Magma intrusion and swelling under Iceland’s Krýsuvík volcano

February 28, 2011ICELAND - According to news from Rúv. It appears that hydrothermal areas in Krýsuvík volcano are growing larger following the earthquake swarm in the past few days. This same news also tells that the number of cracks in the ground have grown in numbers following the earthquake swarm, this allows more water to get into contact with the hot rock and that warms the water up fast. According to Rúv evening news  there appears to be magma related aspect to this weekend earthquake swarm in Krýsuvík volcano. According to Dr. Páll Einarsson geologist at Iceland University it appears that magma is the source (as stated above) of this weekend earthquake swarm. This news also says that there has been a lot of earthquake activity in Krýsuvík volcano over the past two years and this earthquake activity is not only tectonic as is common in this area. The news at Rúv also says that geologist in Iceland are wondering and unsure what exactly is going on at Krýsuvík volcano at the moment. But the reported inflation in the news at Rúv is sad to be 10 cm (I do not know if that number is accurate or not). But it clearly a reason now to watch the activity at Krýsuvík volcano. If there is a eruption in Krýsuvík volcano it is going to be a harmless (as it can be) lava eruption. Unless it is under water, but then there is a Surtsey type of eruption for as long there is water getting into the crater. So don’t expect aircraft problem if there is a eruption in Krýsuvík volcano.  -Jonfr.com

 

Given the complex nature of the unique geology under Iceland (it is the only region of the world where a divergent rift runs through an entire land mass), I’ld say this was more than just a case of bad plumbing for the hot water heater.  We’ve monitored at least 300 more quakes on the  Reykjanes Peninsula today (see graph) …so we suggest you stay tuned.
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4 Responses to Magma intrusion and swelling under Iceland’s Krýsuvík volcano

  1. James says:

    Is there any specific reason why you state that any eruption here would be a ‘harmless lava eruption’ (I assume you mean an effusive basaltic eruption)?

    There could always be pockets of more evolved, more silicic magma beneath the volcano. Even if the current intrusion is basaltic (almost certainly), if it came into contact with more silicic magmas already present (as with the Eyjafjallajokull 2010 summit eruption) then more explosive activity could be triggered. And that’s before considering interaction with geothermal system(s) present in this area (which could, as you say, give rise to more explosive activity – but more likely of the phreatic or phreatomagmatic style, rather than Surtseyan).

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