Earthquake Reported in North Iceland

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Earthquake Reported in North Iceland

Northwest of Gjögurtá on the outskirts of the fjord of Eyjafjörður in North Iceland, they measured about 3.0 to 3.5 on the Richter scale and were felt in surrounding communities such as Dalvík, Ólafsfjörður, Siglufjörður and in the Svarfaðardalur valley. According to mbl.is, earthquakes of this size are relatively common in the area.

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Eyjafjörður. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Two earthquakes were also detected in the vicinity of Reykjavík late last night. The first earthquake, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, struck at 00:29 and its source was 1.7 km east-southeast of Helgafell.  The latter was felt at 01:03 in the morning, measuring at 4.2 on the Richter scale. Its source was 2.8 km southeast of Helgafell. The second earthquake was clearly felt in residential areas in the capital city and surrounding communities.

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Kleifarvatn. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.

Geologist Páll Einarsson explained to mbl.is:

“The source was detected outside the tectonic plate passing through Lake Kleifarvatn and to the east on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The rock is less fractured by seismic activity in the area and therefore the earthquakes were felt more clearly.  The earthquakes are caused by energy release in the lithosphere and movement taking place in a dislocation.”

According to Einarsson, it is impossible to predict whether further earthquakes will be felt in the capital area in the next few days.

For further information on geological activities in Iceland, visit the Icelandic Met Office website.

JB