Seismic Roundup: Quakes Continue, Four Areas Where Eruption Could Happen

Seismic Roundup: Quakes Continue, Four Areas Where Eruption Could Happen

Published March 5, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

There have been five earthquakes in the Reykjanes region of a magnitude of 3.0 or greater, at the time of this writing, since midnight last night, according to data from the Icelandic Met Office, but thousands of smaller quakes have been measured in the area.

New satellite imagery has shown that there has not been any significant magma activity in the area. Bjarki Kaldalóns Friis, a specialist in natural disasters at the Icelandic Met Office, told Vísir that reviewing the data has brought specialists to the conclusion that “There is no imminent eruption but we can’t rule anything out. There’s nothing that indicates it now, not like it was yesterday when we got these signs of instability but it continues to be very seismically active. I don’t think it’s slowing down, at least not during the night. The most important thing is seeing how the quakes develop.”

The satellite imagery reviewed showed that the magma is still there, and that it has not been growing, but has been moving, albeit at a slowing pace. The activity of the quakes is also moving slowly in a southwesterly direction.

Scientists at the University of Iceland have also done a new assessment of the situation, and have now mapped out four possible locations where magma could surface and lava might flow.

Scientists believe that there is almost no chance that eruptions will occur in all four possible locations at the same time. They also emphasised that this map only indicates possibilities; the darker the color used, the higher the possibility.

As it stands now, earthquakes in Reykjanes are still quite active and ongoing. However, all data indicates that a possible volcanic eruption is not expected to occur within the next few hours, but the possibility of an eruption is as yet not being ruled out.

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