Major earthquake swarm hits near Mt. Keilir in Iceland – More than 1100 quakes in two days – Volcanic unrest ahead

earthquake swarm iceland september 2021
More than 1200 earthquakes hit near Mt. Keilir in southwest Iceland in the last 2 days and the swarm continues Picture: Freyr Arnarson – RÚV

You know what’s going on La Palma? The strong eruption of Cumbre Vieja all started with an unprecedented swarm of earthquakes. Is it going to be the same for Mt. Keilir in Iceland?

A short, sharp earthquake of magnitude 3.7 was clearly felt across the southwest of Iceland, and as far away as Borgarnes, just before 02.00 this morning, local time.

Meanwhile, around 700 earthquakes have been registered around Mt. Keilir on the Reykjanes peninsula during the past day.

The largest quake’s epicentre was between Keilir and Litli hrútur, according to Met Office natural hazards specialist Bjarki Kaldalón Friis.

The earthquake swarm began on Monday and included 700 shakes yesterday and 400 so far today.

The M3.7 quake followed a M3.5 at around 11.00 a.m. yesterday morning, and a handful of others around M3. The quakes are occurring at a depth of 6-7 kilometers and there is no sign of volcanic unrest.

Live cameras are being monitored closely and new satellite images will be analysed today. The civil protection agency scientific council will meet this afternoon to discuss Reykjanes, and also Askja in the highlands.

But the 1100 earthquakes over 2 days near Mt. Keilir are telling us that we might be looking at a new eruption soon. Meanwhile, satellite images have not detected any signs of deformation yet. But, according to the latest news, it’s still too early to make full use of them now.[Ruv, Vedur]

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