A series of 300 minor earthquakes hit Hellisheidi heath outside Iceland’s capital where Reykjavík Energy (OR) harnesses geothermal power for heating and electricity on Tuesday, and continued throughout the night and the following morning.
From Hellisheidi. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
The tremors, which were picked up by the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s sensors, have been traced to OR’s operations; cold water was being pumped into cracks in the area, visir.is reports.
“We are pumping excess water from the power plant. When we have used the steam to produce electricity and hot water we take the excess water and pump it back down into the geothermal heat tank,” explained Eiríkur Hjálmarsson, OR’s information officer, to visir.is.
The quakes were below three points on the Richter scale. “We consider that an indication that we are successful in pumping the water back down to the geothermal heat tank and while the quakes aren’t any bigger there is no reason to be concerned,” Hjálmarsson stated.
Click here to read about recent natural seismic activity in Iceland and other related stories.