19. February 2014

More on the situation in Mt. Hekla

Since 10 March 2013, at least seven micro-earthquakes, ranging in size from magnitude 0.4 to 1, have been detected over a small area ~4.5 km to the north-east of the volcano’s summit. Sourced mainly at 11 to 12 km depth, these earthquakes have a high-frequency character suggestive of brittle fracturing rather than magma movements. At Hekla, such a clustering of earthquakes in time and space is unusual in between eruptions.

Continuous measurements of borehole strain and ground-based GPS show no changes in crustal deformation. The only measurable change is increased earthquake activity, although the earthquake rate is too low to assess whether this episode has peaked already.

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