Special report: Update on El Hierro volcano eruption

While everything is quiet in Iceland. I am going to continue my coverage of the eruption in El Hierro volcano. Information in English also seems to be lacking for some reason. Please note that I have little understanding of Spanish, so I am just using the data that is available to me on the internet to figure out what is going on.

First I want to say that I am not a expert. I never claim to be one. My knowledge of volcanoes and earthquakes are the result of hard work and studying them on my own (reading research papers and other sources).

It is bit unclear what is going on in El Hierro. But from what I can tell least two things have happened during the past 24 hours. The first thing is that a eruption started at ocean floor around 04:18 UTC yesterday (10 October, 2011). This eruption appears to have been small and was not noticed on the surface of the ocean. Around 06:10 UTC this morning (11 October, 2011) a large movement of magma started to take place inside El Hierro volcano. Where exact break up of this magma is going to take place is unclear at the moment. But it is clear that a eruption is taking place and it is more chance then less that magma is going to find it self a new pathway up to the surface soon. As I do not think that the current eruption vent is keeping up with the current magma that is under El Hierro. But it is worth to notice that El Hierro does not seem to have a magma chamber, like Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland so the eruption size is terminated by the current inflow of magma.

Here is a comparison of harmonic tremor charts from yesterday and today (10 and 11 October, 2011).

The harmonic tremor as it was on 10 October, 2011 at 21:08 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

The harmonic tremor as it was on 11 October, 2011 at 20:29 UTC. As clearly can be seen it has grown by a margin or more (I can’t tell for sure) in the last few hours. Copyright of this picture belongs to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

What is however really interesting is how this eruption is changing fast and without any warning at all. But this is however something that might be expected from a volcano like El Hierro. I see in the news that they are expecting earthquake activity before new vents or fissures open up. That is wrong assessment in my opinion. As new eruption vents and fissures can open without any or much earthquakes activity at all. Earthquake activity before a fissure vents open up depends only on the rock that the magma has to break trough. In many cases it does not have to create any earthquakes before a eruption starts. Good example of this is the eruption in Heimaey Island in the year 1973. Only a small earthquake swarm was detected before a eruption started. All I personally except before a eruption in a new place on El Hierro volcano is a minor earthquake activity. It is also hard to know if that earthquake activity can be detected based on the amount of harmonic tremor taking place at the moment.

Here is my personal assessment on where eruption might take place in El Hierro. Please note that it might be completely wrong. But I base my assessment on the data out there, that assessment might be wrong.

The most chance of the eruption in El Hierro in my personal opinion marked by the two red circles. Copyright of this picture belongs (original) to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

There have been some deep earthquakes in El Hierro volcano over the past few hours. This deep earthquakes mean that new magma is flowing under El Hierro volcano. This means that the flow is steady (pressure pulse in the magma creates the earthquakes). So this eruption is far from being over it seems. How long it is going to last is a good question that currently nobody has a answer to at the moment.

I am going to update this blog post if I have to or if something new happens in El Hierro.

597 Replies to “Special report: Update on El Hierro volcano eruption”

  1. Guesstimate of magma volume injected since the earthquakes started.
    I have used the elevation GPS data from Nagoya*, and assumed the magma volume injected to cause the uplift covers only the area subtended by the earthquakes in the ING cumulative map** Lateral motion has been ignored.
    Uplift data: SABI nil FRON 30mm So mean =15mm
    REST 30mm. So overall mean= 22mm
    EQ area: 19km north to south, 6km east to west. Total area 114 sq km
    So magma volume injected: 114,000,000 x 0.022 cubic metres = 2.5 million cubic metres

    ((Right?? Please check the sums.))

    For comparison Eyjafyatlajokull erupted 70-80 million cubic metres of magma.***

    So a relatively small eruption if all the magma erupted.
    But El Hierro is much more densely populated.
    Note that I am not a professional geologist.
    But it would be nice to see an estimate coming from ING.


    1. Peter, Eyja had a about half the filling that El Hierro has had.
      The thing is that Eyja have a very small reservoir, most of Eyjafjallajkulls ejecta came from fresh magma that entered up continously through the feeder tube.
      Actually El Hierro has filled up with 4 times as much magma as Eyja had before eruption started. And that is only counting the uplift from July. For all we know she can have had many episodes of quiet filling during the last hundred years, and ontop of that you can have a large body of magma under it all that it can “drink from”.

      1. Carl
        How d’you know that?
        I’ll add on the lateral displeacement volume

      2. I was a lazy ass and did not hunt down the paper that was presented on the conference presentation that dr. Erik Klemetti gave on Eyja eruption.

        But here are the numbers.
        We do know thanks to Lurkings imagery believe that the reservoir is 2*2/314*5=ca6,3KM^3 magma, and about 1/100 to 1/10 of that is eruptible.
        The total ejecta of Eyja was (GVP source)
        Lava Volume: > 1.4 ± 0.1 x 107 m3
        Tephra Volume: > 1.4 x 108 m3

        So, it is safe to say that the mini-reservoired Eyja is not a good examply to compare with.
        I would guess that El Hierro will erupt between (0,063 to 0,63 X 4 km^3 in lava and in perhaps tephra.
        Ie, 0,12 to 1,2 km^3.

        This is guesswork, but a bit of educated such.

