La Palma volcano eruption update: eruption continues at high intensity, threatening La Laguna and airport operations
Volcanic tremor, as an indicator of magma flux, remains high and has increased a bit compared to the previous days.
Most notably, lava advance has been occurring at 3 lava flow fronts. Among these, two active fronts remain south of La Laguna, which are likely to merge and could soon reach the sea as well. One of these lava flows surpassed the mountain of La Laguna yesterday and was reported to be fed by a channel where lava flows at speed of 1300 m per hour:
A las 11,00 hora canaria la colada de lava que superó ayer la montaña de La Laguna sigue recibiendo material lávico que fluye a 1300 m/h / At 11.00 Canarian time the lava flow that surpassed the mountain of La Laguna yesterday continues to be fed by lava that flows at 1300 m/h pic.twitter.com/YZR6fwWjkw— INVOLCAN (@involcan) October 16, 2021
A third active front that advanced towards the northwest is of particular concern. Yesterday, it had reached the El Cumplido road and slowly continued its path. Today, it continued moving through the industrial center of Tajuya and approaching the center of La Laguna, but it is hoped that topography will divert it more towards the west before reaching La Laguna's center.
La lava sigue fluyendo por el polígono industrial de Tajuya en una secuencia grabada a las 13,00 hora canaria / The lava continues to flow through the Tajuya industrial park in a sequence recorded at 13,00 Canarian time pic.twitter.com/P4ESzhvYWf— INVOLCAN (@involcan) October 16, 2021
Continued ash emissions, airport affected
At the vent, activity remains dominated by lava effusion with less explosions than before, although it still generates a plume rising to 4000 m altitude. Today, some ash fall reached the airport, affecting operations and the airspace between La Palma, La Gomera and the North of Tenerife.
New vent southeast of cone
Yesterday, a new vent was reported to have appeared 300-300 m southeast of the main cone yesterday afternoon; according to new information, it was apparently an older vent active early on in the eruption that was reactivated, but decreased its activity again toda. It mainly emitted gas and ash, but apparently no or little lava flows.
Video donde Ramón Casillas, miembro debla ULL en #PEVOLCA, confirma la nueva boca al Sureste del volcán actual. @112canarias @CabLaPalma @Marianohzapata #ErupcionLaPalma #VigilanciaLaPalma #volcanesdecanarias pic.twitter.com/s4091IacVF— Volcanes de Canarias (@VolcansCanarias) October 15, 2021
Gas emissions, seismic activity, ground deformation
Sulfur dioxide emissions were measured at 2882 tons per day, considerably lower than on previous days.
On the other hand, seismic activity increased again in the number and average size of quakes, clustered in two areas (10-15 km as well as 35-40 km below the volcano). The strongest-so-far quake was a widely felt magnitude 4.5 event early this morning.
As to the quakes in the shallower group, a weak trend is becoming visible in that they tend to migrate to the northwest, i.e. closer to the current eruptive centers.
Ground inflation observed in the past days decreased again to the levels observed since the start of the eruption.