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Grindavík - Þorbjörn
Photo: Golli.

Earthquake Swarm Near Þorbjörn

Numerous earthquakes were recorded just west of the volcano Þorbjörn, near the village of Grindavík in South Iceland on Thursday, RÚV reports.

An earthquake measuring 3.3 was recorded just before 5pm on Thursday and was followed by another measuring 3.2. Both quakes originated not far from the volcano Þorbjörn, which experienced another earthquake measuring 5.2 last week. Land rise was detected around Þorbjörn on Wednesday but its progress has been quite slow. The recent rise and earthquake activity are being monitored by scientists.

A number of aftershocks were measured around Þorbjörn after Thursday’s quakes and were felt as far as the capital area, almost 50 km [31 mi] away.

“There’s an earthquake swarm in progress and we’re trying to figure out what’s going on,” remarked Kristín Jónsdóttir, the Icelandic Met Office’s Earthquakes Hazards Officer. The quakes are shallow, she continued, and scientists cannot currently rule out the possibility that they are somehow related to geothermal energy production at the HS Orka power plant nearby. If the quakes are not connected to geothermal energy production, the next step will be to determine if magma has been collecting in the area, which scientists think is likely.

When asked, Kristín said that there will likely be more earthquakes around Grindavík in the coming days.

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