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Iceland Mag

Geology

Growing levels of activity at all geothermal sites on Reykjanes peninsula

By Staff

  • Gunnuhver hot spring and Reykjanesviti lighthouse Reykjanes peninsula is one of the overlooked tourist destinations in Iceland. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson.

Activity at geothermal sites on the Reykjanes peninsula has been growing in recent months. One of the best known hot springs in the region, Gunnuhver at the southern tip of the peninsula, is currently showing greater activity than at any time in the recent past. Several large seismic events have been recorded off the coast of Reykjanes, indicating growing geological activity. Reykjanes is among the most volcanically active regions in Iceland.

Read more: Powerful earthquakes in Katla, off Reykjanes peninsula: Earth trembles at Keflavík airport

A spokesman for the Reykjanes Geopark told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that all boreholes and hot springs at geothermal areas on the peninsula have been showing growing levels of activity in recent months. Tall steam plumes rise from geysers and geothermal boreholes.

Read more: Powerful earthquake swarm south of Þingvellir over after 170 quakes: What happened?

Geophysicists who spoke with Morgunblaðið said the growing activity was not necessarily a sign of an imminent eruption, as geothermal areas frequently show varying levels of activity. However, large earthquake swarms have recently been observed at the opposite ends of the Reykjanes Volcanic Belt.

Three powerful earthquake swarms have been detected this year on the Reykjanes ridge, west of Eldey island, and the earth has also trembled east of the volcano Hengill, south of Þingvellir national park.

Read more: All of Iceland‘s major volcanoes showing unusually high levels of activity

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