Iceland seismicity – monthly review (July 2017 edition)

Ever since I began plotting earthquake data for Iceland and generally for the world (where data is available), I was planning to do a monthly review of the seismicity in Iceland, so we can keep track of it on a monthly basis. Of course, if there is any stronger activity or something unusual happens, usually…

Living dangerously: a Grimsvotn prediction

Grimsvotn (‘Grim’s lakes’) is Iceland’s secret. Of all its volcanoes, this is the most frequent erupter, exploding as often as every 5-10 year. It also causes jokulhaups with decadal frequency. And worst of all, it is a mass murderer, which has killed as many as a quarter of Iceland’s population. And all of this is…

Volcanic unrest in Iceland

Iceland suffers from eruptions on average every 3 to 7 years. And in between we tend to look at other volcanoes with interest. And as time goes by we forget that Iceland at any time can have larger and faster eruptions than pretty much any other spot on earth. During this phase of volcanic unrest…

Unrest at Fagradalsfjall

The pleistocene volcano of Fagradalsfjall has started a phase of uncertainty due to a medium sized tectonic swarm associated with the volcano. At the time of writing there have been around 400 earthquakes ranging up to M4.0 in size. Fagradalsfjall last erupted during the last glacial period in Iceland. The earthquake swarm is fairly intense…

Greip, Gjálp’s Mysterious Sister

In this article, we move away from the usual suspects in Icelandic volcanism and turn our attention to a feature many of us have noticed over the years. This feature has only been revealed from seismicity, but here I try to unravel the past and future activity as well as give this feature a sense…

Grimstone vs Yellowvötn: Battle of the Giants

Carl – May 9, 2014 (re-post) In the west corner of the ring you find Yellowstone wearing blue, red and white striped trunks and in the east corner you find Grimsvötn wearing Fire & Ice colored trunks. Welcome to a spectacular fight about who is the largest, meanest volcano on the block. As the fighters are…

Is that a volcano?

Someone once said that Iceland is one big volcano. Obviously, this is not true. In fact, it is not even one big volcanic system. Parts of Iceland are mainly powered by the Icelandic mantleplume, with just a bit of power coming from the spreading of the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Then there is a group…

Theistareykjarbunga – Iceland’s Slumbering Giant

Carl / Originally published December 2011 This is a re-post of an article by Carl, written long before (in impatient volcaholic time-scales) fellow giant Bárðarbunga’s eruption. The Five Large Volcanoes of Iceland Iceland holds five volcanoes that in historical time have had eruptions transcending the 10 cubic kilometer mark during post-glacial times. The most obvious are of…

his wonderful image of a thermal field in Reykjanes was honestly stolen from Snorri Gunnarssons page www.iceland-phototours.com

Reykjanes Volcanic Field

A re-post of a Carl-special. With current reports of increasing activity on the Reykjanes peninsula, after 800 years of quiet, this is a post well worth recalling. And remember that in the few hundred years before the current calm, roughly 900-1300, every major volcano on the peninsula erupted. These were amazing years which also included…

Fingered by the Plume

In the last few years new data about the Icelandic mantleplume has emerged that forever has changed how we look at it, and how it affects Iceland. In yon olden days, it was perceived through the eyes of the original plume model that was devised to explain the Emperor Seamount Chain and Hawaii. That means…