Major Quake Swarm, Krisuvik Volcano, Iceland

Credit: base image – Icelandic Met Office, overlay – MSB

Modern Survival for local Icelanders may be presented some challenges in the days ahead IF the trembling Krisuvik volcano decides to erupt.

A sudden and major earthquake swarm has struck on the Reykjanes peninsula at the southwest of Iceland and has unleashed more than 400 earthquakes as of this time. (Update, now over 800 at the end of the day)

The earthquake frequencies (Hz) have varied, as well as the depths and magnitudes, and their underlying cause is believed to be both magmatic and tectonic. During the past year the GPS monitoring station at the Krisuvik volcano has slowly been bulging higher, approximately 15 to 20 mm.

Krisuvik hasn’t erupted since 1340 and is believed to be of the variety of volcano that would erupt similar to that of Hawaii (Lava flow). This type of eruption would not hinder air traffic (good news for Europe).

However there is some concern, because if enough water is added to the eruptive mix, it would make the eruption and ‘explosive’ type of eruption. There is water nearby, and a 4 x 2 km lake situated a few km from the volcano itself.

No ‘official’ warnings have been given, and it is possible that this major activity will subside. At the same time though, the activity could go on and lead to an eruption. It is an amazing thing to watch these forces at work.

More than 200,000 people live within 25 km of the Krisuvik volcano.

Update, Krisuvik earthquake swarm sequence (27-Feb)

Found the following Krisuvik region earthquake map at the Icelandic Met Office. An image showing previous earthquakes (black) and the new earthquakes from today’s swarm (red). It looks like today’s swarm depth is closer to the surface than most of the previous earthquakes.

Svartir hringir tákna skjálfta fram til 26. febrúar en rauðir þann 27. febrúar.
Black rings represent the tremor to 26 red on February 27th February.

Credit: Icelandic Met Office page with image link


Update, September, 2011
From an insider:
Yet another quake storm from Krisuvik Volcano. This area has been very very active the last year and I do expect an eruption to take place at some stage. It is very important to understand that it sits on the MAR and 85% of quakes are tectonic in nature. I do not expect it to be a large eruption (Hawaiian) unless it enters Kleifarvatn lake. At present there is a cluster of quakes to the West and North West of the lake.


Update, September, 2011 (nearby, but not Krisuvik)
From insider:
Massive quakes (400+) due to pumping cold water into the bedrock near Hengil. This is expected to continue and I fear larger mag quakes to follow. I am not a fan of this technology. Yes its clean energy but my gut says there will be a price to pay for it one day. Hope I am 100% wrong but you are tapping into an energy source that far exceeds any capacity to control it on a worst case scenario. Just look how wide spread the effects have been and then take into account the MAR and numerous other fracture zones that all store seismic energy.


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