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La Palma, Canary Islands: eruption Sep 2021 - archived updates 26 Sep - 16 Oct

Updated: Dec 1, 2022 02:28 GMT -

Largest so far quake at magnitude 4.6 this morning

Update Sat 16 Oct 2021 05:17
Seismic trace of this morning's magnitude 4.6 quake (image: IGN)
Seismic trace of this morning's magnitude 4.6 quake (image: IGN)
At 5.41 a.m., the largest-so-far quake shook the island with a magnitude 4.6. It was felt all over the island.
As the other larger quakes, it was located deep under Cumbre Vieja volcano, at 37 km depth. The interpretation of the these deep and often comparably larger quakes in relationship with the ongoing eruption is still matter of debate.
Update Fri 15 Oct 2021 21:30
Latest map of the lava flows as on 15 Oct noon local time (image: visor.grafcan.es/visorweb)
Latest map of the lava flows as on 15 Oct noon local time (image: visor.grafcan.es/visorweb)

Earthquakes continue to increase

Update Fri 15 Oct 2021 09:39
Location of this morning's magnitude 4.5 quake under La Palma
Location of this morning's magnitude 4.5 quake under La Palma
The largest-so-far quake occurred two hours ago, a magnitude 4.5 tremor at 36 km beneath the center of Cumbre Vieja volcano. It was felt all over the island.


Frequent lava surges from crater

Update Fri 15 Oct 2021 07:42
Lava surge from the crater at La Palma this morning (image: live cam)
Lava surge from the crater at La Palma this morning (image: live cam)
The effusive and explosive activity continue at elevated levels. During the night and this morning, frequent lava surges have occurred at the crater.
Large amounts of lava can be seen flowing out in surges from the breached crater, covering the lower northwestern flanks of the cone with sheet-like flows.
These lava flood events are likely caused by partial collapses at or around the lower vent in particular: it can be seen producing constant, pulsating, voluminous lava fountains, while degassed lava flows out from its base. This activity leads to constant changes in morphology of the crater area by rapid accumulation of material in the vicinity of the vents; the newly formed structures at times becomes too steep or otherwise unstable, then collapses. When this happens, larger amounts of lava that had been confined behind temporary dams can escape quickly, causing the observed surges.
Link: Live webcam stream on youtube

La Palma volcano eruption update: worrying developments as quakes and ground inflation pick up

Thu, 14 Oct 2021, 14:53
14:53 PM | BY: T
Lava fountaining from La Palma this afternoon (image: kimedia.es live cam)
Lava fountaining from La Palma this afternoon (image: kimedia.es live cam)
Quakes under La Palma during the past 24 hours
Quakes under La Palma during the past 24 hours
Latest lava flow map (image: IGME)
Latest lava flow map (image: IGME)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Ground deformation at LP03 station (image: IGN)
Ground deformation at LP03 station (image: IGN)
The situation on the island remains intense; activity at the cone has remained more or less the same as in the past days, with pulsating lava fountaining from the main vents and effusion of a surface lava flow from the breached crater.
At 2.15 p.m. local time, a collapse in the crater created another surge of lava through the northwestern breach of the crater, as the following video of INVOLCAN shows:
An ash plume is rising 3 km from the crater and intermittently affects the airport's operations.
Traveling to the island by air remains a gamble. A flight of Ryanair was reported to be forced to return without landing when it met an ash plume during descend to La Palma while some other flights have managed to land and others still were canceled.

Tremor and magma effusion rate remain high
More lava than visible at the vent is going directly into lava tubes that feed various parts of the flow field downslope, most notably a number of active flow fronts along the northern margin. Some lava flows are now only about 500 m from the center of La Laguna, while another arm is likely to create a new sea entry.
The volcanic tremor remains unchanged at high levels, in tandem with the inferred eruption rate of magma reaching the surface.

Earthquakes and inflation increase
More worrying, the earthquakes have picked up again noticeably during the past 24 hours: there was again a quake at magnitude 4.2, 26 quakes between 3.0 and 4.0, and 87 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0, almost double the number of yesterday.
In addition, inflation near the current vent area has again picked up, suggesting that more magma is being added in the underground reservoir than is currently being erupted. This could (but not must) herald a phase of even increased lava effusion in the near future, or, even worse, the opening of new vents in new areas.
The sulfur dioxide emissions remain very elevated as well, at approx. 17,000 tons per day, creating lots of volcanic fog ("vog") in the area with bad air quality in the valley as result.

New evacuations ordered in La Laguna

Update Thu 14 Oct 2021 06:37
Map of affected areas to evacuate nea La Laguna
Map of affected areas to evacuate nea La Laguna
As the lava flows expand and advance closer to La Laguna along the northern margins of the lava flow fields, the government, following the PEVOLCA plan, ordered new evacuations in the most threatened areas of eastern La Laguna:
The affected area is to the south of Camino de La Cruz Chica at the junction with Camino Los Campitos, along with Camino Morro Cabrito until reaching the LP-2, in Los Llanos de Aridane.

La Palma volcano eruption update: eruption continues with high effusion rates

Wed, 13 Oct 2021, 17:33
17:33 PM | BY: T
View of the active cone this evening (image: live webcam)
View of the active cone this evening (image: live webcam)
Seismic recording of TBT station today (image: IGN)
Seismic recording of TBT station today (image: IGN)
Aerial image of the lava flows approachig the coast (image author unknown)
Aerial image of the lava flows approachig the coast (image author unknown)
Latest lava flow map (image: IGME)
Latest lava flow map (image: IGME)
The eruption continues at high levels with no significant changes, and no end in sight.
At the vent, mild to moderate lava fountains generating ash columns rising to approx. 3000 m altitude, and lava flow emissions continue. The lava flows continue to expand the flow field at various fronts, in particular along the northern margins, where they slowly approach La Laguna.
Volcanic tremor remains high, suggesting that magma discharge rates remain high. According to the latest figures, the maximum width of the main lava flow is now 1,770 meters. 1,408 buildings have been destroyed or damaged, and approx. 6,400 people have been displaced. Most of them found temporary homes with friends or relatives, while a few hundred are accommodated in the Princess hotel in Fuencaliente.
Sulfur dioxide emissions, another indicator of magma supply rate (as the gas is released from fresh magma early on), is very high, estimated in the order of 17,000 tons per day.

