Posts Tagged ‘earthquake swarm’

Swarm of 482 earthquakes (so far) in Iceland

April 2, 2013

Something to watch closely over the next few days. Could a new island be forming?

UPDATE2: 04 Apr 18:57 GMT

The aviation colour code for Hekla volcano has been changed from yellow to green as no further signs of unrest have been detected since it was changed to yellow. The activity in North Iceland has been decreasing today. The activity could still continue for a some time with intense activity in between.

UPDATE: A M5.5 earthquake occurred at 00:59 on 2nd April 2013 about 15 km east of Grímsey island offshore North Iceland. The earthquake was felt at Grímsey, Húsavík, Raufarhöfn, Mývatnssveit, Akureyri and Sauðarkrókur. Several hundruds aftershocks have been detected following the mainshock. The source region is located on a fault system that reaching from Öxarfjörður to the north of Grímsey, the so called Grímsey lineament. Another M4.7 earthquake followed this morning at 08:56 and was located about 7.5km northwest of the night’s main event.

Earthquake sequences are common in this area. It is impossible to predict the further development of the seismic activity and how it might influence faults in its vicinity. Further large events can not be excluded.


The Iceland earthquake swarm has now reached a count of 482 according to the Icelandic Met Office.

  • Magnitude less than 1 in all:  39
  • Magnitude 1 to 2 in all:  173
  • Magnitude 2 to 3 in all:  232
  • Magnitude more than 3 in all:  38
  • Total: 482 (upto 712 on 3rd April)
Earthquakes during last 48 hours.  at 04 Apr 19:50 GMT

Earthquakes during last 48 hours. at 04 Apr 19:50 GMT

From Earthquake Report:

Update 10:49 UTC : We have added a Google Earth screenshot to the image series. This Google earth image shows very clearly the many volcanic bubbles at the ocean floor, a result of the separating diverging plates. The 2 tectonic plates are pullling away from each other  (left plate to the West, right plate to the East. This kind of phenomenon is also occurring in the Oceans all over the world. New life (in other words new magma) is added this way to the tectonic plates. The plates are melting away again below ie. the deep trenches of the Pacific Ocean.

Update 10:12 UTC : The Icelandic seismological Bureau wrote : At 00:59 an earthquake about 5.5 occurred, 15 km east of Grímsey. the earthquake was felt in substantial part of central north Iceland. Following the this event at 1:13 another earthquake 4,3 was observed 16 km east of Grímsey and at 08:55 an earthquake 4,7 at same location. Substantial aftershock activity has been observed and still continues. More activity can be expected.

This earthquake is part of a strong swarm at a well know location in the Ocean. The location of the swarm is a relatively shallow ridge area (the zigzagging ridge creates the transform-like earthquakes) . A ridge is a location where 2 tectonic plates are pulling away from each other. Fresh magma will have an easier job to reach the seabed and hot volcanic vents are often found on these locations. A new island in such an area is almost a certainty in the geological future. A pity that there are no permanent ROV’s in this location, we might see some submarine fireworks!
At the time of writing this article, we have counted 314 earthquakes in less than 48 hours!

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 12.48.02

Swarm area on Google Earth

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