A burst of small earthquakes yesterday

Photo/Hörður Kristleifsson

A burst of earthquake tremors were detected yesterday, starting at 12.33 at Lágafell, southwest of Mt Þorbjörn, on the Reykjanes peninsula.

“We continue to monitor the situation and whether there are any changes, but at the moment we’re not seeing any changes around,” says Bryndís Ýr Gísladóttir, a natural hazard specialist at the Icelandic Met Office.

She says that there is a potential for tension in the area, but it is not yet known exactly what is causing the earthquake swarm. When asked if this is a sign that something larger is coming, such as a volcanic eruption, she says that it is not expected at this moment.

“We’re just watching whether some new clues are coming in or not.”

Lágafell is southwest of Mt Þorbjörn.

Lágafell is southwest of Mt Þorbjörn. Screenshot/Icelandic Met Office

90 tremors in the burst

No seismic activity has been detected at Lágafell, close to the northwest of Grindavík, since midnight.

An earthquake swarm began there after midday yesterday and about ninety earthquakes were measured. They were all smaller than 1 in magnitude and most of them were about 2-4 kilometers deep.

Earth scientists from the Met Office say the earthquake swarm is probably a result of tension changes in the crust, due to the ongoing volcanic inflation in the Svartsengi.

With the notification from the Met Office, a composite chart, which can be seen above, shows the location of the earthquakes on a map and their depth.

The upper right shows the magnitude of the earthquakes from noon yesterday until last night. Below is the accumulated number of earthquakes and at the bottom the number of earthquakes per hour.

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