La Palma volcano eruption update: strongest-so-far quake hits at magnitude 4.4

Wed, 13 Oct 2021, 14:57
14:57 PM | BY: T
Seismic trace of TBT station of the quake (black peak; image: IGN)
Seismic trace of TBT station of the quake (black peak; image: IGN)
Location of this afternoon's 4.4 quake on La Palma
Location of this afternoon's 4.4 quake on La Palma
The strongest so far earthquake, at magnitude 4.4, hit the island this afternoon at 3.33 p.m. about 20 minutes ago. Its location was at approx. 36 km depth under the central part of Cumbre Vieja volcano.
The tremor was widely felt on the island. Other than this, seismic activity has remained at similar levels as yesterday. During the past 24 hours, there were 19 quakes between 3.0 and 4.0, and 47 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0. Smaller quakes - certainly there are hundreds of such - can currently not be detected as they are hidden in the strong volcanic tremor.

Eruption shows no signs of weakening

Update Tue 12 Oct 2021 15:16
Lava fountain and lava flow today at La Palma (12 Oct, image: kimedia live webcam)
Lava fountain and lava flow today at La Palma (12 Oct, image: kimedia live webcam)
Current seismic signal TBT station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal TBT station (image: IGN)
The activity has been stable during the past 24 hours. At the cone, pulsating lava fountains continued from the more or less merged vents inside its crater generating an ash plume rising to approx. 3,500 m altitude and drifting towards southerly directions. Thanks to the trade wind regime avoiding ash drifting over to the east coast, the airport of La Palma airport is operational again today, but 11 flights were cancelled and others delayed, according to local news.
Volcanic tremor remains high. It has increased a bit compared to previous days, suggesting continued high effusion rates of magma. No significant ground deformation was detected, meaning that magma arriving into the system is balanced by the magma being erupted as lava. In other words, the eruption seems in a stable phase at the moment.
While most lava is going directly into lava tubes feeding various parts of the flow field further downslope, a surface flow remains active from the cone's opening to the west, sneaking its way along the northern margins of the flow field. Most growth of the lava field was from active flow fronts along the northern margins, threatening so far untouched areas north of Todoque and near La Laguna.
Additional 700-800 people from this area were ordered to evacuate their houses, local press reported:
"We have been obliged to evacuate a new area. The lava is advancing slowly. People should have time to take their documents, their personal items and anything of value," said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of Pevolca, according to an article in TRTWorld.

Earthquakes:
The numbers of quakes remains elevated, but has decreased to about 50% of what it had been a few days ago. During the past 24 hours, there were 2 quakes of magnitude 4.0 or above, 19 quakes between 3.0 and 4.0, and 49 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0. The locations of the quakes remain the same at 10-15 km depth beneath the central part of Cumbre Vieja volcano, with no clear trend of quakes becoming shallower or migrating side-wise.
Their exact meaning is unknown, but the most accepted interpretation is that they reflect magma intruding into that area, which in this case acts as refilling the magma storage system. This might help explain why the eruption has been continuing at remarkably steady effusion rates for three and a half week now.
Update Tue 12 Oct 2021 15:22
Latest map of the lava flows (image: info.igme.es)
Latest map of the lava flows (image: info.igme.es)

La Palma volcano eruption update: high lava effusion rates, new lava arm at the sea, speculation about seismic activity

Mon, 11 Oct 2021, 10:33
10:33 AM | BY: T
Lava fountain, ash emission and lava flow today at noon (image: Live webcam)
Lava fountain, ash emission and lava flow today at noon (image: Live webcam)
Map of lava flows as of yesterday afternoon (image: x_y_es / twitter)
Map of lava flows as of yesterday afternoon (image: x_y_es / twitter)
Seismic spectrum at TBT station yesterday showing the tremor at 18 Hz (image: IGN)
Seismic spectrum at TBT station yesterday showing the tremor at 18 Hz (image: IGN)
Today, the eruption continues with steady lava fountaining from the lower vent and strong degassing and ash emission from the upper vents, but is much less noisy compared to yesterday, to the relief of people living in the area many of whom were terrorized by the extreme noise of the eruption in recent days.
The decrease of sound intensity is however not an indication of what state the eruption is in its deeper underground. It is mostly reflecting how gasses can escape and interact with the ambient air at the very surface. The decrease of eruption sound is likely due to an enlargement of the upper conduits after several collapses and other changes occurred at the vents, which now are in a more stable configuration to allow the passage of magma in a more unobstructed way. It probably has no significance as to the eruption's effusion rate, which continued to be very high. The past day's activity changed the morphology of the main cone quite a bit, by accumulation of falling material from the mountains, as well as overlapping lava flows.
The result is that the cone overall grew significantly and most lava now is going into the northern flow, which has been following the northern margin of the flow field, causing lots of additional damage in the past 48 hours. It reached the sea last night around 22.55 p.m., after passing north Montaña de Todoque (the cinder cone near Todoque, already half circled by lava flows on the southern side).
Lava threatens La Laguna
Forming a rather narrow front, its rate of advance was very fast, at about 500-700 m per hour. It is now hoped that its channel or tube system will remain stable to direct the lava straight into the ocean instead of widening the flow or branching off, which would put the town of La Laguna at risk.

Seismic activity shows worrying signs
According to a post of a geoscience page VolcanesyScienciaHoy on facebook based in Tenerife, the current seismic activity points towards that more magma is moving upwards, as indicated by 3 factors:
- several earthquakes appeared at depths less than 7-8-9 km;
- after the 4.2 quake two days ago, there have been episodes of spasmodic tremor with many earthquakes in a row that indicate movement of magma in depth;
- since yesterday, the appearance of strong volcanic tremor at around 18 Hz frequency thought to be caused by depressurization of fluids at great depth around 10 km;
If these interpretations hold, there should soon be noticeable ground uplift visible in the GPS stations (which, so far, is not the case). What will next happen, when this new magma pulse reaches the surface, is unknown. In the best scenario, the current conduits will continue to cope with it and the magma will erupt from the existing vents. In the worst scenario, magma could open new fissures in a different area, even after another potential pause of the eruption should it occur. In a scenario in between, new fissures might open near the existing vents, and new lava would erupt onto existing lava fields.
No one can predict the future, but for sure the evolution of the eruption will be a highly interesting one and the experience intense for everyone involved, in one way or another.

