An earthquake east of Þjórsá 8 May 2014.

An earthquake in South Iceland

An earthquake of magnitude 4


At 23:14 on 8 May, an earthquake of magnitude 4 occurred 10 km ESE of Hestfjall (South Iceland). Reports were received that it was felt in the South Iceland lowland and in Hafnarfjördur, Borgarnes and Reykjavík.

The fault on which the earthquake occurred is the same fault that gave rise to a magnitude 7 earthquake in August 1784.

Yesterday's earthquake was not preceded by foreshocks and only a few aftershocks have been detected. This is the largest earthquake in this area since 2000, and the largest in the South Iceland lowland region (South Iceland seismic zone) since 2008.

It is possible that the earthquake is an aftershock following a strong earthquake in the same region in June 2000. This is because not all the strain in the bedrock was released during the 2000 earthquakes. It cannot be excluded that a similiar-sized earthquake could occur in the same region in the near future.

The lowland in South Iceland is one of the most seismically active regions of the country, where earthquakes have historically reached magnitude 7.  A map of shaking intensity from yesterday's  earthquake is available.

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