Yesterday (16-February-2014) an minor earthquake swarm took place in Hengill volcano. This earthquake swarm took place because Orkuveit Reykjavíkur (OR) was pumping down water from hydrothermal processing in this part of Hengill volcano.
The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano yesterday. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
This type of earthquakes happen regularly when Orkuveita Reykjavíkur pumps water down into the ground at this location. At the moment this is just making minor earthquakes. This type of earthquake swarm only last during the period when water is being pumped down into the ground. Once that process is stopped the earthquake activity stops almost immediately.
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A earthquake swarm of minor earthquakes took place in Hengill volcano today. This earthquake swarm was due to Orkuveita Reykjavíkur was pumping down water in the area.
The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano this evening. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.
The largest earthquake had the magnitude of 1,4. Other earthquakes were smaller.
Continued earthquake activity north of Kolbeinsey Island
During the week the earthquake activity continued north of Kolbeinsey Island. Two more earthquakes appeared, they had the magnitude of 3,0 and 3,1 according to EMSC. I do not have any image of that activity since I was travelling the days it was on Icelandic Meteorological Office website.
Webicorder images still do not update
Something failed in my hardware few days ago so no webicorder images are updating at the moment. I do not know what did go wrong or what did fail and it is going to be few weeks until I know why. According to electronic usage readings from my home something powered down or was powered down (I know what normal usage should be based on what electronics where turned on when I left). I am not sure what was turned off or did go offline and I won’t find out until I get back home. Until then my webicorder images are not going to be updated. International webicorders are updating (mostly) normal now and all large earthquake activity in the world is going to appear on that website. I do not run any of the images shown there so they are unaffected by this failure.
Like so many projects on the internet. I depend on donations to keep my working ongoing here. They allow me to work on this full time. Since I am not allowed to use the “Donate” button from Paypal. People have send me the donation directly via “Send Money” option on Paypal website. Thanks for the support.
During the past few weeks it has been quiet in Iceland. With few earthquakes. March for instance was rather quiet month. In Week 17 there was more activity in Katla volcano, then the weeks before.
There have been several small earthquake swarms taking place in Iceland during past few weeks. Most noticeable was off the coast of Flatey. That is on TFZ earthquake zone. Also there was a noticeable earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano due to water pumping activity. There has also been earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge. Where the largest earthquake had the size of ML3.3.
Other then this minor earthquake activity. It is has been rather quiet in Iceland for several weeks now. This does happen in Iceland. But even so, there is always something interesting going on when it comes to earthquake activity in Iceland.
Yesterday (21.04.2012) an earthquake swarm started in Hengill volcano at 18:57 UTC on 21.04.2012. The area in question is well known for having earthquakes swarms during past few months. It seems that this earthquake swarm is not over, and there is also a risk of stronger earthquakes in Hengill volcano than have currently happened. But the largest earthquake so far was event with the magnitude ML2.8.
Earthquake activity in Hengill volcano at 00:50 UTC on 22.04.2012. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
Icelandic news about this earthquake swarm.
Jörð skelfur við Hellisheiðarvirkjun (mbl.is, Icelandic)
Yesterday, last night and this morning there has been minor earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. This earthquake swarm is more or less over for now. But it might pick up at any time. This time around only around 140 earthquakes where detected in this two earthquake swarms.
The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. The location of this earthquake swarm is quite common. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.
The earthquake swarms in terms of each earthquake being marked. This clearly shows the two earthquake swarm pattern. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.
More earthquake swarms should be expected in this area. As Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (OR) continues to pump down water in this area. But that is creating this earthquakes it seems. This earthquake activity takes place at random times.
There was an earthquake swarm starting in Hengill volcano. This earthquake swarm is at the usual location, close to the hydro-thermal power plant. But this earthquakes happen as the hydro-thermal power plant pumps down cold water into the ground.
This earthquake swarm started at 18:08 UTC on 04.02.2012. The largest earthquake so far in this earthquake swarm is an ML2.5 in magnitude according to automatic results from Iceland Met Office.
The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. Copyright of this picture belongs to IMO.
It is hard to know for sure if this is just the start of the earthquake swarm or not. But earthquake swarm have been common in this area over the past few months due to water being pumped down into the ground.
Yesterday (17.01.2012) an small earthquake swarm started in Hengill volcano. This earthquake is in the area where Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (OR) has been pumping down cold water from the hydro-thermal power plant that they have in the area. So far the largest earthquake in this minor earthquake swarm is just ML2.0 in size according to automatic size estimation. The depth of this earthquake swarm is around 5 km.