Earthquake activity and volcanic tremor remain intense

Update Mon 11 Oct 2021 09:50
Earthquakes and depths under La Palma during the past 48 hours
Earthquakes and depths under La Palma during the past 48 hours
Seismic trace and spectrum TBT station (image: IGN)
Seismic trace and spectrum TBT station (image: IGN)
The seismic activity under the island remains intense, but the quakes remain clustered in the same areas as before with no clear trend visible.
During the past 24 hours, there were 3 quakes of magnitude 4.0 or above, the largest being a widely felt magnitude 4.3 event last nigh at 10.46 p.m. In addition, there were 34 quakes between 3.0 and 4.0, and 88 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0. Most quakes occurred at depths around 10-15 km beneath the center of Cumbre Vieja, the same area affected early on in the earthquake swarm preceding the eruption, while a few, including the stronger ones above magnitude 4 occurred at depths of 35-40 km beneath the island.
The currently preferred interpretation remains that new batches of magma intrude into the deeper reservoirs currently feeding the eruption, but the absence of significant shallower quakes, along with the stagnant trend of ground deformation, suggests that the conduits towards the surface are open and able to cope with the supposed supply of magma at the moment. In other words, it is unlikely - at least right now - that the eruption opens new fissures in other areas.
Volcanic tremor remains similar, high levels as during the past days. This indicates that the magma effusion rate, likely in the order of 50-100 cubic meters per second, remains high.

Strong explosions, lava flows advance at the northern and western flow field

Update Sun 10 Oct 2021 12:33
Ash plume from La Palma's eruption this morning (image: Victor Melo / VolcanesDeCanarias.org)
Ash plume from La Palma's eruption this morning (image: Victor Melo / VolcanesDeCanarias.org)
View of the crater around noon (image: Canarias TV livestream)
View of the crater around noon (image: Canarias TV livestream)
Current tremor signal since yesterday (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal since yesterday (image: INGV Catania)
Earthquakes under La Palma during the past 3 days (image: IGN)
Earthquakes under La Palma during the past 3 days (image: IGN)
The eruption continues at similar levels as during the past days. Explosions have been stronger and near constant this morning, our correspondent on location reported: "Highly noisy, energetic and sustained explosions began. Vibration of soil, vehicles and windows can be felt in the entire range of more than 5-6 km" around the vents.
Suggested by ongoing elevated tremor, lava effusion rates remain high. New lava arms have advanced at the western fronts at the coast and the existing ocean entry as well as in the upper northern margin, where tongues of lava flows have reached the Calle Principal de Tajuya where industrial buildings are located.
Deformation of the ground has remained stable, with a weak trend of deflation in some points. Earthquakes continued to increase slowly in numbers and intensity, though. During the past 24 hours, there was 1 quake of magnitude 4.1, 50 quakes between 3.0 and 3.9, and 100 quakes between 2.0 and 2.9. The quakes remain clustered at 10-15 km depth beneath the central part of the volcano, with a few events at various locations at 35-40 km depth in the upper mantle beneath the island.
Update Sun 10 Oct 2021 12:35
Latest map of the lava flows (image: info.igme.es)
Latest map of the lava flows (image: info.igme.es)

Airport open again

Update Sat 09 Oct 2021 16:44
After a change in wind, AENA informed that the airport of La Palma is now clean and in operation again!
Update Sat 09 Oct 2021 16:42
A short video showing the ocean entry last night, taken by Guardia Civil:

Lava flow map as of Oct 7, 2021

Update Sat 09 Oct 2021 16:39
Copernicus EMS published the latest map of lava flows.
Map of lava flows as of Oct 7 around noon (image: Copernicus EMS / Twitter)
Map of lava flows as of Oct 7 around noon (image: Copernicus EMS / Twitter)

First set of images from the eruption

Update Sat 09 Oct 2021 16:34
Lava fountain and lava flow on 24 Sep 2021
Lava fountain and lava flow on 24 Sep 2021
Eruption column on 24 Sep 2021
Eruption column on 24 Sep 2021
Tall lava fountain on 23 Sep 2021
Tall lava fountain on 23 Sep 2021
In chronological order, we start presenting pictures taken during the eruption between our stay during 22 Sep - 5 Oct, illustrating the evolution and some other aspects of the eruption.

Video of the new lava arm descending Camino de los Campitos:


La Palma volcano eruption update: intense ash emissions and continued lava effusion

Sat, 9 Oct 2021, 10:33
10:33 AM | BY: T
Tall ash plume from La Palma volcano this morning (image: Victor Melo)
Tall ash plume from La Palma volcano this morning (image: Victor Melo)
Tremor amplitude from the eruption so far (image: IGN)
Tremor amplitude from the eruption so far (image: IGN)
The eruption has been producing more ash today, generating a dense ash column rising several kilometers and drifting slowly towards the southeast, thus affecting again the airport.
Our correspondent Víctor Melo from the Volcanes de Canarias Association who is on location reports less vigorous explosions and lava fountaining compared to yesterday, but stronger ash emissions:

Volcanic tremor remains at similar levels as during the past day, although a weak decreasing trend continues. Lava discharge rates remain high, and the fronts near and at the coast have been reported to continue to advance.

Earthquakes continue at high numbers and with increasing magnitudes: the first few magnitude 4+ events occurred during the past 48 hours, but there is no trend visible as to their locations. They are still mostly at 10-15 km depth beneath the volcano's center and a few at deeper levels of around 35 km. So far, these quake do not suggest that new vents are about to form, but hint at continued magma supply from deeper reservoirs.
During the past 24 hours, there was 1 quake of magnitude 4.2, 22 quakes between 3.0 and 3.9, and 61 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0.

Eruption increases, explosions becoming stronger

Update Fri 08 Oct 2021 11:12
Ground vibrations from explosions at La Palma today (8 Oct 2021)
Ground vibrations from explosions at La Palma today (8 Oct 2021)
During the past hours, the eruption has been becoming stronger, our correspondent Victor from the Canarian volcanological society Volcanes de Canarias reported.
Strong ground vibrations can be felt in nearby areas, such as shown in the video taken from Tacande, at 3 km distance, taken a short time ago:

Airport of Tenerife North affected by ash from La Palma

Update Fri 08 Oct 2021 09:06
The ash plume from La Palma is threatening the airport operation of Tenerife North; some flights have been diverted to Tenerife South as consequence and operation of the North airport remains questionable if not unlikely in the coming hours.

La Palma volcano eruption update: activity stays elevated, second lava arm at coast, airport closed

Fri, 8 Oct 2021, 08:46
08:46 AM | BY: T
The new lava branch at the coast south of the previous delta (image: Canarian Government drone video)
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)
Tremor amplitude from the eruption so far (image: IGN / Twitter)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Recent quakes under La Palma (image: IGN)
Recent quakes under La Palma (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.
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.

Beautiful image of lava tubes

Update Fri 08 Oct 2021 03:27
Lava tubes at Cumbre Vieja volcano (image: INVOLCAN)
Lava tubes at Cumbre Vieja volcano (image: INVOLCAN)
Stunning picture of lava tubes was taken by the volcano observatory INVOLCAN.
Lava tubes are volcanological phenomena that extend the distance which a flow field can reach.

