Iceland – 34,000 quakes in two weeks could lead to an eruption

No eruptions have taken place at this particular volcano for at least 10,000 years, so what comes next is a total unknown.  Especially when you consider that the average yearly number of earthquakes across the Reykjanes peninsula is only 1,000 to 3,000. (Depending on where you live, you may think “only” is not the right word to describe the situation.)

An eruption could lead to catastrophic global cooling

A “seismic crisis” has been occurring in the area near Fagradalsfjall since late Feb 2021, says This activity has been interpreted as intrusion of magma at shallow depths, which could lead to a new eruption.

Fadradalsfjall is a table mountain in the Reykjanes Peninsula, NE of Grindavik, Iceland.

Very little is known about the eruptive history of the volcano; but according to both and, no eruptions have occurred during the past 10,000 years — in other words, it’s anyone’s guess what this volcano is capable of when it does blow.

“I think this is a sign the magma dike is growing very fast,” said Kristín Jónsdóttir, of the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), referring to the huge increase in earthquake activity.

The IMO has also officially stated that these magmatic movements are the likely cause of the ongoing earthquake swarm in the peninsula–a swarm that has now totaled 34,000 quakes in two weeks.

Reader Scarface points out that Fadradalsfjall is close to Reykjavik, the capital and largest city of Iceland. Just 58 km (36 miles) by car, but much closer as the crow flies. This could turn into a real disaster when the volcano erupts.

34,000 earthquakes in two weeksWill Iceland be home to the next “big one”?

Of today’s reawakening volcanoes, those located in Iceland are perhaps the most concerning.

It is this highly-volcanic region that will likely be home to the next “big one” (a repeat of the 536 AD eruption that took out the Roman Republic…?) — the one that will return Earth to another volcanic winter.

Volcanic eruptions are one of the key forcings driving Earth into its next bout of global cooling.

Volcanic ash (particulates) fired above 10km –and so into the stratosphere– shade sunlight and reduce terrestrial temperatures. The smaller particulates from an eruption can linger in the upper atmosphere for years, or even decades.

Today’s worldwide volcanic uptick is thought to be tied to low solar activity, coronal holes, a waning magnetosphere, and the influx of Cosmic Rays penetrating silica-rich magma.

In 536 AD, a thick fog blanketed much of Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, shrouding these regions in darkness for one and a half years straight. According to, the ambient temperatures during that year’s summer decreased by 1.5 to 2.5° Celsius, contributing to that decade being the coldest for the last 2.3 millennia. Continents experienced unseasonable snowfall during this time, crops died, and many millions starved to death.

Millions upon millions of people died

New ice analysis reveals that a violent volcanic eruption in Iceland was the culprit. The explosion released a thick plume of ash into the stratosphere in the early part of 536 AD blocking the Sun and causing crop failure across the hemisphere, killing millions upon millions of people. In addition, two more massive eruptions also occurred in 540 AD and 547 AD — these repeated eruptions caused untold suffering and economic stagnation in Europe for the next 100+ years, until the year 640 AD.

Magmatic Movements registered under Fagradalsfjall Volcano, Iceland — 34,000 Quakes in Two Weeks, Eruption Likely

Thanks to Steven Rowlandson for this link

27 thoughts on “Iceland – 34,000 quakes in two weeks could lead to an eruption”

  1. Robert, is there anywhere that tracks the accuracy of the 10-day forecast?

    I’d be curious to see how often the temperatures are trending down on the 10th day across various regions. To me that’s a tell that the “models” aren’t working anymore and something else is driving the divergence from “normal” weather. Likewise, the same would be true if the 10th actual temps were trending upward.

    • could be as the nth magnetics still moving fast.
      been watching the shake numbers myself and wondering how many will be enough before something gives way unexpectedly.
      I know I would have animals in close and bags packed if I lived there

  2. How about giving us flatlanders a better idea of the geography…where is this peninsula? My primitive atlas not too helpful

  3. The Western Roman Empire had already fallen in 476 AD after the last emperor Romulus Augustus had been deposed by Alaric the Ostrogoth. The Roman Republic ended in 27 BC when Octavian was declared Caesar Augustus, some 500 years or so earlier. At the time of the Icelandic eruption in 536 AD the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian, together with his general, Belisarius, were involved in a partial reconquest of Italy and North Africa as part of an effort to re-establish the Western Roman Empire, which was to prove unsuccessful.

    • You are why I love the Internet.

      We all can get information, fast, from those who enjoy and love a particular topic.

      The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire has been one of my interests. In this one “Empire” we learn about all the stupid stuff we humans do and what happens.

    • Google -> The Dark Ages Were Caused By Two Enormous Volcanic Eruptions “The sun gave forth its light without brightness.”

      Volcanic Eruptions which filled the Skies with Ejectae, Darkened the Skies for Many Years on end.. Causing Earth’s Temps to plummet via Blocking Solar Irradiance from reaching Earth’s surface – along with giving birth to the phrase, The Dark Ages..

      A similar level of Volcanism Today would in only a few years – not only cause freezings to death – it would almost eliminate much/most of Earth’s food supply including animals as food, and would put All Inhabitants of Today into a serious world of hurt.

  4. Although there is currently an uptick in volcanic activity, the last 30 years have been notably lacking in any significant eruptions, which could explain the recent global warming. You only have to look at Dr Roy Spencer’s graph to see this. We need a massive volcanic eruption (preferably in an uninhabited area) to cool down the planet, and also to stop the media going on about all their “warmest/hottest ever” superlatives!

    • @John+Oglander – The only volcanic eruptions that affect climate in a major way are those that happen around the equator.

  5. I read about the previous large eruptions, the ones that cooled the Planet for 1-2 years, due to all the “stuff” in the Atmosphere.

    I began to wonder, would there be enough particulate in the Atmosphere to halt all air travel as well?

    • @CENTURION – I don’t know about halting air travel, but the only volcanic eruptions that affect climate in a major way are those that happen around the equator.

      • Yes, but in the recent past, an Icelandic Volcano went off and halted Air Traffic for a while.

        My question, to be more specific, is: If a volcano went off that has the capacity to cool the planet for a few years, due to the particulates, would this be enough stuff ejected to stop Air Traffic for a few years as well?

        How sensitive are jet engines? If the Northern Hemisphere cools significant’y, then would there not be enough “stuff” in the air to halt Air Traffic as well?

  6. Robert, ice age charts show a big spike in heat before temperatures plunge into an ice age. Do you think we have already seen that spike, which started in 1988 and lasted until 2005?

  7. The tragedy of the situation is that possible tsunami (either from earthquake or landslide) threatens Europe, first of all – Britain and Norway, and, certainly, Iceland itself. But modern civilization is totally unprepared and chooses to view the power of nature with disdain, – they assure ‘nothing catastrophic’ would happen, like Iceland’s civil guard claims. It is a pity that Fukushima-2011 is largely forgotten! – Is it because it was on the opposite side of the Globe?

  8. Not that I like wearing a mask, I hate them. But at least when this volcano blows there will be plenty of masks around to block some of the ash and other chemicals from it.

  9. The previous post suggested eruptions of between 900-1100 years and lasting 500 years, or is this a different volcano?
    If it is a Holocene volcano reawakening could the others also dormant for the past 10,000 years begin to stir?

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