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El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): strong volcanic tremor suggesting a new eruption

Thu, 3 Nov 2011, 12:13
12:13 PM |
Increasing tremor signal (3 Nov 2011) at El Hierro
Increasing tremor signal (3 Nov 2011) at El Hierro
Seismic activity beneath the El Golfo region has further increased and there is now a strong tremor signal. This suggests that a second submarine vent might in fact have started to erupt.

El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands, Spain): seismic activity beneath El Golfo intensifies, possibility of a new eruption

Tue, 1 Nov 2011, 12:40
12:40 PM |
The seismic activity off the NW coast of El Hierro under the El Golfo area is intensifying and near the same levels immediately before the ongoing submarine eruption south of the island.
Yesterday alone 153 quakes were measured with magnitudes of up to 3.9. Most quakes are still at safe 20 km depth and not related to the opening of eruptive vents on the sea floor. At the same time volcanic tremor (a low-frequency seismic wave component typical of magma movements) has been slightly increasing and the is now little doubt that magma is moving beneath the island. At this stage, it seems not unlikely if a new intrusion makes its way to the seafloor, starting a new submarine eruption form a second vent in the near future.

A video on youtube was reported to show green water discoloration in the area and there are voices that an eruption could already have started. This seems unlikely and could not be confirmed. Such water discoloration is probably caused by drifting currents carrying mud coming from the ongoing submarine eruption south of the island.

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

Sat, 29 Oct 2011, 15:25
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.

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

Sat, 29 Oct 2011, 14:51
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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