Magnificent aerial image of new branch and delta

Update Fri 08 Oct 2021 03:05
Aerial photo shows the tongue (right) of the main lava (left) extending south-southwest direction (image: @RTVCes/twitter)
Aerial photo shows the tongue (right) of the main lava (left) extending south-southwest direction (image: @RTVCes/twitter)
As we reported in the latest news, the main lava flow has formed the new branch located south of Todoque affecting banana crops, water tanks and some buildings.

New lava breakouts south of the main flow

Update Thu 07 Oct 2021 19:00
New lava flow map published by X-Y.es @x_y_es / twitter)
New lava flow map published by X-Y.es @x_y_es / twitter)
The latest lava flow map from earlier today shows the new lava breakouts south of Todoque. The lava field grew 30 hectares in 17 hours (red zones), reaching now more than 470 hectares in total size.
A spectacular thermal image showing the delta on 5 Oct can be found in this tweet:
Update Thu 07 Oct 2021 16:01
Ash from the eruption has again reached the airport, forcing it to close. This situation is likely to continue until Saturday...
Update Thu 07 Oct 2021 15:57
The main lava flow has formed a new branch that is currently directed towards the area between the beach of Los Guirres and El Charcón, affecting banana crops, water tanks and some buildings.
Despite rumors, there is no indication of new vents having formed or about to form.

Strongest-so-far quake at magnitude 4.3 hits 35 km under eastern flank

Update Thu 07 Oct 2021 12:45
Location of today's magnitude 4.3 quake under Cumbre Vieja's east flank
Location of today's magnitude 4.3 quake under Cumbre Vieja's east flank
The largest-so-far earthquake occurred an hour ago under the eastern flank at 35 km depth. Its magnitude was measured at 4.3 according to IGN and it was felt on most of the island.
What the increase in quakes and their location in the upper mantle mean in relationship with the eruption is difficult to say, but likely will become more evident in the future, along with more data such as overall seismicity and ground deformation in particular.
One scenario is that they reflect deep magma intrusions, which could further rise and aliment the shallower magma plumbing system currently feeding the eruption.

Eruption continues with lava flows and ash emissions, earthquakes picking up again

Update Thu 07 Oct 2021 07:30
View of the eruption on La Palma this morning (image: Canarias TV live stream)
View of the eruption on La Palma this morning (image: Canarias TV live stream)
Volcanic tremor amplitude since start of eruption (image: IGN)
Volcanic tremor amplitude since start of eruption (image: IGN)
Seismic trace and spectrum TBT station (image: IGN)
Seismic trace and spectrum TBT station (image: IGN)
The eruption continues in a similar way as during the previous days. Lava fountaining with strong ash emissions as well as lava flows occurs from 3 main vents aligned in the crater, and tremor intensity has been more or less stable.
The new lava flows have not changed the flow field's surface significantly, but mostly overlap older flows, thickening it. A significant part of the erupted lava goes into a tube system that feeds the flow field downslope including the lava delta that mostly continues to grow slowly on its northern margin.
After a decrease yesterday, earthquakes under the central part of Cumbre Vieja volcano at 10-15 km depth have again picked up, and included the strongest-so-far quake at magnitude 3.9, which occurred 9 hours ago.
In total, IGN registered 32 quakes of magnitudes 3.0-3.9 and 54 quakes of magnitudes 2.0-2.9 during the past 24 hours.
Update Thu 07 Oct 2021 07:21
The latest lava flow map of the eruption on La Palma (image: IGME)
The latest lava flow map of the eruption on La Palma (image: IGME)

Ash plume from La Palma featured in NASA's Earth Observatory

Update Thu 07 Oct 2021 07:13
Concentric gravity waves of the plume on 1 Oct 2021
Concentric gravity waves of the plume on 1 Oct 2021
Ash plume on 4 Oct
Ash plume on 4 Oct
NASA dedicated an article to two wonderful satellite images showing the ash plume and concentric waves in the plume visible on 1 and 4 Oct 2021: Ash and Cloud Rings Over La Palma

No significant changes over night, intensity of eruption decreases

Update Wed 06 Oct 2021 09:33
View of the eruption on La Palma this morning (image: Canarias TV live stream)
View of the eruption on La Palma this morning (image: Canarias TV live stream)
Depth vs time of quakes under La Palma
Depth vs time of quakes under La Palma
Deformation from LP03 station (IGN)
Deformation from LP03 station (IGN)
The activity continues more or less at the same level as described last night. Pulsating lava fountaining with strong ash emissions occur from the main vent at the summit crater, while lava effusion is visible from the lower vent.
The lava flow field has not changed much. Earthquakes have been less frequent during the past 24 hours, and there is now a trend of deflation, which could mean that the magma chamber pressure finally started to sink.
Overall, the intensity of the eruption has been slowly decreasing, although this can of course change again. But at least, these are reasons to hope for the people living in the area that the eruption might be calming down sooner than later.

La Palma volcano eruption update: lava fountains decrease, but overall activity remains high

Tue, 5 Oct 2021, 23:48
23:48 PM | BY: T
Ash plume from the La Palma eruption on the evening of 5 Oct 2021
Ash plume from the La Palma eruption on the evening of 5 Oct 2021
Lava flows illuminate the scene of the eruption
Lava flows illuminate the scene of the eruption
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
The eruption continued with no significant changes today, although the visible and audible intensity tended to decrease. The lava fountain from the summit vents was more pulsating and less intense, but still produced a lot of ash, which formed a plume that rose 2-3 km and drifted in westerly directions.
The lower vent on the middle of the cone's southwestern slope, which had been the site of abundant lava emission in the past week, was again more active today. Most of the time, it was producing a liquid fountain sometimes tens of meters high and feeding a channeled lava flow visible traveling towards Tacande, but following the same path as previous ones.
Video:

Volcanic tremor remains at steady high levels with no significant variations, suggesting that the effusion rate of magma remains high; much of the lava erupted probably is going directly into lava tubes in order to feed the lava flows further downslope, and invisible in the vent area.
Earthquake activity remains elevated, with frequent tremors around magnitudes of 3 at 10-15 km depth beneath the volcano's summit.

