Iceland geologists downplay significance of massive quake swarms

February 28, 2011 - ICELAND - More than 500 earthquakes, most of which were minor, were picked up by the sensors of the Icelandic Meteorological Office by Lake Kleifarvatn in southwest Iceland yesterday and the seismic activity carried on through the night. Of the 500 earthquakes, five were stronger than three points on the Richter scale—the largest, which measured 4.2 points, hit around 5:30 pm. It could easily be felt in towns around the epicenter and also in Reykjavík, Morgunbladid reports. “Our people in Krýsuvík are used to such tremors. The earth has been shaking there on and off through the years. I’ve been in contact with them and there haven’t been any problems because of these earthquakes,” said Lovísa Christiansen, director of the Krýsuvík treatment home, which is located close to the epicenter. Divers Kristján Arnarsson, Pétur Yngi Yamagata and Fridbjörn Orri Ketilsson were diving in Kleifarvatn when the largest earthquake hit. They told mbl.is that they sensed a significant jolt and heard loud rumbles. Activity has been registered by the Meteorological Office’s sensors but earth scientists do not want to make any statements on the movement of magma below the earth’s crust. They point out that earthquakes are common in this area. The series of tremors began on Thursday and peaked yesterday. Approximately 70 minor quakes were picked up in the area around Kleifarvatn since midnight, only two of which were stronger than two points on the Richter scale, ruv.is reports. The seismic activity seems to be subsiding. –Iceland Review
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