Likeliest Location for Potential Eruption: Near Fagradalsfjall
Seismic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula increased considerably at 5:20 this morning at the south end of the magma dyke that has formed south of Fagradalsfjall, mbl.is reports. This tremor pulse lasted until about 7 am. The tremor was very localized and likely indicates that the size of the dyke is increasing, according to vedur.is .
According to Kristín Jónsdóttir, natural hazards specialist at the Icelandic Met Office, the likeliest location for a potential volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula would be south of Fagradalsfjall mountain, mbl.is reports.
No large earthquakes occurred overnight, but 930 tremors have registered since midnight.
Kristín Jónsdóttir, natural hazards specialist at the Icelandic Met Office. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon
This is the third time a tremor pulse hits the area since the seismic activity began on Wednesday, February 24.
“I think this is a sign the magma dyke is growing very fast,” Kristín told mbl.is early this morning, referring to the latest tremor pulse.
She told mbl.is yesterday that the most active area is at the south end of the magma dyke, where the dyke not only seems to be growing toward the southwest, but also moving closer to the surface, to a depth of only about 1 km.
She added that the end of the dyke has lately extended between 1 and 1.5 km toward the southwest.
It appears that magma is present only by Fagradalsfjall mountain, she stated. “That is the likeliest location for an eruption, farthest south in this magma dyke,” she predicted.
The dotted red line indicates the location of the magma dyke. The gray oval shapes show the areas of seismic activity. Map/Scientific Council of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management
The Scientific Council of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management announced yesterday that possible scenarios include the following:
- Seismic activity will decrease in the coming days or weeks.
- Seismic activity will increase and include larger earthquakes of up to 6 in magnitude near Fagradalsfjall mountain.
- An earthquake of up to 6.5 in magnitude could hit, the source of which would be Brennisteinsfjöll mountains.
- A magma intrusion could continue near Fagradalsfjall mountain with either of the two consequences:
1. Magma intrusion activity could decrease and the magma solidify.
2. An effusive eruption would result [i.e. one in which lava steadily flows onto the ground], creating a lava flow, which most likely would not be a threat to inhabited areas.