La Palma volcano eruption already biggest on the island in more than 100 years

Tue, 5 Oct 2021, 10:08
10:08 AM | BY: T
Lava fountain and flow this morning at La Palma (image: Canarias TV)
Lava fountain and flow this morning at La Palma (image: Canarias TV)
Latest lava flow map (image: IGME)
Latest lava flow map (image: IGME)
The historic lava flow deltas (image: Gobierno Canarias)
The historic lava flow deltas (image: Gobierno Canarias)
SO2 plume from La Palma eruption hovering over the Canary islands and the Atlantic (image: Copernicus)
SO2 plume from La Palma eruption hovering over the Canary islands and the Atlantic (image: Copernicus)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Earthquakes under La Palma during the past 3 days (image: IGN)
Earthquakes under La Palma during the past 3 days (image: IGN)
The eruption continues without significant changes this morning, with lava fountaining at the main vent, ash rising a 2-3 km and slowly drifting southwest, as well as a new lava flow from the now breached crater.
Already now, with only little more than two weeks of activity, it is significantly bigger than the two previous eruptions on the island during the past 100 years. The volume of erupted lava was estimated at 80 million cubic meters last Friday, and now probably more in the range of 100-120 million m3, surpasses both the eruptions of San Juan (1949, with 55 million m3 lava) and Teneguia (1971, 43 million m3 lava).
Latest data
According to the latest data, the lava flows have covered more than 400 hectares of land, including 31 km of roads and destroyed more than 1000 buildings. The lava flows reach a maximum width of 1250 meters, and have a height of 8-50 meters. The slowly growing sea delta forms a peninsula about 40 hectares, and adds to the southwestern coastal western plains formed by recent volcanic eruptions.
It was estimated that the eruption has so far emitted 250,000 tons of sulphur dioxide (SO2). The plume has been hovering around the Canary Islands, North Africa, the Mediterranean, parts of it drifted over the Atlantic, even reaching the Caribbean to the west and the Arctic in the north.

Deeper earthquakes appear
Earthquakes continue to occur and have been slowly increasing in numbers and magnitudes approaching magnitudes of 4.0 now. During the past 24 hours, there have been 31 quakes of magnitudes 3.0-3.9 and 47 quakes between 2.0 and 2.9, while smaller quakes cannot be detected due to the volcanic tremor noise.
While most of the quakes are still 10-15 km deep under the central area of the volcano, a cluster of new, deeper quakes has appeared at depths around 35 km under the northeastern flank. What these mean is uncertain, but they might reflect even deeper magma intrusions in the upper mantle, perhaps suggesting that a magma supply system is establishing itself from a very deep source. That in turn could mean that the eruption could be going on for a very long time.
At the ground, deformation rates seem to have been more or less stagnant, which means that magma intruding is balanced off by lava being erupted, or, in other words, the eruption is stable at the moment.

La Palma volcano update: new digital model of active cone

Update Tue 05 Oct 2021 02:37
Digital model of the eruptive cone at the volcano (image: @Pg_Scarlato/twitter)
Digital model of the eruptive cone at the volcano (image: @Pg_Scarlato/twitter)
The Canarias volcano observatory INVOLVCAN Volcanology Institute collaborates with INGV from Italy on the current activity at the volcano.
Italian observatory did many drone surveys over the last week to get a new digital model of the active cone that can be found in the attached file.

Strong ash emissions, field report

Update Tue 05 Oct 2021 00:39
Lava fountain and ash plume rising from the crater at La Palma volcano during the afternoon of 4 Oct 2021
Lava fountain and ash plume rising from the crater at La Palma volcano during the afternoon of 4 Oct 2021
During most of today (Oct 4), the volcano produced a dense ash column that rose 2-3 km and drifted south or southwest, sparing the El Paso area this time. Lava flows continued to advance a bit both at the sea entry and widening some of the margins of the existing flow field.
At the growing cone, activity remained intense. The summit vents seem to have more or less merged to one main vent in the central depression of the cone, probably as a consequence of the partial collapse yesterday, and were producing a pulsating lava fountain. The fountains were still tall, but slightly less vigorous and more pulsating in nature compared to previous days.
Video:

The lower vents at the cone, including the separated effusive vent north of the cone, were no longer seen to be as active as before or even stopped. Visible lava flow activity on the slopes of the cone was nearly absent and further downslope seemed to have decreased.
From around 9 p.m., the lava fountaining activity shifted towards more intermittent pulses along with large gas/lava bubble explosions generating shock waves, and ejecting lava bombs in circular directions from the crater, probably reaching distances of 1 km or more, including areas where scientific and security workers routinely need to go. Fog prevented detailed observations after around 10 p.m., but strong explosion sounds could be heard from many kilometers distance.

La Palma volcano eruption update: voluminous lava flows invade the cone's flanks as crater area partially collapses

Mon, 4 Oct 2021, 11:58
11:58 AM | BY: T
Lava fountain and lava flows from the vent at La Palma last night
Lava fountain and lava flows from the vent at La Palma last night
Seismic signal since yesterday (image: IGN)
Seismic signal since yesterday (image: IGN)
Ash plume this morning (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Ash plume this morning (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Earthquakes under La Palma during the past 3 days (image: IGN)
Earthquakes under La Palma during the past 3 days (image: IGN)
Strong lava fountaining and effusion of lava flows continue at similarly high levels as during the past days, along with the generation of an ash plume that rises approx. 2 km and drifts southeast.
Yesterday afternoon, a portion of the southwestern crater area collapsed, effectively creating an elongated depression where the summit vents are aligned. A flood of lava poured onto the western flank as a result, and for some time, the lower vent (the one that formed 10 days ago on the SW flank) produced violent dome-shaped liquid lava fountains.
Later on, this vent decreased the fountaining activity, while one of the adjacent higher summit vents began to produce pulsating, very tall lava fountains reaching approx. 500-600 m:

The effusive vent beyond the NW foot of the cone seemed to have decreased its activity a lot, perhaps due to crusting over and tunneling of the lava flow.

Volcanic tremor remains stable at high levels. Earthquakes have increased in number and average size. During the past 24 hours, there were 22 quakes of magnitudes 3.0-3.7, many of them felt in the area. Additionally, 44 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0. occurred, while there are probably hundreds of smaller quakes as well that cannot be detected within the signal dominated by the tremor.
All in all, the situation remains tense, and it's impossible to predict what will happen next.

