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Fagradalsfjall volcano
Fissure swarm 385 m / 1263 ft
Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, 63.89°N / -22.27°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5) Fagradalsfjall volcano eruptions:
2021 new fissure eruption (started 19 Mar, ongoing)
None during the past 10,000 years
Less than few million years ago (Pleistocene)
Typical eruption style:
fissure eruptions, lava flows

Fagradalsfjall volcano update: Aviation warning and future possibilities

Wed, 10 Mar 2021, 06:08
06:08 AM | BY: RL
Figure 1. Earthquake location map as of 10 Mar 2021. Recent earthquakes focused in areas between Fagradalsfjall and Keillir. (source: IMO)
Figure 1. Earthquake location map as of 10 Mar 2021. Recent earthquakes focused in areas between Fagradalsfjall and Keillir. (source: IMO)
Figure 2. Aviation color code map of Iceland. Green – volcano in non-eruptive state, Yellow – elevated unrest, volcanic activity decreased, Orange – heightened unrest, increased likelihood of eruption. (source: IMO)
Figure 2. Aviation color code map of Iceland. Green – volcano in non-eruptive state, Yellow – elevated unrest, volcanic activity decreased, Orange – heightened unrest, increased likelihood of eruption. (source: IMO)
As the number of earthquakes recorded in the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, surpassed the 20,000 mark, the main area of unrest was identified as the area between Fagradalsfjall and Keillir. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), magma intrusions under the surface are the prime suspect to cause this ongoing seismic activity.
However, there are still uncertainties as to how these volcano-seismic events will develop. IMO listed the possibilities in their website here:
- The earthquake swarm might slow down in the following days and weeks, or the contrary may occur: it could increase in intensity and result in quakes of magnitudes of up to 6.0 in the area.
- If the latter occurs, an earthquake with a magnitude as high as 6.5 could hit the nearby volcanic system roughly 20 km east from the main area of unrest.
- If magma intrusion resumes, an effusive volcanic eruption could occur resulting in lava flows which will not threaten inhabited areas on the peninsula.
- The magma intrusion may also stop, in which case magma will solidify in place underground without an eruption at the surface.

In the meantime, IMO raised aviation warnings over the Krysuvik volcanic system in southwestern Iceland and the Grimsvotn volcano located in Vatnajokull National Park in southern Iceland. Orange volcano warning was raised over Krysuvik, and yellow warning over Grimsvotn. In June 2020, scientists reported high levels of sulfur dioxide coming from Grimsvotn. This is an indication of the presence of magma at shallow depth. IMO warned of a possible violent phreatic eruption, which could result from melting ice interacting with the hot magma.

For more information on the aviation color codes for Icelandic volcanic systems, visit the IMO website where they will post updates on this matter.

Previous news

Tue, 9 Mar 2021, 16:01
The area where Icelandic scientists believe is being affected by a magmatic intrusion that might or not lead up to an eruption in the near future (source: IMO / twitter)
The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) reported that seismic activity near Fagradalsfjall at the southern end of the supposed ongoing magma intrusion increased from 5:20 this morning, but later decreased again. ... read all
Mon, 8 Mar 2021, 07:30
Earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula during the past 24 hours
The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes Peninsula continues, but has decreased a little bit: ... read all
Sun, 7 Mar 2021, 08:53
A strong seismic crisis has been occurring on the Reykjanes peninsula near Fagradalsfjall mountain since mid Feb 2021, involving several magnitude 5+ and thousands of smaller ones. Volcanic tremor has appeared recently as well, indicating that magma movements underneath are likely accompanying and/or causing the seismic swarm. A new eruption in the area is a likely scenario. ... read all
Sun, 7 Mar 2021, 08:48
The situation remains tense. A large magnitude 5.0 quake occurred last night at 02:02 about 3 km WSW of Fagradalsfjall. IMO reported that additionally, from midnight over 30 earthquakes over M3 and 5 larger than M4 have also been recorded. read all
Sun, 7 Mar 2021, 08:36
Seismic tremor recorded on 3 Mar 2021 (image: IMO)
For more than a week now, Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula has been continuously rocked by an intense earthquake swarm: A total of more than 20,000 tremors have been recorded since the activity started on the Reykjanes Peninsula on 24 February 24 when a magnitude 5.7 quake occurred, followed almost immediately by a magnitude 5.0 event. ... read all
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