The earthquake activity in Hengill volcano today and yesterday (17.01.2012 and 18.01.2012). Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Meteorological Office.
The earthquake activity in this area repeats it self regularly due to water being pumped down into the ground. This has increased the risk of large (Mb5.0 or larger) earthquake in this area. But it is impossible to be sure if such events take place. As this is most likely just going to speed up an process that is already in place by nature forces in Hengill volcano (earthquakes, nothing else). So for the moment, the only thing that can be done is to wait and see what happens next.
This is a overview of activity in Iceland, Spain and Canary Islands. This is just an short overview. So not all events are included. But it has been quiet during the Christmas holidays.
During the 24 to 26 of December there was not a lot of earthquake activity in Iceland. Three small earthquake swarm took place in Katla volcano. In Hengill volcano there was one small earthquake swarm in a location where earthquakes swarms have been taking place for past few weeks. In Katla volcano there was a earthquake swarms inside the caldera. This earthquake swarm are an reminding sign of the activity that is currently taking place in Katla volcano. But this activity took place in north-west part of the caldera. Since Sunday the activity in Katla volcano has again dropped for the time being. But that might change at any time. The largest earthquake that happened was an ML2.3 earthquake. It appeared clearly on my geophone at Heklubyggð.
Stormy weather in Iceland has made it difficult to monitor earthquakes during the past days. This is unlikely to change in next few days. As the path of the winter storms appears to be directly over Iceland at the moment.
Other then this. There was general quiet scene in Iceland during this weekend in Iceland.
During the weekend Spain had many minor earthquakes. With the largest one going up to ML3.5 in size, based on automatic size estimate. I do not know if anyone of this earthquakes where felt by humans. This earthquake activity is normal for Spain.
The eruption in El Hierro volcano continued as it has been doing for the past three months. No earthquake appeared on the IGN automatic earthquake list. Harmonic tremor remained the same during the weekend. But yesterday and today there have been reports of new fissures opening. But this does not appears to have changed the harmonic tremor levels on the seismographs on El Hierro Island. This suggests that the currently the eruption remains the same. But I do not know what main eruption vents are open at the moment. They might be at great ocean depth and there eruption signs might not appear on the surface of the ocean.
Other then this it has been quiet in Canary Islands.
Since 04:49 UTC this morning (17 December, 2011) there has been an earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. This earthquake swarm is due to hydro-thermal power production that is currently taking place in this area. But the Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (OR) is obligated to pump down cold water into the bedrock at depth that is greater then 800 meters. This water is used hot water that they pump up from the ground to warm houses and make electricity.
The earthquake swarm at 12:45 UTC on 17 December, 2011. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.
The evolution of the earthquake swarm since it did start. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.
The earthquake swarm as it did appear on my geophone at Heklubyggð. But the geophone at Eyrarbakki is scheduled to be up and running in next week. This picture is released under Creative Commons licence. See top bar for more information under CC Licence.
The earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano is currently ongoing. So far the largest earthquakes have had the size ML2.1 according to the automatic SIL system. Due the high number of earthquakes, the earthquakes have been wrongly placed on the map of Iceland that Iceland Met Office has. This are not real earthquakes in most cases, just wrongly located earthquakes that are taking place in Hengill volcano. The earthquake swarm is currently ongoing. If there are any major changes to this earthquake swarm. I am going to update this blog post with information about it.
This is a short note on the Hengill volcano man-made earthquake swarm.
The earthquake swarms that have been taking place in Hengill volcano are man made due to Orkuveita Reykjavíkur pumping down water at the depth of 2500 meters or more (down to 4000 meters from what I have read). It is clear that Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (short name OR) does not have any option but to continue this water pumping, as it is mandated that they do so in there operation permit. They have been doing this for some time now. But when they started using new drilling holes to pump down water the earthquake swarms started to happen. The people at OR claim that it is unlike that this earthquake swarms are going to grow in size and magnitude. I do not agree with that assessment.
It is my view that increased water pumping into the bedrock is going to increase earthquake activity. This has been agreed on by geologist that are not connected to OR or the government. But the largest earthquake that this area can make is Mw 6.0 in size according to a estimate on this area. So far, the largest earthquakes have been up to ML 4.0 in size so far. A jump in magnitude from ML3.5 size that was in earlier pumping was done.
There is also risk of pollution of the groundwater from heavy metals in the hot water (lead, zinc, copper and others). But this risk also seems to have been underestimated. As they claim that pumping down the water below the 800 meters groundwater line does not affect the groundwater. But it seems that no studies (that I know) have been done to confirm this.
News on Rúv about this.
Aukin dæling mun auka skjálftavirkni (Rúv.is, Icelandic)