Earthquake prediction at the South Icelandic Fracture Zone

An interesting read that gives a glimpse into the frustrations of seismology

VolcanoCafé

Fissure from the the first of the 2000 Icelandic earthquakes. Photograph by Ross Beyer. Fissure from the the first of the 2000 Icelandic earthquakes. Photograph by Ross Beyer.

Volumetric strainmeters are used around the Globe to try to predict earthquakes. One of the main reasons for the proliferation of them is to be found in Iceland. Before we go to the latest events in the Southern Icelandic Fracture Zone (SIFZ) we should start with the classic example from prior to the M6.6 earthquake on the 17th of June in 2000.

The 2000 Big Bump at Saurbaer strainmeter. Image by Ragnar Stefánsson. The 2000 Big Bump at Saurbaer strainmeter. Image by Ragnar Stefánsson.

The spike above is known in its highly scientific term as the “Big Bump”, it was recorded as starting on the 28th of May and ended on the 1st of June. It is believed to have been caused by a pocket of fluids being squashed upwards by the mounting strain at the fault line. Notice that the big bump lowered…

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