Report on Reykjanes (Iceland) — 12 February-18 February 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 February-18 February 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Reykjanes (Iceland). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 February-18 February 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
63.85°N, 22.566°W; summit elev. 140 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 15 February IMO reported that seismicity at Reykjanes, in an area N of the town of Grindavík, remained above background levels even though activity had been decreasing since the end of January. Two earthquakes larger than M 3 were detected; one of them, an M 3.1, was recorded at 0826 on 14 February. The rate of deformation had slightly increased. The Aviation Code remained at Yellow.
Geologic Background. The Reykjanes volcanic system at the SW tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level, comprises a broad area of postglacial basaltic crater rows and small shield volcanoes. The submarine Reykjaneshryggur volcanic system is contiguous with and is considered part of the Reykjanes volcanic system, which is the westernmost of a series of four closely-spaced en-echelon fissure systems that extend diagonally across the Reykjanes Peninsula. Most of the subaerial part of the system (also known as the Reykjanes/Svartsengi volcanic system) is covered by Holocene lavas. Subaerial eruptions have occurred in historical time during the 13th century at several locations on the NE-SW-trending fissure system, and numerous submarine eruptions dating back to the 12th century have been observed during historical time, some of which have formed ephemeral islands. Basaltic rocks of probable Holocene age have been recovered during dredging operations, and tephra deposits from earlier Holocene eruptions are preserved on the nearby Reykjanes Peninsula.