La Palma volcano eruption update: activity stays elevated, second lava arm at coast, airport closed
Fri, 8 Oct 2021, 08:4608:46 AM | BY: T
The new lava branch at the coast south of the previous delta (image: Canarian Government drone video)
Tremor amplitude from the eruption so far (image: IGN / Twitter)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Activity continues with no significant changes as the eruption approaches 3 weeks, during which is has by now covered more than 430 hectares of land and destroyed over a 1000 houses and other buildings.
Recent quakes under La Palma (image: IGN)
At the vents, ash-rich fountaining and vigorous lava spattering continues to produce lava flows on the northwest flank of the cone, but more importantly, a significant ash and steam plume that forms a column rising 2-3 km and spreading along with the winds in various directions, currently including easterly currents, which unfortunately brings the ash plume to the airport area. This forced the closure of the airport since yesterday, forcing the diversion of flights to Tenerife. It is forecasted to last through tomorrow at least.
Near the eruption site, the air quality has been worsening again, because a strong thermal inversion at low elevations, between 600 and 700 meters of altitude, traps gas and ash from the eruption in the Ariadne valley.
The new lava flow arm that started yesterday from the southern margin of the main flow continued to advance between Los Guirres and El Charcón and now overlaps the lava delta which had been created during the 1949 eruption, leaving an island of (so far) untouched land in between.
Eruption intensity decreasing slowly, but quakes increase
Overall, intensity of the eruption remains high, but at least has showed a slowly decreasing trend during the past days, as shown by the volcanic tremor signal and visible activity.
Seismic activity beneath the island has increased in the last 24 hours, both in the number of earthquakes and in their magnitude: The National Geographic Institute (IGN) recorded 1 quake of magnitude 4.3, 30 quakes between 3.0 and 3.8, and 52 quakes between 2.0 and 2.9. The locations of the quakes remains more or less the same, mostly at 10-15 km depth beneath the center of the volcano, and there is no indication that magma is migrating or trying to open new vents.
Fri, 8 Oct 2021, 03:27
Stunning picture of lava tubes was taken by the volcano observatory INVOLCAN. Read all