Earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

A minor earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano today (21-august-2019). Largest earthquake had a magnitude of 3,5 and other earthquakes that happened are smaller in magnitude.


The earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano (green star). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake was in the north-east part of the caldera. In last few months earthquake activity has been increasing in that part of the caldera. Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is due to magma inflating the volcano.

Increase in earthquake activity in Hamarinn volcano (Bárðarbunga volcano)

Over the last few days there has been increase in earthquake activity in Hamarinn volcano (Bárðarbunga volcano). In Global Volcanism Program record this area is known as Loki-Fögrufjöll. Largest earthquakes today (12-August-2019) had a magnitude of 2,8 and 2,5 and other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude.


The earthquake activity in Hamarinn volcano (red/blue dots at the edge of the glacier). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Last time Hamarinn volcano had this type of earthquake activity it erupted for few months after it had started. That was on 12th July 2011. I wrote about those events here and here (glacier flood that followed, July 13th 2011). There were minor additional eruptions in August and November in 2011 according to the tremor data, those eruptions only lasted for ~4 hours at most. Since then this area has mostly been quiet and did drop down in activity after the eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano in 2014 to 2015.

It is unclear what is going on in Hamarinn volcano, for now there is no eruption taking place and any eruption is going to appear clearly on harmonic tremor data on the SIL network. It seems that eruptions in Hamarinn volcano start without any earthquake activity, I don’t know why that is. Last major eruption in Hamarinn volcano took place in the year 1910 from June 18 to October.

Update on Bárðarbunga volcano cauldrons

According to latest news from Rúv on recent survey on Bárðarbunga volcano the cauldrons that appeared during the Holuhraun eruption (2014 – 2015) continue to grow in size and there has been increase in hydrothermal output in those cauldrons. Distance between the cauldrons is 800 meters and their depth is more than 100 meters. In one of the cauldrons a hot spring has been observed and strong sulphur comes from it. The water in the cauldrons no longer freezes due to heat. Rock has also been exposed that have never been seen before and have been under the glacier for thousands of years.

Video of the cauldrons can be seen here on Rúv News report. Everything is in Icelandic.

Sigkatlarnir í Bárðarbungu stækkað nokkuð (Rúv.is)

Three strong earthquakes in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (24-June-2019) at 13:09 UTC, 13:18 UTC and 13:55 UTC three strong earthquakes took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. The earthquake at 13:09 UTC has registered magnitude of mb4,5 at EMSC (information here). The earthquake at 13:55 UTC also has the magnitude of mb4,5 at EMSC (information here). Icelandic Met Office has the earthquake at 13:09 UTC at magnitude Mw3,3 and the earthquake at 13:55 UTC at magnitude Mw4,1. The earthquake at 13:18 UTC has a magnitude of Mw3,4. Smaller earthquakes have followed the largest earthquakes.


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

This earthquake activity is because of inflation in Bárðarbunga volcano. Since Bárðarbunga volcano continues to be in a inflation stage this earthquake activity did not result in a movement of magma or an eruption. Two of the earthquakes were in the regular location (central caldera and north-east part of the caldera) and the earthquake at 13:09 UTC took place outside the caldera and in north-west part of the volcano. This is slightly unusual based on earlier earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Last strong earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano was on 19-June-2019 and this a short time between strong earthquakes in Bárðarbunga volcano. This doesn’t seems to be unusual activity.

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Deep earthquake swarm south-east of Bárðarbunga volcano

Yesterday (19-June-2019) an earthquake swarm took place south-east of Bárðarbunga volcano. This area of Bárðarbunga volcano has been active since end of the eruption in February 2015 and possibly earlier than that. Last eruption in this area took place in with a start in February 1726 (+- 30 days) and ended in May 1726 (+- 30 days). More eruptions might have taken place at this location without being known or detected by people in the past.


The earthquake swarm south-east of Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The depth of this earthquake swarm is considerable. Deepest earthquake recorded had a depth of 30,4 km and it is a possible that might be an error or poor location, other earthquakes recorded had a shallower depth. The crust in this location is up to 45 km thick according to measurements. It is not possible to know if this earthquake activity is going to result in a eruption. If an eruption happens it might happen without any warning and not of lot of earthquake activity before it happens.

