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(was 1700-1703)
The Science Institute
Earthquake Research Branch
Dunhaga 5
IS-107 Reykjavík

University of Iceland

The Science Institute
Hofsvallagata 53
Reykjavík 107

Telephone :

(354) 525 4800
(Direct telephones listed below)
Telefax : (354) 522-1347
Scientist in
Charge :
Páll Einarsson
Email :
Website :


Scientific staff :

Páll Einarsson - Seismology (525-4816)
Bryndis Brandsdóttir - Seismology (525-4774)
Sveinbjörn Björnsson - Seismology, Geothermal research (525-4817)

Type of monitoring devices applied

The S.I. operates a network of between 30 and 40 short-period seismic stations distributed throughout Iceland.

The seismographs were designed and constructed at the S.I. The seismic signal is mixed with a radio time signal (MSF 60 kHz) and recorded with pen and ink on a rotating drum. Only the vertical component is recorded, the passband is 3 - 30 Hz. Most of the stations are serviced by local residents, and a few stations are telemetered by radio to Reykjavík. In addition to the permanent stations a few portable instruments of the same design are available for use in the field.

The network is capable of detecting seismic events of magnitude 2 and larger over all the volcanic zones and the fracture zones in North and South Iceland. In some areas the detection threshold is close to magnitude 0.

Volcanoes with seismic stations within a 30 km radius include: Hengill, Hekla, Tindfjallajökull, Eyjafjallajökull, Vestmannaeyjar (Heimaey, Surtsey), Katla, Torfajökull, Öraefajökull, Grímsvötn, Bárdarbunga, Fremrinámur, Krafla and Theistaraeykir.

Recent eruptions that have been studied by seismological methods are: Surtsey 1963-67, Heimaey 1973, Hekla 1970 and 1980-81, Grímsvötn 1983 and Krafla 1975-84. Publication list is available on request.

Information updated 1991

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