Earthquake Swarm Intensifies on Reykjanes Peninsula Skip to content
Keilir
Photo: Golli. Keilir mountain, Reykjanes peninsula.

Earthquake Swarm Intensifies on Reykjanes Peninsula

A magnitude 3.7 earthquake was felt across Southwest Iceland, in the Reykjavík capital area, and as far as Borgarnes, West Iceland just before 2:00 AM this morning. Its point of origin was on the Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland, between Keilir and Litli-Hrútur mountains. The quake is part of an ongoing earthquake swarm on the peninsula, not far from the ongoing Fagradalsfjall eruption.

“The earthquake swarm is still ongoing; the quakes are occurring about one minute apart. The swarm has gotten stronger today than it was yesterday,” Lovísa Mjöll Guðmundsdóttir, Natural Hazard Specialist at the Icelandic Met Office told Iceland Review. The swarm is nothing unusual for the region, according to Lovísa, and it could die out in the coming days or continue for some time.

The earthquakes could, however, be a sign that magma is collecting below ground, but if that is the case Lovísa says it is not near the surface. “The earthquakes are around 5-7km [3.1-4.3mi] deep, so if there is magma it is quite deep underground.” No volcanic tremors have been detected at the site.

Science Board meets today

The Civil Protection Department’s Science Board will meet later today to discuss the ongoing eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula as well as the earthquake activity that woke residents across the region last night. The board will receive the latest satellite images of the area, which should provide more clues as to what is behind the activity. “We’ll have to wait and see,” Lovísa stated.

The Science Board will also review the ongoing eruption as well as activity at Askja crater, where uplift has been occurring since the beginning of August, which could mean magma is collecting below the surface. “The land is still rising and there are earthquake swarms from time to time, but this is all normal activity,” Lovísa stated. “We are continuing to monitor it closely.”

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