La Palma volcano eruption update: dramatic and rapid ground uplift, while surface activity calms down temporarily

Tue, 26 Oct 2021, 20:54
20:54 PM | BY: T
Lava fountain from the main vent at the La Palma eruption this evening (image: kimedia webcam)
Lava fountain from the main vent at the La Palma eruption this evening (image: kimedia webcam)
Ground deformation at LP03 and LP05 stations showing the uplift today (image: IGN)
Ground deformation at LP03 and LP05 stations showing the uplift today (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Numbers of daily quakes showing the marked decrease today (image: IGN)
Numbers of daily quakes showing the marked decrease today (image: IGN)
Compared to yesterday, the visible activity at the vents has decreased somewhat today. Only one of the vents seems now to produce pulsating lava fountains and an ash plume has been rising to approx. 2-2.5 kilometers today. Surface lava flow activity near the vents has decreased a lot as well.
Last evening, following hours of intense activity from at least four vents, parts of the western crater walls at the vents collapsed and gave way to short-lived floods of lava on the slopes of the cone. Whether or not the visible decrease is caused by a decrease of magma supply at the moment, remains unknown.
One factor to consider is that such larger re-configurations at the vent create new conditions so that the arriving magma might more easily find new ways to enter existing or create new tubes, and remain hidden from direct view.
However, it is likely that currently, indeed less magma is reaching the surface, but is this a sign the eruption might be waning? Likely not, unfortunately: instead of slowly deflating (as the magma chamber is being emptied by the eruption), the ground near the eruption site has been rising significantly again. And quite dramatically so. If the station LP3 has a correct measurement, the ground rose 10 cm (!) since yesterday. If that amount of inflation is caused by more magma arriving from depth into shallower reservoirs than what is erupting, it would fit the picture of less activity at the vents.
It also fits the observation that the volcanic tremor remains high, at similar levels as the past days, meaning that the system is still being supplied sign significant amounts of magma each day.

What is not easy to interpret in this model is that earthquakes have decreased significantly in numbers at the same time. Compared to the past days'average, less than half as many quakes occurred in the past 24 hours, "only" about one hundred... To add to all this, one of the strongest quakes so far at magnitude 4.8 or 4.9 occurred this afternoon at 5.25 p.m. at 40 km depth. It was widely felt on the whole island.

Previous news

Show more
Try our free app!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Android | iOS version

More on VolcanoDiscovery

Why is there advertising on this site?
Support us - Help us upgrade our services!
We truly love working to bring you the latest volcano and earthquake data from around the world. Maintaining our website and our free apps does require, however, considerable time and resources.
We need financing to increase hard- and software capacity as well as support our editor team. We're aiming to achieve uninterrupted service wherever an earthquake or volcano eruption unfolds, and your donations can make it happen! Every donation will be highly appreciated. If you find the information useful and would like to support our team in integrating further features, write great content, and in upgrading our soft- and hardware, please make a donation (PayPal or Online credit card payment).

Planned features:
  • Improved multilanguage support
  • Tsunami alerts
  • Faster responsiveness
Thanks to your past donations, these features have been added recently:
  • Earthquake archive from 1900 onwards
  • Detailed quake stats
  • Additional seismic data sources
Download and Upgrade the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic and volcano alerts online:
Android | IOS
Thank you!
Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most texts and images, in particular photographs, on this website are protected by copyright. Further reproduction and use of without authorization is usually not consented. If you are not sure or need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.
Home | Travel | Destinations | Volcanoes | Photos | Earthquakes | About | Glossary | News | Contact | Privacy | Imprint | EN | DE | EL | ES | FR | IT | RU
Follow us:Follow us on facebookFollow us on InstagramFollow us on TwitterVisit our Youtube channel