing into shallower magma chamber (at depth of ~10 km) from more depth under the volcano (20+ km depth). This started in September-2015 and is going to continue for many more months, maybe until next eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Bárðarbunga volcano continues to inflate, gas readings unchanged

According to news report on Vísir.is (Icelandic), it appears that Bárðarbunga volcano is continuing to inflate at the same rate as it has been doing since the eruption ended in Holuhraun in the end of February 2015. Gas measurements from cauldrons that formed on the caldera rim during the eruption in 2014 show that gas output from Bárðarbunga volcano have not dropped during the last year and continue to be high. The glacier drop that formed during the eruption is now almost full of new glacier and snow from last winter. Nothing suggest that water has been collecting at the caldera bottom during the last two years.

The research trip to Bárðarbunga volcano was taken during the days of 3 – 10th of June. A new seismometer was also installed on the caldera rim. I don’t know if it’s a SIL station or not. If it is, it is going to appear soon on Iceland Met Office website.

Update on Bárðarbunga volcano (Week 06/2016)

Short update on Bárðarbunga volcano.

Bárðarbunga volcano continues to inflate at the depth of 15 – 10 km. Making it hard to observe it on the surface. Earthquake activity continues to increase, with regular earthquake swarms with magnitude of 3,0 – 3,5 at the moment. The reason for this earthquake activity is the inflation currently taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano at depth of 10 – 15 km and at shallower depth. I expect that hydrothermal activity is going to continue to increase in Bárðarbunga volcano for the next few weeks and months as magma pushes up to shallower depths inside the volcano.

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Magnitude 3,1 earthquake (if my memory is correct) in Bárðarbunga volcano on Monday 8-February-2016. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

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Today (11-February-2016) magnitude 3,3 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Iceland Met Office.

No other changes have been observed in Bárðarbunga volcano. Current pattern of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is going to continue for a really long time. There is at the moment no need for to write about all of it. Unless something changes in Bárðarbunga volcano. Rift episodes like the one that has started in eastern rift zone in Iceland take a long time, the longest one can go for up to 20 years and they happen slowly most of the time. The biggest risk now is a new dyke intrusion and eruption (or both). That might start without warning and only last for few hours to days at most.

Icelandic News about Bárðarbunga volcano

Hæg at­b­urðarás und­ir Bárðarbungu (mbl.is, Icelandic) – Attempt Google Translate at own risk. It might bring trolls and elves into existence.

Noise on SIL stations

I did have a conversation about Icelandic Met Office about the strange tremor spikes I’ve been seeing on SIL stations around Bárðarbunga volcano over the past few weeks. It turns out that is connected to 3G (900Mhz) interference. It has two factors in it, the 3G stations loosing signal, creating a dropout in the data stream to Iceland Met Office and what I suspect a signal leak into the hardware that Iceland Met Office has (in the same was as I’m seeing on my Böðvarshólar geophone) when the quality of the 3G signal is poor due to ice and snow on the transmitters antenna, that forces the 3G hardware to boost it’s transmitter power up to 2W. This issue won’t go away until they move to 4G (maybe) or something else.

Other

I’ve decided that I’m first going to move to Denmark and then maybe I’m going to move to Germany. To the village of Andernach. The time frame on this plan is 10 to 15 years at the shortest. I don’t know if this plan is going to happen, it might do so and then it might not do so. I plan on to save up for a house in Germany, the reason for long preparation time is that I need to learn German and learn on the system in Germany. The town I’ve chosen is close to the West Eifel Volcanic Field. This is not the first time I’ve planned to move there (to Koblenz, but that town is too big I think), but those plans are now gone, replaced with this one. I don’t know yet if this plan is going to happen, it might do so in about 10 to 15 years if everything works out.