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El Hierro volcano
shield volcano 1500 m
Canary Islands (Spain), 27.63°N / -17.99°W
Current status: 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
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El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands) news & activity updates

El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): activity calms down

Saturday Dec 03, 2011 16:22 PM | BY: TP

The daily number of earthquakes has been following a clear decreasing trend over the past weeks, suggesting the eruption might be dying down.
The daily number of earthquakes has been following a clear decreasing trend over the past weeks, suggesting the eruption might be dying down.
The submarine eruption south of El Hierro has calmed down since last weekend, when still steaming hot lava blocks rose to the surface above the submarine vent about 1 km off La Restinga. Not much has been seen since then, except a light and sometimes muddy stain caused by upwelling water containing volcanic gasses and particles.
Seismic activity continues to decrease overall, suggesting that the eruption is slowly ending, to the relief of many inhabitants of the island (and to the disappointment of others... who would have loved to see a new island emerge).

The number of total earthquakes, now typically less than 10 per day, is tailing off (see IGN graphic). Only harmonic tremor continues to be at fluctuating moderate levels, and might be a hint that something is still moving somewhere (although it is far from certain; it is far from fully understood what causes tremor).
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Previous news
The active area seen from the South coast.
Thursday, Nov 24, 2011
The area of upwelling water above the new submarine vent(s) ca. 1 km off the south coast near La Restinga has increased. Muddy water and sometimes foam are visible at the spot, forming larger and smaller circular areas surrounded by greenish water drifting west. The activity occurs in irregular intervals of typically 20-40 minutes. ... [more]

Monday, Nov 21, 2011
Today, a new spot of upwelling water appeared at ca. 1 km distance off the south coast near La Restinga, near the location of the first submarine vent. Water discoloration, foam on the surface and flattened sea water were clearly visible in this area (see attached photos). We interpret that a new submarine vent is active there. ... [more]
Monday, Nov 21, 2011
Tremor has decreased slightly, but earthquakes continue. No visible activity was present near La Restinga yesterday, but signs increase that something could be going on in the northern sector at depth, where part of the tremor has now been localized. Also, slight inflation is measured for the El Golfo valley. ... [more]
Increasing volcanic tremor (19 Nov), image courtesy IGN
Saturday, Nov 19, 2011
During our observations from near the south coast at La Restinga yesterday, we could not observe any activity at the surface of the water. This corresponded well with a sharp decrease in tremor measured by the Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN). ... [more]
 

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