Earthquake swarm officially over, for now

10.01.2022 - 10:27
Mynd: Alma Ómarsdóttir / RÚV
The state police chief this weekend cancelled the uncertainty alert for the earthquake swarm that started on 21st December on the Reykjanes peninsula. 12 quakes over Magnitude 4 were recorded and 90 over M3 during the roughly two weeks the swarm lasted. The aviation alert level has also dropped from orange to yellow—telling pilots and airlines that an eruption is considered unlikely at this time.

The swarm was caused by the movement of magma beneath the surface and significant changes to the land were recorded by sensitive scientific equipment while it was ongoing. It is believed the magma intrusion reached to a depth of 1.5 kilometres, but very little activity has been recorded since 28th December, which is a sign that the magma has not intruded further towards the surface since then.  

A statement from the civil protection agency says the area is still under close observation for both seismic activity and physical changes. The situation can change quickly and it is still dangerous to walk on the new lava field in Geldingadalir/Meradalir and to the crater. It can take a very long time for the lava to cool and regular collapses occur as it does cool and begin to weather. During this extended time dangerous conditions can occur and volcanic gases can collect. 

Access to the area around the lava field is no longer restricted, however, and the volcano remains a popular attraction, even though it is no longer erupting. 

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