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Earthquake with magnitude of 3,4 in Bárðarbunga volcano

After a long period of quiet an earthquake has happened in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake had a magnitude of 3,4 and was in the usual place of central caldera of Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake had a smaller earthquake swarm activity happen few hours before it happened.


The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is marked by the green star. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is not possible to know if this means there is going to be any more earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Normally since everything started to quiet down, just one earthquake happens that is over magnitude 3,0 and then everything goes quiet again for several weeks to months. I do suspect that is going to be the pattern this time.

Due to how tired I am since I am working full workday (08:00 – 16:00) now my English grammar is all over the place in this article.

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Strong earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano (not high number of earthquakes)

This morning (4-March-2019) a strong earthquake swarm took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest earthquake had a magnitude of 4,1 (at 05:52 UTC), second largest had a magnitude of 3,8 (at 05:46 UTC) and the third largest earthquake had a magnitude of 3,3 (at 06:03 UTC). Other earthquakes were smaller in magnitude.


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

Total of eight earthquakes where recorded in this swarm. This earthquake swarm is slightly unusual because its only been two weeks since a magnitude 4,2 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This are inflation related earthquakes, since Bárðarbunga volcano has been inflating since end of the eruption in Holuhraun in February 2015. This process is going to continue until next eruption happens in Bárðarbunga volcano system. This process can be at shortest be 1 year and at the longest this can take 104 years. I base this on Bárðarbunga volcano known eruption history. Details can be found in Global Volcanism Program information website about Bárðarbunga volcano.

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Earthquake with magnitude (Mw) 4,2 in Bárðarbunga volcano

Yesterday (23-February-2019) a earthquake with the magnitude Mw 4,2 took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake was in the north-east location of the caldera. This is the location were most earthquakes happen in Bárðarbunga volcano. There appears to have been a foreshock this time with a magnitude of 2,7.


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

I can’t provide wave image of the earthquake since my main earthquake computer is broken and I can’t afford for the moment getting a new one (+Windows 10 Pro licence). I hope to get a new computer this summer for this task along with switching to Raspberry Shake seismometer.

EMSC/USGS show the magnitude as 4,5 this happens due to difference method used for calculate the magnitude of this earthquake.

Update

I did manage to get the earthquake trace data from the remote station that handles it.


The earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano. This image is under Creative Commons licence. Please see CC Licence page for more details.

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Article updated on 25-February-2019. Image of the earthquake added.

Magnitude 4,8 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano

Last night (28-December-2018) there was a strong earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest earthquake was at 01:16 UTC and had a magnitude of 4,8. Third largest earthquake happened at 01:20 UTC and had a magnitude of 3,5 second largest earthquake happened at 01:38 UTC and had a magnitude of 3,7. Last earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of 2,8 and happened at 01:46 UTC. This earthquake swarm has now ended.


Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano (green stars). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity happens since Bárðarbunga volcano is inflating and has been doing so since April or May 2015. The rate of earthquakes that are larger than 4,5 seems to be increasing (it takes a few more months to know for sure). This is the second or the third earthquake that is larger than 4,5 in Bárðarbunga volcano in 2018. It would not surprise me if an earthquake with magnitude of 5,5 or larger start to happen in few months to years time. There are no signs that this earthquake activity is going to result in a eruption from Bárðarbunga volcano.

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Update for donations

If you donate directly with a bank. Please update your information. From now on all the donations that I get with a bank transfer go to my Icelandic bank. This is not going to change when I move from Iceland. New bank information can be found here on the donation website.

Article updated on 29-December-2018. Updated information about direct bank donations.

Earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

This morning (17-December-2018) an earthquake swarm started in Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest earthquake in this swarm had magnitude of 3,6. Other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude.


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

This earthquake activity is a sign that Bárðarbunga volcano has not slowed down on inflating. I don’t know how much the inflation is since I have not seen GPS data for Bárðarbunga volcano in a while.

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