Earthquake Swarm on Reykjanes Does Not Mark Magma Intrusion Skip to content

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Þorbjörn efitr Pálmi Erlendsson Veðurstofan
Photo: Þorbjörn mountain on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Earthquake Swarm on Reykjanes Does Not Mark Magma Intrusion

There is no reason to believe that the recent earthquake swarm on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula marks a magma intrusion under the surface, tweeted Kristín Jónsdóttir, a Natural Hazard Specialist at the Icelandic Met Office. The swarm began on April 3 in Southwest Iceland, near the site of the recent Geldingadalir eruption, which lasted between March and September 2021. Some 200 earthquakes were recorded, with the biggest measuring M3.3.

A larger swarm occurred on the Reykjanes peninsula last December, even closer to the eruption site, likely due to a magma intrusion. Thousands of earthquakes were detected at the site over several days, with several above M4 and the largest measuring M4.8.

earthquake swarm Reykjanes April 2022
Kristín Jónsdóttir / Twitter. The number of earthquakes in the recent swarm (top) and their magnitude (bottom).

While the most recent earthquake swarm was not associated with a magma intrusion, Kristín says that there may be more intrusions and even eruptions in the area in the coming years. “I find it likely that we will be seeing repeated intrusions on the peninsula in the coming years, triggering earthquakes and that some will result in eruptions,” Kristín has stated.

Read more about the geology of the Reykjanes peninsula.

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