Authorities have declared a state of uncertainty due to possible magma accumulation on the Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland. The aviation colour code has been raised to yellow for the region, which includes Keflavík International Airport. An earthquake swarm has been ongoing in the area and inflation has been detected in the last few days.
A statement from the Icelandic Met Office asserts that, while earthquake swarms are not unusual in the area, “[t]he fact that an inflation is occurring alongside the earthquake swarm is a cause for closer concern and closer monitoring.” The inflation is occurring just west of Þorbjörn mountain, near the town of Grindavík, and is unusually rapid, around 3-4 mm per day. It has accumulated to 2cm to date and is most likely a sign of magma accumulation at a depth of just a few kilometres. It is not certain that magma accumulation is causing the inflation, but if such is the case, then, according to the Met Office, “the accumulation is very small.”
A public community meeting will be held in Grindavík this afternoon at 4.00pm. There, the situation will be discussed with the Department of Civil Protection, scientists, and first responders. The Met Office has increased its 24/7 monitoring of the area.
This article will be updated throughout the day.