La Palma volcano eruption 2021: 3 Oct - crater collapse and lava fountains

A surge of magma likely caused the northwestern wall of the main crater to collapse, leaving a steep-walled crater valley stretching from the previous summit crater to the area of the former flank vents.
3 Oct 2021: activity has been very high at the summit vents for several days. Continuous fountaining from the summit vents produces a tall ash plume of several kilometers height. The summit ridge of Cumbre Vieja volcano in the background. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
3 Oct 2021: activity has been very high at the summit vents for several days. Continuous fountaining... [info]
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Approaching the crater from the north in the afternoon, we notice some dramatic changes and significant activity from the flank vent. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Approaching the crater from the north in the afternoon, we notice some dramatic changes and signific... [info]
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Comparison of roughly similar views from 2 and 3 Oct afternoon, showing the now missing northwestern upper crater wall (above) and the new crater valley (below) inside which now both the summit vents and the flank vents are located. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Comparison of roughly similar views from 2 and 3 Oct afternoon, showing the now missing northwestern... [info]
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The northwestern crater wall has gone, probably a short time ago, and as a result of the reduced load and lowered pressure, a massive fountain of liquid lava is shooting obliquely out from the flank vent tens of meters into the air. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The northwestern crater wall has gone, probably a short time ago, and as a result of the reduced loa... [info]
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The collapse of the flank left a thick debris of hot blocks and chaotic lava flows on the northwestern flank. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The collapse of the flank left a thick debris of hot blocks and chaotic lava flows on the northweste... [info]
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Zoom onto the lava flow debris field at the lower flank of the cone. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Zoom onto the lava flow debris field at the lower flank of the cone. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The surge of lava didn't last very long; soon after, the fountain calms down to a smaller, bubbling fountain of violently spattering lava. Small is relative, it is still 10-20 m tall as can be judged from the tree skeletons nearby. One tree was obvioulsy hit by a bomb at the bas of its trunk and knocked over; smoke from burnt wood can be seen rising. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The surge of lava didn't last very long; soon after, the fountain calms down to a smaller, bubbling ... [info]
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As the cone edifice is far from stable, house-sized large blocks of incandescent lava detach from the walls and are transported with the sticky flow on the flank. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
As the cone edifice is far from stable, house-sized large blocks of incandescent lava detach from th... [info]
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View of the scene with the thick ash plume rising almost vertically. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View of the scene with the thick ash plume rising almost vertically. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Young scientist taking videos of the eruption. In the lower right of the picture, the vent located in the valley north of and outside the cone is visible. It is still active, but much less so than last night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Young scientist taking videos of the eruption. In the lower right of the picture, the vent located i... [info]
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View of the lava erupting cone with the row of vents in the new valley-shaped craters and the collapse-triggered lava flow on the northwestern flank. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View of the lava erupting cone with the row of vents in the new valley-shaped craters and the collap... [info]
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Gas-rich and lava-rich fountains from the lower summit vent and the former flank vent, now direct neighbors. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Gas-rich and lava-rich fountains from the lower summit vent and the former flank vent, now direct ne... [info]
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The elevated activity prompts us to leave the area and get to safer distance, as another episode of lava surge and partial flank failure is about to occur. At first, a crack below the lower vent opens and lava starts to be squeezed out from it (lower right in the picture). (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The elevated activity prompts us to leave the area and get to safer distance, as another episode of ... [info]
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Within a minute or so, fast-moving lava flow descend from the new fissure. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Within a minute or so, fast-moving lava flow descend from the new fissure. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Closer view of the scene, as the lava flow from the new fracture already has traveled to the base of the cone. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Closer view of the scene, as the lava flow from the new fracture already has traveled to the base of... [info]
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A new pulse of gas-rich magma creates a strong fountain from the lower vent. In the process, parts of the surrounding crater and unstable blocks around the lower vents are also removed. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A new pulse of gas-rich magma creates a strong fountain from the lower vent. In the process, parts o... [info]
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As a result of latest collapse, the crater area around the flank vents has widened as well and arms of still glowing lava flows cover most of the northwestern flank. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
As a result of latest collapse, the crater area around the flank vents has widened as well and arms ... [info]
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Most activity shifts quickly to the summit vents. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Most activity shifts quickly to the summit vents. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Lava fountains from the summit vents begin to increase drastically during the next hours, as the sequence of following pictures, taken from the north and northwest over the next few hours show. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lava fountains from the summit vents begin to increase drastically during the next hours, as the seq... [info]
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Lava fountain and lava flows 8.32 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lava fountain and lava flows 8.32 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Lava fountain from the upper vents, lava spattering from the lower vent and lava flows. 20:42 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lava fountain from the upper vents, lava spattering from the lower vent and lava flows. 20:42 pm (Ph... [info]
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Lava fountain 21:06 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lava fountain 21:06 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The lava fountains now again reach at least 3-400 m in height. 21:07 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The lava fountains now again reach at least 3-400 m in height. 21:07 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Lava fountain 21.07 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lava fountain 21.07 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Lava fountains seen from Tacande (north of the eruption) 21:14 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lava fountains seen from Tacande (north of the eruption) 21:14 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The same view half a minute later. The fountain is pulsating with individual bursts overlapping and following each other at rhythms of few seconds. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The same view half a minute later. The fountain is pulsating with individual bursts overlapping and ... [info]
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Some bursts of lava throw bombs in more circular directions, reaching many hundred meters distance. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Some bursts of lava throw bombs in more circular directions, reaching many hundred meters distance. ... [info]
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Lava fountain 21:16 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lava fountain 21:16 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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By around 11 p.m., the fountains have increased a lot. Here, a powerful vertical lava fountain more than 500 m tall seen from the NW at Tajuya. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
By around 11 p.m., the fountains have increased a lot. Here, a powerful vertical lava fountain more ... [info]
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Some large glowing bombs can be seen landing far outside the cone; areas of El Paraiso where scientists and other authorized personnel frequently visited (shown in pictures from earlier today and yesterday) are now dotted with impacts of ballistic projectiles from the explosions. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Some large glowing bombs can be seen landing far outside the cone; areas of El Paraiso where scienti... [info]
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Narrow, but very tall lava fountain 23:07 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Narrow, but very tall lava fountain 23:07 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Curtains of dark ash falling in front of the eruption start blocking the view onto the scene. 23:08 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Curtains of dark ash falling in front of the eruption start blocking the view onto the scene. 23:08 ... [info]
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Very violent fountain rising in a cone-shaped form, making the cone look small. 23:35 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Very violent fountain rising in a cone-shaped form, making the cone look small. 23:35 pm (Photo: Tom... [info]
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Sometimes, the fountains are jetting up at a steep angle. 23.37 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Sometimes, the fountains are jetting up at a steep angle. 23.37 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Tall and powerful lava fountain. 23:43 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Tall and powerful lava fountain. 23:43 pm (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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After a last few shots around midnight 3-4 Oct, it was time to simply watch and enjoy the spectacular fireworks before heading home... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
After a last few shots around midnight 3-4 Oct, it was time to simply watch and enjoy the spectacula... [info]
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Video of eruption on 3 Oct 2021:


La Palma eruption 2021 picture galleries:

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