Iceland Declares State of Emergency – 800 Earthquakes Rocked Reykjanes

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publicerad 15 november 2023
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Reykjanes, Iceland. Montage: Google Maps and NewXPosterity
Reykjanes, Iceland, 15 Nov, 2023

NET25: ”Iceland declared a state of emergency after a series of powerful earthquakes rocked the country’s southwestern Reykjanes peninsula, in what could be a precursor to a volcanic eruption.”

Earthquakes Rocked Reykjanes

Since midnight, about 800 earthquakes have been measured, most of them in the middle of the magma dyke at Sundhnúk at a depth of about 3-5 km. Seismic activity has remained constant since 11th of November. The main monitoring focus on seismic activity remains in the area of ​​the dike and Grindavík.

Deformation measurements show continued deformation in the area. They are consistent with magma still flowing into the dyke. Part of the magma dyke seems to be solidifying, especially at the edges, but not at the magma inflow area, which is believed to be near Sundhnúk.

Measurements of sulfur dioxide (SO2) seem to show fluctuating degassing due to the magma dyke, but further measurements are needed for confirmation. Analysis of this data is currently underway in collaboration with the Chalmers University in Sweden.

The fiber optic cable of HS Orka, that runs from Svartsengi west of Þorbjörn to Arfadalsvík is beeing used as a continuous seismic measuring line with high sensitivity. This is a new technology that has developed in recent years and is now used as additional measurements in collaboration with HS Orku and ETH in Switzerland.

Overall, the situation seems to be unchanged since yesterday. The probability of an eruption is still considered high. In the event of an eruption, the most likely location is at the magma dyke.

By Islandic Met office

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