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El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): deep earthquake swarms in the El Golfo area

Saturday Oct 29, 2011 15:25 PM |

While the submarine eruption south of El Hierro Island continues, a large number of mostly deep (around 20km) earthquakes of up to 3.3 magnitude have been occurring in the gulf off the NW coast of this island.
Yesterday, IGN listed 63 earthquakes, 4 above or equal to 3, 27 in between 2 and 3 and 32 lower than 2. The strongest was a M3.3 quake at 14:16 UTC. Today, Saturday IGN has listed already 32 earthquake, the vast majority with epicenter in the El Golfo area. The tremor of 10:46 UTC this morning was the strongest at M 3.3.
It is likely that this is related to magma movements at depth, but at present not a sign that another eruption or a major change in the eruption style could be in the making. However, the situation clearly needs to be followed carefully.
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Links / Sources:

El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): eruption update - new submarine crater and lava flows mapped

Saturday Oct 29, 2011 14:51 PM |

A true color, high-resolution RapidEye satellite image taken on 26 Oct featuring the gigantic stain visible on the surface of Las Calmas Sea, and even the vent area visible as the brown spot near the southern tip of the island. Image courtesy and copyright RapidEye.net
A true color, high-resolution RapidEye satellite image taken on 26 Oct featuring the gigantic stain visible on the surface of Las Calmas Sea, and even the vent area visible as the brown spot near the southern tip of the island. Image courtesy and copyright RapidEye.net
Digial elevation models presented by IEO showing the vent area before (a) the eruption and at present (b), with the new crater and even what is likely submarine lava flows. Images: Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)
Digial elevation models presented by IEO showing the vent area before (a) the eruption and at present (b), with the new crater and even what is likely submarine lava flows. Images: Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)
The Spanish research vessel Ramon Margalef has surveyed the vent area of the new ongoing submarine eruption south of El Hierro with the help of a diving robot, and presented a digital model for the news crater, which formed above an undersea valley at 250 m depth and forms a cone rising now more than 100 m containing a 120 m wide crater. Even submarine (pillow) lava flows are recognized on the elevation model presented. If the pictures presented by IEO really are showing the new volcano, it is the first time that the birth of a seamount has been documented this way.
In the meanwhile, the eruption continues and produces a large stain of discolored muddy water drifting around the southern and western coast of El Hierro.
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Links / Sources:

El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): eruption update

Saturday Oct 15, 2011 15:23 PM |

The ongoing submarine eruption south of El Hierro, the first eruption in the Canaries in 40 years, continues from probably 2 vents at depths below 250 m under the water surface. It seems that the eruption is the submarine equivalent of a typical fissure eruption as often observed on basaltic shield volcanoes.
Above the vents, large plumes of discolored water are visible and can be detected even on satellite images from space. A strong odour of sulfur can be detected on land.
The port town of La Restinga has been evacuated and ships and aircraft are now banned from the area. Unless the eruption proceeds to shallower levels from about less than 50-60 m water depth, either by the accumulation of volcanic material above the vents, or by a upward propagation of the eruption fissure towards the coast, it is unlikely that the activity will become dangerous for the coastal areas. Should the eruption proceed to shallower levels, however, the risk of explosive eruptions increases drastically as the water pressure to contain explosions becomes too low.
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El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): alert level raised to red and evacuations

Tuesday Oct 11, 2011 14:38 PM | BY: TOM PFEIFFER

The volcanological observatory of the Canaries ahs raised the volcanic alert level to the maximum "Red" for the southernmost city on the island, La Restinga, and the government of the Canaries has announced to evacuate the population of La Restinga as a measure of precaution.
In the meanwhile, there is little doubt that a submarine eruption is in progress 5 km off shore south of El Hierro. Due to the depth of the eruption at 600 m below the surface, there is not visible activity for now, but the intensity and location of volcanic tremor and the sighting of lots of dead fish above the spot are speaking a clear language.
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Previous news
Sunday, Aug 21, 2011
As you might have noticed, our ever-growing website is undergoing some important changes...: ... [more]

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011
We have teamed up with the people from Eartquake Report. Created by Armand Vervaeck (Belgium), Earthquake Report has quickyl grown to be the best independent earthquake reporting site in the world. It provides timely information and background about ongoing seismic crises, volcanic eruptions and more. ... [more]
Saturday, Mar 26, 2011
You can now follow news about volcanoes worldwide and our own activities through our RSS news feed, making lookup times much faster, since you do not have to load the whole website. ... [more]
Friday, Oct 29, 2010
VolcanoDiscovery is in Denver at the Geological Society of America conference from October 31-November 3, 2010! Come see us in the Exhibit Hall at the Convention Center if you're in the area -- contact us at [email protected] or 1-808-640-4165 for a FREE ENTRY PASS! Hawai'i guide & volcanologist Philip will be on hand to answer questions about our world-wide tours and special educational rates! Find us in booth #1039 next to the GSA Foundation and Exhibitor Lounge, beyond Paleo Alley! [more]
Sunday, Aug 08, 2010
VolcanoDiscovery supports the International Volcano Monitoring Fund (IVM-Fund) in its recent campaign to help Buy Volcano Monitoring Equipment for Volcanologists in Guatemala: How about donating $10 for Guatemala's under-equipped volcano monitoring teams? ... [more]

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