La Palma volcano eruption update: new cracks open at cone generating new lava flows
Fri, 1 Oct 2021, 11:3111:31 AM | BY: T
The eruption site on La Palma this morning, with the emission of gas and ash visible behind the trees from what is likely a new fissure vent (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Close-up view of the scene ((image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
With the eruption approaching two weeks of activity, there is no sign of it ending anytime soon. Instead, the magma supply rate seems to be more or less stable, judging from visible lava output and volcanic tremor, which remains at high levels.
SO2 plume from La Palma eruption hovering over the Canary islands (image: Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, sacs.aeronomie.be)
The cone complex above the original eruptive fissure is showing signs of becoming more and more unstable, as several new effusive vents have been opening up during the past 12 hours or so.
At 10.15 a.m. local time this morning, observers on location reported seeing new gas and ash emerging from what is likely another vent forming at the NW base of the cone, visible in the attached pictures by the bluish haze behind the tree line, obviously coming from an area at the feet of the cone.
[Update] The new vent must have opened in the early morning, as it was already active at sunrise.
Over night, ash fall affected a wide area to the north of the site. It left a deposit of at least 1 cm in El Paso, but even in 15-20 km distance, a black layer of sandy ash has covered surfaces, forcing people to constantly clean roofs, solar panels and other surfaces.
Lava continues to flow into the ocean - risk of collapse increases
The new lava delta on the west coast near Playa Nueva has been growing surprisingly quickly, as the embedded bathymetric map shows:
Batimetría de detalle. Cada línea es 1m y las gruesas cada 5m. pic.twitter.com/ms79T77XBJ— Udri (@UdriGeo) September 30, 2021
Once the delta expands further westwards, it will be sitting on steeper underwater slopes, and the risk of gravitational collapses increases. Such collapses can be very dangerous as they usually trigger strong explosions, large acid steam plumes and could even generate small local tsunamis.As the situation is quickly evolving, we will likely post another update in the evening.