Iceland Mag

13 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Geology

Powerful earthquake swarm off the coast of Reykjanes peninsula

By Staff

  • Eldey Island A volcanic stack off the coast of Reykjanes peninsula, the remnants of an island formed in 750 years ago. Photo/Dagur Brynjólfsson

  • The location of the quakes Reykjanes ridge is extremely active geologically. Photo/IMO

A powerful earthquake swarm hit Reykjaneshryggur, the part of the North Atlantic Ridge which rises from the sea at Reyjanes peninsula in South West Iceland. Three 3+ quakes have been detected since yesterday afternoon. The more powerful quakes were followed bya swarm of a dozen smaller quakes. A total of 22 quakes and tremors have been detected on Reykjanes and on the Reykjanes peninsula in the past 48 hours.

Read more: Why the constant earthquakes? Iceland is slowly being torn apart

According to the seismic monitoring system of the Icelandic Meteorological Office two sharp quakes, 3 and 3.2 on the Richter scale were detected at 17:21 yesterday afternoon, one 40 km (25 mi) SW off the SW tip of Reykjanes peninsula, the second 35 km (22 mi) further to the south west. A third powerful quake was detected shortly before midnight.

The area is known for high levels of seismic, geothermal and volcanic activity. The quakes took place near Eldeyjarboði, a skerry which is believed to be the remnants of a volcanic island which was formed in a 1783 eruption off the coast of Reykjanes. The island disappeared back into the ocean before the Danish king managed to claim it for the crown.

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