Bigger quakes, but no sign of eruption

Iceland lowers warning code from red to orange – No sub-glacial eruption after all.

“Observations show that a sub-glacial eruption did not occur yesterday. The intense low-frequency seismic signal observed yesterday has therefore other explanations,” the Icelandic Met Office said.

However, since seismic activity remained high, an eruption can still not be excluded, the office said.
Restrictions on roads and evacuated areas in the region also remain in effect.

Thousands of small earthquakes have been recorded over the past week at Bardarbunga, Iceland’s largest volcanic system.

Earthquakes getting bigger

The Met Office said a magnitude 5.3 earthquake at 5 km (3 miles) depth struck after midnight, with a magnitude 5 some five hours later.

“These are the strongest events measured since the onset of the seismic crisis at Bardarbunga and the strongest since 1996,” the office said.

Bardarbunga webcam:

Thanks to Laurel and Wanda for these links


21 thoughts on “Bigger quakes, but no sign of eruption”

  1. Yesterday it was releasing what looked like steam for several hours and then stopped. The quakes had stopped for a little while then picked right back up with intensity. Really its hard to say what will happen, but right now it looks like it wants to really let go. If this one blows and lets out a huge plume of ash it’s going to have an effect on this winter and not just Europe but the whole northern half of the world. The southern half had a major volcano eruption just a few months ago and it too can affect our half of the world.

    • Vulcanology is one of those speculative sciences. Any prediction is probably not worth the paper it’s written on.

      Then there were those 5 Italian geologists who were put on jail for not accurately predicting an earthquake which produced casualties.

      You can only go on previous history and incidences with tangible evidence.

      Earth scientist have spent years trying different methods to enable them to try and predict earthquakes. They have all but given up with this idea. It’s interesting to note that with all there prediction tools in place the Napa earthquake which occurred yesterday was anticipated by 10 seconds. – Not much of a warning.

      • Beano: “…Napa earthquake which occurred yesterday was anticipated by 10 seconds. – Not much of a warning.”

        Actually, the 10 second ‘warning’ is variable and represents the time difference from when the tremors are first detected on seismographs to when the first earthquake “wave” actually gets to a given location.

        Our not so bright media processes that information and reports it as a “10 second warning.”

    • I find that in life things are like this one day and like that the next. Things change and prognostication is difficult to being almost impossible. All there is to go by is what happened in the past and also current observations in order to make a guesstimate and if it fits the sequence of events then we can have the basis of a theory of cause and effect.
      If events continue to fit the theory then there is some predictive value to the theory until there isn’t.

  2. So it was tectonic stress that built up then released with two big quakes and not magma? Lets hope so because if it was the latter then we would be in for one hell of a bang.

  3. Probably all the weight of all that ice will help to keep the pressure contained until it gets very high. Then watch out.

    • The whole island of Iceland is on top of a mantle plume plus the mid atlantic ridge. The supply of magma is potentially unlimited. However the heat distribution is probably not a constant therefore one should look for the areas with the greatest concentration of heat from the mantle plume to find the areas for the greatest eruptive potential. It will likely be found near the center of Iceland close to the mid atlantic ridge. Based on a look at the map it will be along the north west edge of the Vatnajokull ice sheet. If the volcanoes have a clear and unrestricted access to the magmatic resources of the mantle plume one could expect some real fire works. The only limiting factors will be gas pressure, volcanic pipe size and the ice. As an example the Siberian Traps eruption that lasted a million years probably had a large unrestricted volcanic pipe leading from the mantle plume to the surface and this would have allowed basaltic magma to reach the surface for the duration of the eruption untill the earths crust and volcanic pipe moved off the hot spot shutting off the magma flow. In the case of Iceland there is no chance of the mid atlantic ridge moving off the hot spot and that means that if the passage ways between the mantle plume and the surface are big enough and not easily plugged then magma flow could occur for a long time under the right conditions.

  4. Meanwhile in the UK,

    UK weather: Coldest August Bank Holiday EVER recorded and massive downpours on way
    Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

    Frost was reported in some counties today and Northern Ireland recorded its lowest August temperature EVER.

    The appalling weather means many holidaymakers will head home early.

  5. well, if I lived there I sure wouldnt be getting complacent for some time to come. still reckon its pretty unsettled and due for some boom factor.

    • I was watching a documentary about Hecla and it seems that the volcano has the ability to erupt ash in layers up to 15 feet thick.

  6. No think again bardarbunga volcano is the largest volcano of it’s type on the planet which produces lava flood erupions in last 10,000 year’s and is prone to rifting fissure eruptions. What we are seeing earthquake swarms moving along these fissures and is one of the signs they opening up the problem is the Icelandic met office from what I’ve studied on or very geologists has actually done any work on this volcano and the fissures lies around the volcano going it’s past history if history and what we know when you have two separate earthquake swarm areas moving north and west both producing earthquakes at shallow depth and at depth near the mantle meaning the fissures are opening up slow down in earthquake swarms mean it’s decompressing in other word’s fresh magma is finding it easier to move deep down and melting the rock at a fast rate so Icelandic met office has no idea because they never studied on fissure eruptions here my thought from what I’m thinking on this what’s happening on the evidence and sign’s which one I’ve just mentioned Robert you like this

    A rifting fissure eruption is when a large part of a fissure swarm “rifts” Rifting is when a large part of a fissure on Iceland opens up right down to the mantle and as that happens a large scale decompression takes melt takes place and it starts at the mantle and obscene amounts of magma is formed and pushes upwards filling the void that’s created when the tectonic plate’s moves apart Bandarbunga has more than half Icelandic rifting fissure eruptions of course this is the largest last time was 1477 and the evidence I’ve seen is pointing to Skaftar fissure and at Veiddivotn fissure swarm if eruption is start it be largest eruption on earth in modern times the eruption type Skaftar fire’s yous should look it up and read about it and for climatic events we are in trouble volcanic winters and global famines and iceage event will start in just a few months I’m worried from what I’m seeing

  7. Yes, the quakes are getting bigger! 5.7 mag. quake beneath the caldera this morning! Won’t be long till we see a 6 or greater followed by an explosive eruption?

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