Iceland Volcano: Number of earthquakes drops to a couple hundred a day from a thousand, but experts think it may not be over


Important Takeaways:

  • Iceland Volcano Update: Eruption-Making Magma Shift May Be ‘Days’ Away
  • Another upward shift of magma through the Earth’s crust under Iceland that has the potential to cause an eruption “could happen in the next few days or possibly after several months,” as officials have expressed “considerable” uncertainty as to when the next volcanic episode might occur.
  • Last week, a decline in the number and severity of earthquakes around the magma intrusion led it to conclude that an eruption from the episode was less likely but still possible. However, experts have warned that volcanic activity in the region could pick up again.
  • Between 1,500 and 1,800 earthquakes a day were being recorded from November 10 for nearly two weeks, before dropping to the low hundreds.
  • The earthquakes have mostly occurred over and around the site of the magma dike—which is estimated to be around 9.3 miles long and runs alongside the coastal fishing town of Grindavik, on a southwesterly peninsula on Iceland’s main island.
  • A sudden shift in the North American tectonic plate away from the Eurasian plate is thought to have allowed magma to suddenly push upwards through a rift that runs between the two of them under Iceland.
  • One Icelandic volcanologist previously told Newsweek that while the volcanic episode may have ended, it may mark the start of an “intense” period of tectonic activity based on historic trends.
  • “We know that this is not the end of activity on the Reykjanes peninsula”

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