A series of earthquakes occurred in the Krýsuvík geothermal area yesterday evening and lasted until late in the night but none of the quakes were stronger than 2.0 on the Richter scale. The activity then quickly subsided.
From Krýsuvík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Yesterday’s series follows another which occurred in the area the night before when 40 small earthquakes were measured at Krýsuvík, visir.is reports.
Earth scientists are monitoring the area and believe that the earthquakes might be caused by magma influx or changes to the geothermal heat system.
Reykjanes peninsula is one of the country’s volcanic belts and Krýsuvík a known earthquake area, Stöd 2 reports.
A series of events which began two years ago, when the land near lake Kleifarvatn started expanding and rose by three centimeters, is puzzling to scientists.
Last year during winter the land subsided again, only to re-expand in the spring, and was followed by earthquake activity.
These developments are very exciting, geophysicist Sigrún Hreinsdóttir said, adding earth scientists have never seen anything like it before.
The Civil Protection Department is monitoring the area, keeping in mind a violent steam explosion which occurred in 1999.
When asked whether this series of events might lead to a volcanic eruption, Hreinsdóttir said she finds it unlikely, although it is difficult to make any conclusions at this stage. Perhaps it is a long-term indicator of an eruption in 100 years or so, she speculated.
Click here to see pictures from Krýsuvík.