Latest lava flow map

Update Mon 04 Oct 2021 11:14
Lava flow map as of 4 Oct morning (image: Spanish Geological Survey, IGME)
Lava flow map as of 4 Oct morning (image: Spanish Geological Survey, IGME)

La Palma volcano eruption update: eruption continues with vigorous lava fountaining and voluminous lava flows

Sun, 3 Oct 2021, 10:24
10:24 AM | BY: T
Lava fountain from the NW summit vent at La Palma last night (image: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Lava fountain from the NW summit vent at La Palma last night (image: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Volcanic tremor amplitude (image: IGN)
Volcanic tremor amplitude (image: IGN)
Latest lava flow map (image: Copernicus)
Latest lava flow map (image: Copernicus)
Recent quakes under La Palma (image: IGN)
Recent quakes under La Palma (image: IGN)
The valley seen from El Time last night
The valley seen from El Time last night
The eruption continues at impressive intensity. The lava output rate remains very high and volcanic tremor is stable at high levels.
The new lava flow from the separated vents just below the northwestern base of the erupting cone slowly make their way through so-far untouched land north of the existing flow field, destroying additional buildings and other infrastructure so far spared. The flow forms an impressive channel of approx. 50 m width and there is no explosive activity at its vent. (Check the latest lava flow maps in high res at the Copernicus mapping site)
At the cone itself, approx. 8 vents in total are active producing several lava flows, some of which seem to go directly into lava tubes, others overlapping older flows or feeding more or less stable lava channels. Some of the lava still finds its way to the sea entry, which is growing slowly.
The upper vents produce tall pulsating lava fountains, with moderate ash plumes. When observed yesterday evening, the lower vent on the NW flank of the cone, which had been a site of near-constant low, liquid fountaining gradually ceased to produce fountains, but it seems that the energy then went to the NW summit vent, which started an impressive show of violent, near vertical fountaining reaching 3-500 m height:

A total of approx. 50 million cubic meters of lava have been emplaced so far, much more than originally estimated the eruption would be able to produce. This likely has to do with the continued earthquake activity that could suggest magma supply from a deeper source.

Earthquake activity continues
The quake activity is quite intense. During the past 48 hours, the monitoring institute recorded 22 quakes of magnitudes 3.0-3.6, most of them felt, and 45 quakes between magnitudes from 2.0-2.9. There are many more smaller quakes, but due to the strong tremor signal of the eruption acting as high background noise, they cannot be detected in the data.
The earthquakes are currently located mostly at 10-15 km depth beneath the southern part of the island, in a similar region as the earthquakes in the beginning of the seismic swarm that preceded the eruption. This is the area between the upper mantle and crust of the island, where magma from the deeper source intrudes into the volcanic edifice.
There is no clear trend visible in the location of the quakes; they seem to remain stationary in this area, which might be explained that the new intrusions that likely occur there are able to use the existing pathways of magma through the island edifice. If there is a continuous supply from the mantle source, the eruption could last for much longer than expected, but this is speculation.

Interesting atmospheric inversion around La Palma

Update Sat 02 Oct 2021 10:53
Satellite view of La Palma yesterday showing the circular eruption plume
Satellite view of La Palma yesterday showing the circular eruption plume
Yesterday's satellite image shows beautifully the circular eruption plume from the ongoing eruption, generating concentric wave patterns due to the absence of wind in combination with the rising column of ash and hot air from the eruption.
It also shows a typical weather pattern for the island: The normal north-east trade winds near the ground caused a cloud barrier east of La Palma, leaving the west side free of clouds. Above a first inversion layer, located between 600-800 m elevation, there is a southeast wind current from the Sahara, carrying extra dust (in addition to the ash from the volcano), known as "Calima", which is confined again by a second inversion layer at around 1600 m.
During this weather, the temperatures on the coast are moderate (last night near Tazacorte: 18-19 deg C) and above the lower inversion layer and the upper layer, where many villages are located, the temperatures are much higher: last night, in the caldera, they reached 31 deg and 26-28 deg on the NW flanks where we are currently located.

Eruption continues without significant changes

Update Sat 02 Oct 2021 10:34
View of the eruption this morning (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
View of the eruption this morning (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Closer view of the active cone (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Closer view of the active cone (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
The eruption continues with no significant changes during the night. The upper vents produce pulsating fountains of ash and some lava, while the lower vents erupt more degassed lava in low lava fountains or directly as lava flows.
Volcanic tremor remains stable at moderate to high levels. The ash plume today is rising several 100 m and drifting west with the trade winds.
Update Sat 02 Oct 2021 09:18
Lava flow map as of yesterday (image: Copernicus)
Lava flow map as of yesterday (image: Copernicus)
The latest lava flow map as of yesterday morning (the new flow from the flank vent just NW of the cone is still missing), see original file on Copernicus.eu.

La Palma volcano eruption update: eruptive activity continues, no major changes

Sat, 2 Oct 2021, 01:26
01:26 AM | BY: T
Lava fountains and lava flows from the vent area at La Palma
Lava fountains and lava flows from the vent area at La Palma
VIew from El Time showing the lava flows late at night
VIew from El Time showing the lava flows late at night
The eruption continued without significant changes during the day of Oct 1st. Lava fountaining from several vents aligned in the upper part of the crater continued at fluctuating intensity, producing a weak ash plume, which nevertheless rose to approx. 1 km and spread laterally in the absence of wind, gradually filling the valley with a thick layer of dust.
From the lower vents at the crater, several lava flows continued to flow down-slope, most notably from the two vents that had opened yesterday and earlier today.
The ocean entry remained active, but seemed to loose power during the evening, maybe even stopped to be alimented.
Towards the late evening, visible activity as well as volcanic tremor decreased a bit.

La Palma volcano eruption update: new cracks open at cone generating new lava flows

Fri, 1 Oct 2021, 11:31
11:31 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)
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)
Close-up view of the scene ((image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal LP01 station (image: IGN)
SO2 plume from La Palma eruption hovering over the Canary islands (image: Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, sacs.aeronomie.be)
SO2 plume from La Palma eruption hovering over the Canary islands (image: Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, sacs.aeronomie.be)
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.
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:
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.

La Palma volcano eruption update: new vents open, new lava flows and worries about earthquakes

Fri, 1 Oct 2021, 00:38
00:38 AM | BY: T
The cone of the eruption on La Palma this evening, with the two new lava flows
The cone of the eruption on La Palma this evening, with the two new lava flows
Seismic recording of TBT station today (image: IGN)
Seismic recording of TBT station today (image: IGN)
Ground deformation at LP03 station (image: IGN)
Ground deformation at LP03 station (image: IGN)
The eruption continues with stable lava output, feeding several lava flows both near the vent and the main one that is supplying lava to the new ocean entry, which continues to grow slowly.
During most of today, southerly winds caused continuous ash fall in the area of El Paso and beyond, making driving etc difficult and the air filled with dust. At the vent, activity remains intense: vigorous lava fountaining with heights between estimated 50-100 m continued at the fissure vent on the NW lower flank, while several vents in the summit as well as two newly formed vents in between were producing pulsating, powerful and near-vertical jets of gas, ash and lava bombs. The vents are aligned along a northwest-southeast trending line, presumably reflecting the original eruptive fissure.
The cone itself is subject to frequent and sometimes dramatic changes. During the day, we observed increased steaming and dust rising from the northern flank of the cone complex and were speculating about new cracks opening as the cause resulting in movements of that flank. Later in the evening, two new fissures opened on the NW flank and rapidly emitted two new lava flows that quickly descended parallel to the north of the existing flows, covering and burning additional land, probably including other so far untouched buildings in the evacuation zone.
The new eruptive fissures we observed are in the line of the other vents and below the main lava fountaining vent.

