Whole country – earthquakes during the last 48 hours (Preliminary results)

On February 24th 2021, two earthquakes above magnitude M5 were recorded. The larger one, M5.7,  was at 10:05 and at 10:30 a M5.0 was measured. Later that day at 12:37 a M4.8 was recorded. Since the beginning of this unrest 16 earthquakes above  M4 have been recorded and 90 earthquakes above M3. They have been felt widely in the SW part of the country and the larges once in the NW part as far as Ísafjörður. Note that all reviewed earthquakes have occurred on the Reykjanes Peninsula, roughly between Kleifarvatn and Svartsengi.

Today five earthquakes above M4 have been measured in the northern part of Fagradalsfjall, M4,4 at 12:06, M4,0 at 12:24, M4,1 at 13:51 og M4,2 at 15:10. All those are in a similar location as the M5,7 earthquake. Our interpretation is that these are triggered earthquakes caused by the intense activity and deformation that has occurred in the area. The swarm is still ongoing and roughly 5000 earthquakes have been detected with the automatic system since the beginning of the swarm.

The satellite image below displays a Sentinel-1 interferogram spanning the period 19-25th February. This shows ground deformation associated with the recent earthquake activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula and indicates this was related to a combination of movement on north-south trending faults and left-lateral movement over a large section of the plate boundary (~25 km segment – from Svartsengi to Kleifarvatn).

Red amplitudes represent movement towards the satellite and purple amplitudes movement away from the satellite (path is west of Iceland). The black arrows in the right corner below show the heading and look direction of the satellite. The magnitude 5.7 earthquake that occurred on the 24th February is displayed by the red star.

There is no indication in this interferogram for shallow magmatic intrusions, however the inflow of magma from depth cannot be ruled out, as this activity is part of an ongoing volcano-tectonic reactivation of the ReykjanesPeninsula.


Magnitude Mw 5.2
Date time 2021-02-27 08:07:47.0 UTC
Location 63.97 N ; 22.20 W
Depth 10 km
Distances 24 km SSW of Reykjavík, Iceland / pop: 118,000 / local time: 08:07:47.0 2021-02-27
17 km SW of Hafnarfjörður, Iceland / pop: 26,800 / local time: 08:07:47.0 2021-02-27
More details

Manual location disseminated on 2021-02-27 08:26 (UTC)