Seismicity remains high, high likelihood of eruption near Grindavik continues, Iceland

Map showing the extent of the subsidence over the magma instrusion in and around Grindaví

Seismicity related to the magma intrusion that formed suddenly a week ago in Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland remains high and constant, although the level of activity is substantially lower than from November 10 to 12, 2023. If magma manages to reach the surface, Hagafell is thought to be a prime location for an eruption.

According to the Icelandic Met Office (IMO), approximately 2 000 earthquakes were recorded in 24 hours to 12:00 UTC on November 17, with most activity in an area north of Hagafell, towards the Sundhnúkar craters. Most of the seismicity is micro-earthquake activity comprising earthquakes under M1. The largest earthquake during the period was M3.0 at 06:35 UTC near Hagefell.

According to GPS measurements, ground deformation continues but at a decreasing rate. The latest geophysical models based on GPS data and satellite imagery indicate that the largest movements in the magma intrusion are occurring north of Grindavík, near Hagafell.

A map showing the extent of the subsidence over the magma instrusion in and around Grindavík
A map showing the extent of the subsidence over the magma intrusion in and around Grindavík. A GPS station (GRIC) located near the center of the subsidence has recorded a total subsidence of 25 cm (10 inches) since the beginning of the event.

If magma manages to reach the surface, Hagafell is thought to be a prime location for an eruption, IMO said.

Subsidence over the magma intrusion remains active, although measurements show a slight slowdown from day to day. Presently, GPS stations located in and around Grindavík, near the center of the subsidence zone, show about 3 – 4 cm (1.2 – 1.6 inches) of subsidence per day.

Based on the interpretation of the latest data and model results, a volcanic eruption remains likely, with the highest likelihood of it starting north of Grindavík near Hagafell.

References:

1 High likelihood of volcanic eruption continues – IMO – November 17, 2023

Featured image credit: IMO

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