A burst of seismic activity around midnight

Svartsengi power plant.

Svartsengi power plant. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

A small earthquake swarm began near Svartsengi around midnight last night. Such a rapid burst of earthquakes has not been measured in at least two days.

Under the northern part of Sundhnúkur crater row

The largest earthquake to date was a magnitude 3, according to the most recent measurements by the Icelandic Met Office.

Its origins were under the northern ridge of Sundhnúkur crater row, where magma has been thought to flow from a deeper depth.

About 170 earthquakes were measured in the area just east of Mt. Sýlingarfell, which lasted for over an hour, beginning just before midnight.

The seismic activity from 23:45 pm last night until 01.15 …

The seismic activity from 23:45 pm last night until 01.15 am today. Map/Icelandic Met Office

No indication of eruption at this time

The most earthquakes were smaller, smaller than magnitude 2, but one earthquake measured magnitude 3 compared to the first measurements.

The announcement states that the current seismic swarm have been ongoing since the eruption began on October 27 at Mt. Þorbjörn, although the last few days have been relatively calm.

Finally, there are no indications of eruption at this time.

About 300 earthquakes have been measured at the magma dike that runs from Sundhnúkur crater row to the southwest below Grindavík since midnight. Most of the earthquakes were measured in a burst overnight and activity has decreased greatly since then.

In a conversation with mbl.is, Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir, a natural-hazard specialist at the Icelandic Met Office, says most of the earthquakes were measured between HagaFell and Stóra-Skógarfell.

At this time there are no signs of a pending …

At this time there are no signs of a pending eruption. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

The largest earthquake that measured 3 in magnitudes hit at 00.26 am, just east of Mt. Sýlingarfell. Most of the earthquakes have been smaller than two.

At a depth of five kilometres

According to Kristjánsdóttir, most of the earthquakes measured at about five kilometers depth, and therefore, there is no sign that the magma is trying to tread somewhere higher into the crust. However, given the seismic activity, there is some movement of the magma in the dike.

No earthquake activity has been measured west of Mt. Sýlingarfell in the past 24 hours. That is in the area of Svartsengi powerplant and land has been rising there in the past two weeks.

There is also no sign of seismic activity at Eldvörp, but Ármann Höskuldsson, a professor of volcanology, told Morgunblaðið that he still believes it is likely that a volcanic eruption will occur there.


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