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El Hierro volcano
shield volcano 1500 m
Canary Islands (Spain), 27.63°N / -17.99°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
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El Hierro volcano eruptions:
2012 (?) (probable second submarine eruption in June-July west of the island), 2011-12 (Oct-Mar, submarine eruption near La Restinga), 1793
Typical eruption style:
mainly effusive, basaltic fissure eruptions
Last earthquakes nearby
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El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands) news & activity updates

El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): not much visible activity, but continuing tremors

Wednesday Nov 16, 2011 14:48 PM |

Field observations at La Restinga at the southern tip of El Hierro have shown none or very little activity above the submarine vents during the past 2 days. Only a small brownish spot is present and the discolored sea water area seems to be getting significantly smaller. Likely, volcanic activity at the vent has stopped again. La Restinga town is very slowly recovering from its forced closure.

At the same time, there are indications that magma is still moving somewhere and that there is a slim chance of new activity. Volcanic tremor measured by IGN remains high and frequent deep earthquakes continue to occur. Most of the quakes, typically 10-20 a day and at depths around 20 km are beneath the El Golfo area. Some of them reach magnitudes around 3 and can be felt.
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El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): renewed activity south of La Restinga, steaming blocks of lava float to surface

Monday Nov 14, 2011 19:38 PM |

Hot scoria floats to the surface above the vent (14 Nov afternoon)
Hot scoria floats to the surface above the vent (14 Nov afternoon)
Zoom onto the floating hot lava blocks at the surface above the vent
Zoom onto the floating hot lava blocks at the surface above the vent
Activity from the submarine volcano has restarted in the Las Calmas Sea south of La Restinga, El Hierro, from more or less the same submarine vent as last week. Today, steaming hot black lava blocks could be observed reaching the surface of the sea above the vent. A broad area of muddy discolored water drifts away from the site, and foam (or pumice) rings are formed around on the water. The stain of the sea has increased again and a number of dead or dying fish are seen in the harbor of La Restinga (open during daytime).

El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): continuing earthquakes and tremor feed speculations about a second vent, but not much visible activity

Sunday Nov 13, 2011 14:16 PM | BY: TOM PFEIFFER

The area of the submarine vent seen on Thursday.
The area of the submarine vent seen on Thursday.
La Frontera in the El Golfo, almost cut off by the rest of the island due to the tunnel closure, seen at night. People here face frequent earthquakes these days.
La Frontera in the El Golfo, almost cut off by the rest of the island due to the tunnel closure, seen at night. People here face frequent earthquakes these days.
Since Wednesday, the submarine activity south of La Restinga is not producing much signs at the surface and seems to have stopped or continuing at much lower levels. A part of the VolcanoDiscovery team is now on location and we can observe the activity directly. Only occasionally, a weak brownish mud seems to reach the surface, sometimes accompanied by foam and / or pumice. It seems likely that the first vent has or is dying.
In the meanwhile, the recorded seismic activity remains strong, including both continuing harmonic tremor, suggesting magma movements, and deep (around 20 km) earthquakes, 10-20 per day usually, NW of El Hierro in the El Golfo area. There are speculations about a possible new vent in this area, but if it is present, it does not (yet) manifest itself at the water surface.
When new significant news become available, we will report them here.
A new good webcam at La Restinga showing the (recently) active area can be found at: http://212.170.244.196/.
Previous news
Wednesday, Nov 09, 2011
There is a pause of the eruption at El Hierro. The activity from the submarine vents ca. 1 km south of El Hierro has decreased significantly, or even stopped completely today, scientists in La Restinga and the Guardia Civil reported. ... [more]
Tuesday, Nov 08, 2011
Explosions above the still submarine vents south of El Hierro are getting stronger and follow one another every 10 to 15 minutes, generating large clouds and sometimes jets of gas, steam and ash mixed with blocks rising to 30-35 meters. At night, red glow is visible above the jacuzzi. ... [more]
One of the explosions ejecting ash above the surface (image: Radio Televisión Canaria, http://www.rtvc.es/)
Tuesday, Nov 08, 2011
Signs are increasing that the submarine eruption south of El Hierro could be breaking the ocean surface very soon. At the moment, there are 2 areas with violent bubbling fountains (locally called "jacuzzi") up to 20 m high where the water temperature has increased by at least 10 deg C. Occasionally, the first small explosions are seen ejecting rocks, pumice and ash. ... [more]
Close-up of one of the fountains (jacuzzi) south of La Restinga (image: INVOLCAN)
Sunday, Nov 06, 2011
The submarine eruption south of El Hierro Island is getting closer to the surface and approaching the so-called Surtseyan stage (named after the 1963 eruption and birth of Surtsey Island south of Iceland). ... [more]
Increasing tremor signal (3 Nov 2011) at El Hierro
Thursday, Nov 03, 2011
Seismic activity beneath the El Golfo region has further increased and there is now a strong tremor signal. This suggests that a second submarine vent might in fact have started to erupt. [more]

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