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Iceland Mag

Geology

Ground trembles at Blue Lagoon: Earthquake swarm continues with powerful 3.9 magnitude quake

By Staff

  • Blue Lagoon Earthquakes are quite common on the Reykjanes peninsula which is highly active geologically. Photo/Zoe Miliakos

A powerful 3.9 magnitude quake, with an epicenter a few kilometers east of the popular tourist destination the Blue Lagoon, was felt in towns and villages around Reykjanes peninsula as well as the capital region. The quake is the latest in a large swarm which began shortly after seven this morning. Nearly a fifty quakes have been detected this morning, including two magnitude 3 quakes.

Read more: Why the constant earthquakes? Iceland is slowly being torn apart

Reykjanes quakes

Reykjanes quakes The epicenter of the earthquake swarm (identified by green and yellow circles) is just 11 km (7 mi) east of the Blue Lagoon (red circle). Photo/Loftmyndir - Iceland Magazine

According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office the swarm began at 12 minutes past 7 in the morning, with an epicenter 2.5-3 km (1.5-1.9 mi) north-east of Fagradalsfjall mountain, which is located east of the popular tourist destination the Blue Lagoon. The epicenter of the latest quake was 2.7 km (1.7 mi) north east of Fagradalsfjall, 11.4 km (7 mi) east of the Blue Lagoon.

The epicenter of the quakes is at a significant depth, the first two powerful quake took place at a depth of 4.9 km (3 mi) and 10.4 km (6.5 mi). The third 3.9 magnitude quake was at a depth of 2.3 km (1.4 mi). 

Reykjanes is an extremely active area, with high levels of volcanic, geothermal and seismic activity. The peninsula is effectively an extension of the North Atlantic Ridge, the boundary between the North American and European tectonic plates. The quakes are most likely connected with the movement of the plates, which are drifting apart at a pace of several centimeters each year on the Reykjanes peninsula.

There are no signs of imminent volcanic activity in the area.

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