Earthquake swarm activity increases in Reykjanes ridge volcano

Since early this morning (18-May-2020) earthquake activity has been increasing in Reykjanes volcano. For the last several weeks there has been a deflation taking place in the volcanoes from Krýsuvík (possibly) and to Reykjanes volcano. Such event is to be expected with a rift volcanoes (see Krafla volcano 1980 – 1984 eruptions).


Current earthquake activity in the Reykjanes volcano and Þorbjörn mountain. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Other than this minor activity it has been quiet in Iceland for the last month. This happens regularly in Iceland. This quiet time might last a while longer.

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Earthquake warning for Reykjanes/Reykjavík

Today (11-April 2020) an earthquake swarm took place north of Grindavík town. Largest earthquake in today’s swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,2. Other earthquakes where smaller in magnitude.


The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula today. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Icelandic Met Office has issued a earthquake warning for Reykjanes and Reykjavík area. The warning is that magnitude Mw6,3 earthquake might hit this area soon but it is not possible to give any better time frame than this. The reason for this warning is that the magma injection is now changing the stress levels in the crust and is pressuring nearby faults that might break without much warning.

Icelandic News about the earthquake warning

Fólk þarf að búa sig undir skjálfta nærri sex að stærð (Rúv.is)

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Small earthquake swarm on Reykjanes ridge

Today (4-April 2020) an earthquake swarm took place close to Eldey island. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,3 other earthquakes in this swarm were smaller in magnitude. This earthquake is in the volcano Reykjanes.


Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula today in the volcano Reykjanes. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity seems to be part of the inflation that is now happening in this part of the Reykjanes peninsula and now part of the Reykjanes ridge. This is going to continue for a while and I am not going to write about all of this earthquake activity since that would be pointless.

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Earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge yesterday (28-March 2020)

Yesterday (28-March 2020) there was an earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge. This was a short earthquake swarm at the writing of this article. Largest earthquakes in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,5. Total of seven earthquakes happened that were larger than magnitude Mw3,0. Earthquake activity has stopped at the writing of this of this article.


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

It is unclear if this earthquake swarm is connected to the earthquake activity north of Grindavík village. It is unclear if this is the volcano Reykjanes or some other volcano at this location (Eldey).

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Earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge close to Eldeyjarboða islands [updated]

Today (18-January-2020) at 12:38 UTC an earthquake swarm took place on the Reykjanes ridge close to Eldeyjarboða island. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw4,0 according to Icelandic Met Office. Both USGS and EMSC are reporting this earthquake as a mb4,5 in automatic detection. Second largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,8.


Earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge not far from Eldeyjarboða island. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude. This earthquake swarm appears to be over but it is possible that this is just a limited stop in earthquake activity before it starts again. That is a common feature of earthquake swarms in this area. Earthquake can reach magnitude of Mw5,5 in this area of Reykjanes ridge.

Update on 19-January-2020

Icelandic Met Office updated the earthquake magnitudes yesterday and it now shows two Mw4,5 earthquakes taken place at 14:07 UTC and 14:17 UTC and one Mw4,0 earthquake having taken place at 15:52 UTC.


Updated earthquake map of the earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge on 18-January-2020. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

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Earthquake swarm on Reykjanes ridge (Geirfuglasker area)

Today (5-Januar-2020) an earthquake swarm took place on Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,2 at 09:40 UTC and the second largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,1 at 11:19 UTC. Others earthquakes were smaller in magnitude but all of them were stronger than Mw2,0 in magnitude. It is difficult to know for sure if there is going to be a earthquake swarm in this area but the chances are good that is going to happen. It might take few days to weeks until it happens.


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

At the writing of this article there is no earthquake activity in this area. That might chance without warning.

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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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Earthquake swarm close to Eldeyjarboða on Reykjanes ridge

During the night (29-September-2019) a small swarm of earthquake took place not far from Eldeyjarboði on Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquakes had the magnitude of Mw3,1 and Mw3,3. This earthquake swarm is far from Iceland and recording of this earthquake swarm is poor because due to distance from the SIL network.


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

This earthquake swarm seems to be over and no earthquakes have been recorded for the last few hours. Detection is smaller earthquakes is limited and that might be giving the wrong impressions about this activity.

Small earthquake swarm on Reykjanes ridge

During the night of 30-August-2019 an earthquake swarm took place on Reykjanes ridge. Close to 69 earthquakes took place and largest earthquake had a magnitude of 3,0. Other earthquakes were smaller in magnitude.


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

Earthquake swarms are common in this area. This might result in a bigger earthquake swarm later or a new one at nearby location, that is also happens sometimes in this part of the Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake activity doesn’t appear to be connected to any volcano activity.