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Iceland Mag

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Nearly a hundred smaller quakes have followed yesterday's powerful quake S. of Þingvellir

By Staff

  • At Þingvellir National Park Þingvellir, and the Þingvallavatn lake are located in a rift valley created as the North American and European tectonic plates drift apart. Photo/

The earthquake swarm south of Þingvallavatn lake in South Iceland, which began yesterday morning, seems to have slowed down. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office the last quake took place shortly after midnight. The swarm began early morning yesterday, with two small quakes in the mountain Hrómundartindur, south of Þingvallavatn lake. At 11:26 a stronger 2.8 magnitude quake was detected, followed by a powerful 3.7 magnitude earthquake just before noon.

Read more: Powerful earthquake felt in Reykjavík: 3.8 magnitude quake south of Þingvellir national park

Caused by the drifting apart of the tectonic plates
The swarm, which currently counts 94 seperate tremors, a third of which are larger than 1 on the Richter scale and nearly a dozen largern than 2, continued through the afternoon, gradually slowing down during the night. By midnight Wednesday the swarm seemed to have subsided.

The epicenter of the quakes is just south of the lake, in the foothills of Hrómundartindur mountain, due east of the volcano Hengill, one of the most active volcanic and geothermal hot-spots in Iceland. 

The Icelandic Meteorological Office is monitoring the quakes closely. The cause of the quakes is the drifting apart of the European and North American tectonic plates. Earthquakes in this area are quite common, although the ongoing earthquake swarm is unusually powerful.  

Þingvellir earthquakes 4.1.16

The location of the earthquakes Engill volcano to the west, Þingvallavatn lace to the north. Photo/Icelandic Met Office

 

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