Earthquakes and ground deformation continue
Volcanic tremor remains stable at moderate to high levels, indicating a constant flux of magma to the surface. Further below, new earthquakes at 10-15 km depth beneath the central part of the volcano continue along with renewed ground deformation. This likely suggests that magma intrusions at depth, similar to the one before the eruption, are occurring and might either join the existing eruption, stall and stagnate again, or perhaps even cause the openings of new vents.

Latest lava flow map

Update Thu 30 Sep 2021 09:01
Latest map of the lava flows as of yesterday (image: Copernicus)
Latest map of the lava flows as of yesterday (image: Copernicus)
Based on high-res satellite imagery, the latest map of the lava flows can be found at the Copernicus emergency mapping page.

New lava delta continues to grow

Update Thu 30 Sep 2021 05:50
Newly constructed lava delta continues to grow as hot lava flows entered the sea and are extending the coastline outwards. Watch a video in the attached link.

New lava delta (source: @involcan/twitter)

Images of the sea entry

Update Wed 29 Sep 2021 15:36
View of the area with the vent (l) and the lava flow into the sea
View of the area with the vent (l) and the lava flow into the sea
Zoom onto the sea entry with lava meeting the ocean
Zoom onto the sea entry with lava meeting the ocean
Ash emissions and lava flow from the vent
Ash emissions and lava flow from the vent
The lava flow remains active, and has already constructed a sizeable new lava delta reaching out perhaps a few 100 m into the sea. At the active cone, the lower vent continues to produce a lava fountain and feed the main lava flow.
The vents at the summit were seen generating dense ash columns drifting east towards the ocean. Here are some impressions of how the scene looked at around 1 p.m. today.

Eruption continues, tremor rising gradually, more quakes - what it could mean

Update Wed 29 Sep 2021 11:36
Earthquakes under La Palma during the past 48 hours
Earthquakes under La Palma during the past 48 hours
Volcanic tremor amplitude since start of eruption (image: IGN)
Volcanic tremor amplitude since start of eruption (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal PA01 station since this morning (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal PA01 station since this morning (image: IGN)
Since the violent re-start of activity on Monday evening, the eruption has been going on with more or less stable lava output from the vent, and volcanic tremor has been stable. During this morning, a tendency of increasing activity seems to be manifesting itself.
Interestingly, more quakes have started to occur again, mostly at 10-15 km depth under the central part of the volcano. There were 6 quakes of magnitude 3.0 or above and 21 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0. The latest magnitude 3+ quake occurred only 1.5 hours ago, at 11.13 a.m., and was felt again by the local population.
Inflation and ground deformation have picked up as well during the past 12 hours or so, after they had been leveling out in the days before.
What could all this mean? We cannot say for sure, but one possible interpretation could be that the quakes and inflation reflect new magma intruding at depth, from where it might connect to the shallower system and further supply the eruption. It could also lead up to new vents forming, depending on how effective the currently active magma feeding system is to counteract the building pressure underground.
The next days will likely be very interesting to follow!

Latest radar image

Update Wed 29 Sep 2021 08:27
Radar image of the current La Palma eruption (image: Capella Space/twitter)
Radar image of the current La Palma eruption (image: Capella Space/twitter)
An amazing recent satellite image from 27 September shows the current eruption site including the main cone and the lava flow field.

Video of sea entry

Update Wed 29 Sep 2021 07:54
Researchers on the oceanographic research vessel Ramon Margalef shared a video of the lava sea entry:

La Palma volcano, Canary Islands: lava flows enter Atlantic ocean

Wed, 29 Sep 2021, 07:41
07:41 AM | BY: T
Sea entry of the lava flow at La Palma (image: Instituto Español de Oceanografía, IEO, via Vulcana IEO @VulcanaIEO / twitter)
Sea entry of the lava flow at La Palma (image: Instituto Español de Oceanografía, IEO, via Vulcana IEO @VulcanaIEO / twitter)
VIew from El Time showing the lava flow last night (image: Eva Kubelková / @evis ka / facebook)
VIew from El Time showing the lava flow last night (image: Eva Kubelková / @evis ka / facebook)
Map of the lava flows as of yesterday morning (image: Copernicus)
Map of the lava flows as of yesterday morning (image: Copernicus)
Late last night, the lava flow reached the sea.
As the eruption continues to effuse lava at steady rate, the most advanced lava flow made rapid advance it seems during yesterday. It looks that it traveled approx. 1 km, passing north of the cinder cone of Montana Todoque to arrive and descend at the sea cliff at Playa Nueva.
The nearby coastal areas have been evacuated as the sea entry can generate acid clouds of hot steam and there is always risk of collapse of the material at the newly formed lava beach bench.

Lava fountain close-up video

Update Tue 28 Sep 2021 16:54
Here's how the lava fountaining looked like last evening:

Eruption continues at stable level

Update Tue 28 Sep 2021 16:47
Eruption plume this afternoon (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Eruption plume this afternoon (image: Eva / @evis ka / facebook)
Seismic trace and spectrum TBT station (image: IGN)
Seismic trace and spectrum TBT station (image: IGN)
Current tremor amplitude since beginning of eruption (IGN)
Current tremor amplitude since beginning of eruption (IGN)
No significant changes have occurred during the past hours. Tremor is at moderately high levels and more or less stable. An eruption column is rising from the vent, producing a plume rising to 5-6 km altitude.

