From Iceland — Earthquake Swarm Shakes Reykjanes Peninsula

Earthquake Swarm Shakes Reykjanes Peninsula

Published May 6, 2024

Photo by
Icelandic Meteorological Office/

An earthquake swarm that began west of Eldey around 21:00 on May 5 has significantly decreased. Dozens of earthquakes have been measured in the swarm, with two of them exceeding a magnitude of 3, reports RÚV. Approximately 70 earthquakes have been recorded since the swarm began, centred on the small island off the southwester coast of the Reykjanes peninsula. Their frequency has decreased as the night has progressed.

Shortly after 20:30 Sunday night, an earthquake measuring 3.5 in magnitude was recorded about four kilometres west of Eldey. About an hour later, another earthquake measuring 3.2 was recorded.

According to Bjarki Kaldalóns Friis, a naturalist at the Icelandic Met Office, it is not unlikely that land subsidence near Svartsengi may have affected the tension release near Eldey. He points out that earthquakes are common on the Reykjanes Ridge.

From February 12 to 18, an earthquake swarm occurred in the same area where about a hundred earthquakes were measured, the largest of which was magnitude 3.5. Activity in the volcanic eruption at Sundhnúksgíga seems similar to before, but Bjarki says that seismic activity has slightly increased near the eruption site.

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