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Fewer quakes so far today, after very active weekend

08.03.2021 - 09:59
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Vilhjálmur Þór Guðmundsson - RÚV
Around 500 earthquakes were recorded in the affected part of the Reykjanes peninsula overnight, which is far fewer than the two previous nights. There is currently no sign of volcanic unrest. Only two of the quakes were larger than Magnitude 3—both around 00.30 last night. The quiet night follows a sleepless weekend for many on the peninsula; especially in Grindavík.

On Sunday 7th March overall, there were 2,800 quakes registered, including a Magnitude 5 at 02.01 Sunday morning which was felt across the southwest. Residents of Grindavík were kept awake by near-constant earthquakes between around 02.00 and 04.00.

It is the unanimous opinion of the scientific council that magma is flowing into the crust under Fagradalsfjall mountain and that this creates tension on the north-south fractures both to the east and the west of the earthquake zone.

When enough pressure is built up, the fracture zones move in the form of earthquakes. After the quakes release pressure, quieter periods follow, until pressure builds again and more large quakes happen. This cycle is expected to contine for the coming days and weeks and the clusters of larger quakes seen on Saturday night into Sunday morning can be expected several more times. 

As well as the earthquakes, a volcanic tremor was detected around midnight on Saturday/Sunday, though it was much smaller than the one recorded on Wednesday, and also shorter-lived, at only 20-30 minutes. 

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