La Palma volcano eruption update: eruption resumes with vigorous lava fountaining and fast-flowing lava flow

Tue, 28 Sep 2021, 11:21
11:21 AM | BY: T
Beginning of the lava fountaining last night (image: Eva Kubelková / @evis ka / facebook)
Beginning of the lava fountaining last night (image: Eva Kubelková / @evis ka / facebook)
Lava fountaining and flow at night (image: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Lava fountaining and flow at night (image: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Lava fountain in the morning (image: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Lava fountain in the morning (image: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Activity resumed last night, after having paused almost completely during most of the day, and a new intense phase of the eruption with voluminous lava fountains and flows is in progress now.
Around 7 p.m. local time last evening, we noticed that intermittent explosions and ash emissions started, followed by pulsating lava spattering from the main vent in the crater.
This activity gradually increased, and several vents aligned E-W cutting the main cone's crater became active, ejecting jets of gas mixed with ash and some lava spatter.
At around 8 p.m. the lower effusive fissure vent at the NW base of the cone, which had been feeding the new lava flow during the previous few days, was reactivated, producing a sustained small lava fountain and feeding a new flow, which traveled on the same path as the previous one, branching into two main parallel lobes. The lava fountaining from this vent rapidly increased to reach about 100 m height. Lava effusion also increased significantly in tandem. As a consequence, the new lava flow gained in width, branched more, and began to descend quickly. By early morning, it had reached at least 1-2 km length, and several structures and trees were burned and covered by it. Thick smoke is now filling the valley.
The lava fountain at the lower vent has been a true continuous fountain. It consists almost entirely of liquid lava, reaching the same height as the summit vents, which eject gas and ash jets, sometimes some glowing material. An ash plume has been rising to several kilometer height and drifting mainly north and northeast. The airport is currently closed as consequence.

Latest lava flow map update

Update Tue 28 Sep 2021 09:40
Latest lava flow map update by 27 Sep (image: @CopernicusEMS/twitter)
Latest lava flow map update by 27 Sep (image: @CopernicusEMS/twitter)
The latest official map of the lava flows is found in the attachment.

Intermittent ash emissions

Update Mon 27 Sep 2021 12:27
Ash emission this morning (image: Eva Kubelková)
Ash emission this morning (image: Eva Kubelková)
Activity is picking up again. The volcano has been producing intermittent explosions with ash emissions from the new cone, at intervals of roughly every 10 minutes.

Recent lava flow map

Update Mon 27 Sep 2021 12:16
Lava flow map as of 26 Sep 2021 (image: copernicus.eu)
Lava flow map as of 26 Sep 2021 (image: copernicus.eu)
The latest official map of the lava flows is found here.

0,3% of island surface covered by new lava

Update Mon 27 Sep 2021 12:07
To put the eruption into perspective, the newly lava-covered surface of 221 hectares (2,21 sq km) corresponds to 0,3 percent of the island's total surface of 708 sq km.

Total erupted lava volume is similar to modeled intrusion earlier

Update Mon 27 Sep 2021 11:59
It is interesting to look at the volume of lava erupted so far: if an average thickness of the lava flows of 10 m is assumed and the total surface covered is 212 hectares (=100x100=10,000 sq meters), the volume is approx. 10x2,120,000 or roughly 20 million cubic meters.
This does not include the volume of the cone and the erupted ash, but likely the latter are much smaller than the volume of the lava flows and can be neglected. In any case, the volume of erupted material is in the same order of size as the previously modeled magma volume estimate that had been intruded during the earthquake swarm (also around 20 or more million cubic meters).
If these figures are correct (which is far from certain), the eruption indeed might have exhausted the available magma, but the near future will certainly tell.
Update Mon 27 Sep 2021 11:40
Seismic signal 11-12:00 UTC (image: IGN)
Seismic signal 11-12:00 UTC (image: IGN)
The seismic station TBT continues to record weak tremor, with some signs of recovering, suggesting that magma is still moving.

Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption, La Palma: villages under curfew as lava flows come closer to the sea

Mon, 27 Sep 2021, 11:21
11:21 AM | BY: T
Lava fountain at La Palma last night (image: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Lava fountain at La Palma last night (image: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
According to the national TV station RTVE, eruptive resumed later this morning with emissions of steam and ash, although we cannot confirm this. Live cameras show little activity so far and tremor remains very low at the time of this update. A friend near the eruptive site this morning could not see any activity at the vents.
Yesterday, the lava had formed a new, narrower lobe emerging from the broad main front (coming from the main source, corresponding to the original flows), that had advanced at fast pace of about 100 m per hour eastwards. At the same time, the lava flow from the secondary fissure vent at the NW base of the cone continued to form its own flow, which had been advancing along the northern margin of the main flow at approx. 30 meters per hour.
The main flow had passed village of Todoque and destroyed the church of San Pio X, and was located only about 1.6 km from the sea. As a precaution to an expected sea entry in the near future, authorities ordered curfew for the localities of San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa, where people were not allowed to leave their homes and should keep windows and doors closed.
SO far, lava flows have destroyed more than 450 buildings and covered an area of 212.1 hectares.
The situation is clearly evolving and we will post updates later when returning from the field.

Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption, La Palma: thermal image reveals two lava flows

Update Mon 27 Sep 2021 10:34
Two lava flows (yellow) detected in infrared satellite image
Two lava flows (yellow) detected in infrared satellite image
According to CAPELLA and Landsat-8 infrared detection system, two lava flows were revealed and detected in satellite images from 26 September.

Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption, La Palma: spectacular aerial video and satellite images

Update Mon 27 Sep 2021 10:22
Lava flows at Cumbre Vieja volcano from space took yesterday (image: @FronteraSpacial/twitter)
Lava flows at Cumbre Vieja volcano from space took yesterday (image: @FronteraSpacial/twitter)
Lava flows at Cumbre Vieja volcano from space took yesterday (image: Landsat-8)
Lava flows at Cumbre Vieja volcano from space took yesterday (image: Landsat-8)
A drone footage offers mesmerizing views of the current eruption site associated with the lava flows and fountains.

Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption, La Palma: eruption pauses

Mon, 27 Sep 2021, 09:49
09:49 AM | BY: T
Volcanic tremor from the eruption on La Palma today (image: IGN)
Volcanic tremor from the eruption on La Palma today (image: IGN)
The eruption suddenly paused this morning: surface activity at the vents and volcanic tremor, a measurement of magma movement towards the surface, ceased.
Whether this indicates the end or just a pause in the eruption is too early to determine, but at this stage, it is better to asume that it is only a pause: Earthquakes have picked up again a bit, which suggests that magma pressure has increased underground and magma might be trying to find new pathways. This could lead up to a resumption of activity, either from new vents or by re-using the existing one.
During the past 24 hours, there were 17 quakes of magnitudes from 2-3, the largest a 3.2 quake 11 km south of Los Llanos de Aridane at 8.05 a.m. this morning.
Last night, activity actually picked up and we observed very strong and tall lava fountains until about 1 a.m., although we had the impression that the ratio of lava and gas was smaller in the fountains than earlier on. After this, during the early morning hours, fountains decreased and abruptly stopped.
The next few days will certainly be interesting to follow what happens.
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VolcanoDiscovery GmbH, Germany, Reg. nr.: HRB 103744, EU Tax Id: DE 310 395 322 owned and created by
Dr. Tom Pfeiffer, volcanologist, volcano photographer, tour organizer member of
IAVCEI
Volcanological Society
Ecotourism Greece
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