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Reykjanes volcano
Crater rows 230 m / 755 ft
Reykjanes peninsula (SW Iceland), 63.89°N / -22.52°W
Current status: restless (2 out of 5)
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Reykjanes volcano eruptions:
1211, 1226
Typical eruption style:
effusive (lava flows)
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Reykjanes volcano news & activity updates

Mt. Thorbjorn volcano (Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland): increasing earthquake intensity

Sunday Feb 02, 2020 12:29 PM | BY: T

Earthquakes under the Reykjanes peninsula during the past 7 days
Earthquakes under the Reykjanes peninsula during the past 7 days
The seismic crisis on the Reykjanes peninsula continues. It shows no signs of weakening, but has intensified during the past days.
While hundreds of small quakes have been occurring each day, several tremors have now reached magnitudes above 3, the largest one being a felt quake on Friday with magnitude 4.3 at 6 km depth 4.3 km NNE of Grindavík.
The earthquake swarm is interpreted as indicating magma accumulation beneath Mt. Thorbjorn volcano, which lies on the active SW rift zone where tectonic spreading of the tectonic plates causes magma generation from the underlying mantle, something to which Iceland itself owes its existence.
Will there be an eruption in the near future?
This is far from certain. Modelling of the detected ground deformation suggest that the volume of new magma accumulated at shallow depth so far is small. This means that at least no large eruption should be expected, unless the situation changes. Whether an eruption occurs at all as a result of the recent intrusion is impossible to predict.
However, as the earthquakes continue, the likelihood of a possible rift eruption in this area is also increasing. The government maintains a state of heightened alert and closely monitors the situation.
Previous news
InSAR data showing inflation. Credit: IMO.
Monday, Jan 27, 2020
IMO reports: An inflation has been detected since January 21st and is centred just west of Mt. Thorbjorn on Reykjanes peninsula. The inflation is unusually rapid, around 3-4 mm per day and has accumulated to 2 cm to date. It has been detected both on continuous GPS stations and in InSAR images. The inflation is most likely a sign of magma accumulation at a depth of just a few km. If magma accumulation is causing the inflation, the accumulation is very small, with the first volume estimate is around 1 million cubic meters. ... [more]

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013
A shallow (10 km) magnitude 4.8 earthquake with many pre- and aftershocks (or a seismic swarm) occurred this morning (Sun) at 07:34 UTC at the SW tip of the Reykjanes peninsula, on the SW active rift zone. The swarm of earthquakes included several quakes of magnitude 3 and higher. The strongest earthquake was widely felt in SE Iceland. ... [more]
Earthquakes on and around Iceland on 30 Aug - the Kolbeinsey Ridge is the area with the yellow dots to the north (map: Icelandic Met Office)
Friday, Aug 31, 2012
Yesterday, there was a lot of earthquake activity on Iceland. At noon, a swarm with about 50 quakes partly preceded and followed a magnitude 4.2 quake at 5.8 km depth beneath the Reykjanes peninsula, near the axis of the the SW volcanic rift zone. Most quakes were between magnitudes 1-2 and at around 5 km depth. ... [more]
Location of the seismic swarm on 8 Feb 2012 (Icelandic Met Office)
Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012
A seismic swarm has occurred on the Reykjanes Ridge 70 km offshore the SW tip of Iceland. About 40 earthquakes with magnitudes mostly between 2 and 3 were recorded. The Reykjanes Ridge is part of the active SW rift zone running through the western part of Iceland. ... [more]

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