The pattern of surface deformation resulting from the M 5.6 earthquake last week is quite visible, along with additional fault movements to the northeast

Significant ground deformation detected associated with recent earthquakes


Last week a series of earthquakes occurred on the Reykjanes Peninsula, between Fagradalsfjall and Kleifarvatn - the largest of which was a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in the vicinity of Núpshíðarháls, which occurred at 13:43 on 20th October. The maps displayed here show ground deformation associated with movement on faults during the period 16th-22nd October.

The large signal shown in the vicinity of Skolahraun represents movement of up to 5 cm (in the satellite's line-of-sight) associated with the magnitude 5.6 earthquake. Additional deformation is observed in the vicinity of Driffell and east of Keilir, related to movement on faults in this region. Multiple fractures, related to these earthquakes, have been observed on the ground in this area.

These earthquakes are related to the volcano-tectonic reactivation of the Reykjanes Peninsula which commenced in December 2019. The unrest is ongoing and the occurrence of additional future earthquakes is considered likely.

Click here for a larger image. Here is also a useful link on how to interpret an interferogram from our colleagues at USGS.

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