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.

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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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Strong earthquake and deep earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano

On Saturday (26-October-2019) a earthquake with a magnitude of 3,5 took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This was a single earthquake and no more earthquake activity happened following this activity.

On Sunday (27-October-2019) a earthquake swarm started in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is a deep earthquake swarm with a depth from 20,2 km and up to 10,9 km on Sunday. All of the earthquakes in this swarm had a magnitude lower than Mw2,0.

Today (Monday 28-October-2019) the deep earthquake swarm continued in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake swarm was larger in number of earthquakes happening. Depth was from 26 km to 15,5 km. This deep earthquake activity is connected to magma injection from deep magma reservoir that is below Bárðarbunga or a different one nearby. There is no way to know for sure what magma reservoir is feeding this earthquake activity. Often this deep earthquake activity is followed by a more intense earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano it self. What the connection between those two events is remains a mystery. It is impossible to know if this increased earthquake activity means anything for now. Last times this has happened it has not resulted in anything other than earthquake activity over time period of several weeks.


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

This earthquake activity is now a common feature of Bárðarbunga volcano. This does not mean that an eruption is going to happen soon or is imminent since magma on the move to start an eruption is going to result in a far larger earthquake swarm than have been happening now.

Magnitude Mw3,1 earthquake in Hamarinn volcano

Today (13-October-2019) at 17:44 UTC a magnitude Mw3,1 earthquake took place in Hamarinn volcano (no Global Volcanism Page, see Bárðarbunga volcano). There has been some earthquake activity in this area for last several weeks.


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

Last time there was this increase in earthquake activity in Hamarinn volcano an eruption happened in July 2011 without warning and no earthquake activity before it. That eruption remains unconfirmed by the professionals but I hold that we it did happened based on documented data (harmonic tremor, glacier flood).

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Magnitude 3,8 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (4-Oktober-2019) at 16:31 UTC a magnitude Mw3,8 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is the second earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano in less than 24 hours. Like the earlier earthquake there has been no aftershock activity following this earthquake.


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

There has been minor earthquake activity in other parts of Bárðarbunga volcano. I don’t know if that activity is connected to the stronger earthquake activity.

Magnitude 3,1 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (3-oktober-2019) at 20:33 UTC a magnitude 3,1 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano.


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

This earthquake activity looks like normal earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano since the end of the eruption in February 2015. No other earthquake activity has happened after this earthquake at the writing of this article.

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Magnitude Mw4,2 earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano

Today (8-September-2019) at 02:00 UTC earthquake swarm started in Bárðarbunga volcano. From 02:00 to 02:03 UTC total of five earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest of them had a magnitude of Mw4,2 and second largest had a magnitude of Mw3,2. Other earthquakes that took place had a smaller magnitude.


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

Earthquake activity like this in Bárðarbunga volcano is common. This type of earthquake activity happens once every month after the end of the eruption in Holuhraun (2015).

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)