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La Palma volcano eruption update: activity drops for the moment, but new surge of magma likely to arrive in the near future

Thu, 2 Dec 2021, 16:51
16:51 PM | BY: T
Weak activity at the vents on La Palma this evening, maybe the calm before the storm... (image: Canarias TV live stream)
Weak activity at the vents on La Palma this evening, maybe the calm before the storm... (image: Canarias TV live stream)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Ground deformation at LP03 station showing the new uplift (image: IGN)
Ground deformation at LP03 station showing the new uplift (image: IGN)
Current tremor amplitude since start of eruption (image: IGN)
Current tremor amplitude since start of eruption (image: IGN)
After the surge of magma during the past days, the activity has now dropped again significantly, but there is a new signal of ground uplift, which suggests that a new batch of magma is on the rise and currently being stored and likely to come out as a new surge probably in the next days... There is certainly no sign of the eruption ending soon.

Even if it has been gradually decreasing today, the explosive and effusive activity from the new (as well, to a lesser extent from the old) vents are continuing. Volcanic tremor remains comparably high and has strong temporary peaks, indicating magma flux remains significant.
This morning, ash plumes rose to 1,900 m and drifted into southerly and southwesterly directions over the ocean (leaving the airport free). Lava flows continued to be active near the new vents and along the path towards La Laguna. Some of the older lava tubes also remain active with smaller breakouts mostly in the central area of the flow field, but no or very little lava is currently reaching the ocean entries.

The intense lava fountaining has already created a new cone adjacent and now morphologically likely soon merging with the main cone. Several lava flows descended from the vent area over a steep slope into the area of Tacande and the northern margin of the existing lava flow field.
The new lava flow was labelled #12 and is in parts parallel to #8 and downslope joins or overlies it. On its way, ti covered new areas and destroyed additional buildings, unfortunately. As of yesterday evening, its active fronts were located about 800 meters from La Laguna.

Latest data
The area covered by lava flows stands at 11.5 square kilometers and has a maximum width of 3,350 meters. It is estimated that 1,548 buildings have been destroyed according to counts from the government, although satellite data suggest a much higher count of 2,860 buildings destroyed or damaged so far.

Seismicity remains intense, although has decreased after peaking during the day before yesterday and yesterday, when nearly 400 quakes were recorded on each day. During the past 24 hours, there were “only” about 150 quakes of magnitudes above 2. The strongest quake was a widely felt magnitude 4.2 quake at 11 km depth this morning at 5.14 a.m.
The locations of the earthquakes remain the same, clustered in two layers, one between 30-40 km depth and the other one at shallow depths between 10-15 km, both under the central part of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. It is thought that these are the main storage areas of the magma feeding the eruption.

Previous news

Thu, 2 Dec 2021, 12:58
Lava fountain from the new vent at La Palma last evening (image: INVOLCAN)
Last night, activity increased and to sustained lava fountains from the main vent of the new vent system on the northeastern side of the cone: Read all
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