Iceland Mag

7 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga: Three powerful quakes within minutes of one another

By Staff

  • Maintenance In February scientists visited the monitoring equipment on top of Bárðarbunga volcano to remove ice and snow which had blocked solar panels. Photo/Icelandic Coast Guard.

Early this morning a powerful earthquake swarm shook the Bárðarbunga caldera. Three magnitude 3+ quakes were detected within minutes of one another just before four in the morning. The powerful quakes have been followed by a smaller quakes. The activity has been in the south east part of the caldera. A similar earthquake swarm took place exactly one week ago, but in the northern part of the caldera.

According to measurements by the Icelandic Meteorological Office the first quake, a  3.3 magnitude quake which was detected 3.7 km SE of the center of the caldera. The epicenter of this quake was only 100 m (330 ft) below the surface. A second 3,9 magnitude quake took place three minutes later 3.5 km SE of the center of the caldera at a depth of 10.9 km, followed by a 4.1 magnitude quake slightly to the east. The third quake originated at a depth of 5.4 km.

Read more: All of Iceland‘s major volcanoes showing unusually high levels of activity

The Icelandic Meteorological Office stresses that the seismic activity has not been accompanied by signs of an imminent eruption in Bárðarbunga.

Bárðarbunga, which is located beneath Vatnajökull glacier, is one of the two largest and most powerful volcanoes in Iceland. Katla, the other, is located beneath Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Both have been showing increasing levels of activity in the past weeks and months.  

Bárðarbunga earthquakes 8.mar 17

Bárðarbunga Earthquakes within the past 48 hours Photo/Icelandic Met Office


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