A tremor pulse was detected at 2.20 PM and is measured at most seismic stations in Iceland, the Icelandic Meteorological Office reports.
The pulse is located south of Keilir by Litli Hrútur and comes at the heels of a period of seismic unrest in the Reykjanes Peninsula. Similar signals have been observed leading up to eruptions, but no eruption has yet been confirmed. According to the Met Office’s experts, a volcanic eruption is one of the possible scenarios. The Icelandic Met Office is working on further analysis of the pulse and an information briefing is scheduled for 4 pm today.
An intense earthquake swarm started on the Reykjanes Peninsula on February 24th with an earthquake M5.7 followed by an M5.0. Since then, quite a few earthquakes over M4.0 have been detected and two earthquakes over M5.0, occurring on February 27 and March 1. The swarm is still ongoing and the SIL system has detected around 15,000 earthquakes in the area. At 2.12 AM today, an M4.1 magnitude earthquake was detected around 2 km SSW of Keilir. At 11:05 AM an earthquake M3.8 was detected 1 km SW of Keilir.
The Met Office has already dispatched its experts on a surveillance flight over the area. An information briefing is scheduled for 4 PM today. Víðir Reynisson with the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management told RÚV this meant that an eruption was likely and could occur in the next few hours. He stated that it was unlikely that any disasters were imminent but asked people to refrain from driving to the area. Natural hazard experts at the Iceland Met Office had previously stated that an eruption at this location of the Reykjanes peninsula would likely be non-threatening to inhabited areas and likely wouldn’t produce any great amount o ash.