        When you have added the lateral displacement volume you should still remember that what you are counting is not the entire magma volume, it is only the “topping off” of the magma-tank.

      3. We are a long way adrift. Using Lurking’s imagery you get 6×10^9 cu metres of which 1 to 10% is eruptible, so thats 60million to 600 million cubic metres. On the basis of the GPS measurments I get 16.7 million cubic metres – and not all will be eruptible.
        I suppose factor of 4 is acceptable…. but 40?

        I cant say anything about 2011 EQs topping off magma accumulated over 100s of years – no data, not willing to speculate.

      4. Okay, you are still not really understanding the difference between upift before an eruption, and the volume of the chamber.
        I am using the word chamber for once, it is not a physical chamber, it is a reservoir that is not chamber-formed.
        A chamber is evolving with the volcano, and as time and eruptions go by it gets bigger and bigger. Let us say it grows with 10% per eruption (hypotetically). Every time there is an eruption 1/100 to 1/10 of the magma in the chamber is erupted, the rest stays where it jolly well is. So, come next time it is eruption time magma runs into the chamber and tops it off.
        Do you start to see it now.

        Your calculation is a very good representation of this new magma that has entered and started to mix with the old magma.
        That is how you can easily have 40 times the volume of the uplift.
        I hope you understand now.

      5. Eyjafjallajokull is what is called a eldkeila type of volcano, it means fire cone.
        Its eruptions come from great depth, directly from the mantle. Askja is also like this, only much bigger.
        I wonder it it would get a fresh injection of magma that would somehow find its way into one of Katlas magma reservoir, were magma has been building up since 1918, what would happen, because of heat difference and the old magma has evolved and changed trough the decades.

      6. About Lurkings volume:
        Lurkings volume is the outside of the reservoir since quakes can not occur inside the magma.

        Peter, a hint here. I, Lurking and a couple of others who write here often have sometimes explained times so many times that we have gotten tired of it. And much of what we are short-handing now, is things that we have talked about ad absurdum before.
        We cannot re-write it all every time.
        We probably should explain things well all the time, but we simply can not. But if you wonder about something you are welcome to ask, but remember that the likelyhood is that you have misunderstood something, like you have this time.

      7. Two suggestions to address this issue:

        1. Jon – Please can you add a search function to the Blog to help posters find old comments. There are plugins for this.

        2. Carl et al: Please can we link back to major discussions that have occurred in the past examining detailed questions such as this when they crop up in the future?

  2. I am reading from the tremor chart that the current eruption is dying down. But that means just that current fissure is closing up. But the current fissure seems to be made up from three to four crates (three reported for sure).

    But this just increases the risk on a new fissure opening up soon without any warning at all.

  3. Tremor at el Hierro seems to exhibit pulsating intensity behavior now. Is it due to those 2 eqs at approx. 14:30 opening up new pathways for magma? Or is it due to pressure increasing somewhere?

    1. It is preparing to open up a new fissure. The harmonic tremor pulses are sign of that. But when and where is a good question, and there is no good answer to that question.

  4. More from AVCAN (a comment to what I just translated on the previous page of comments, with the map of earthquakes and speculation of direction of new vents, check what Enrique thinks about locations of new vents):

    Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias (AVCAN) El tremor ha podido bajar por que hay un tapón, pero sigue ahi, y es mas, hay sismicidad profunda, lo que indica más aporte de magma, y los GPS siguen sin dar su brazo a torcer, yo no veo que el abombamiento o hinchamiento o elevación haya decrecido, como mucho ha parado….y eso significa que hay más material en camino.

    Me gustaria que la erupción se quedase donde está, seria lo mejor para todos, ya que si sale junto a la costa o en una zona con acuífero generara una freatomagmatica. y solo si no encuentra agua en su camino por alguna zona de medianias o dorsales saldria estromboliana, de momento, mejor en el mar,

    The tremor could have decreased because there is a plug, but it continues and even more, there is deep seismicity, which means that more magma movemement. And, GPS continue moving, I can not see that the bulge, the swelling or elevation has decreased, or even stopped…. and this means there is more material on the way.

    I would like it if the erupcion would stay where it is, that would be best for all of us, because if it comes closer to the coast or in a zone with an acquiger, it will be a phreomagmatic eruption. And, only if no water comes in the way “por alguna zona de medianias o dorsales” (don’t understand this) will it be strombolian. For the moment, better to stay in the sea, but we’ll see… (Enrique)

    1. Could it be that “una zona de medianas y dorsales” means: “a zone of ridges” – so that the volcano would not or next to not touch the water. – so as a phreatic reaction could be avoided.

      1. Now I saw the colour 🙂

        That one is just a kilometer or so from land.
        I would guess we have touch down later tonight if the fissure opens even more.
        Might get messy if it opens close to the beach, real messy.
        But, it could also be that it has closed down shop, and we will see another rift open up.

        If it follows suit from the fissure eruption volcano I know best, Krafla, the following eruptions should be smaller and smaller. But that is only if this is a rifting fissure eruption, which is what I do believe this is.

    1. I can just about see it in the first, having had it pointed out and definitely see it on the second. But the discolouration doesn’t seem to be a significant amount for an eruption – more like disturbed sediment from the de-gassing?

  5. Guesstimate of magma volume embracing lateral displacement.
    Width increase assumed to be same as SABI-FRONT displacement of 50mm
    North-south dimension: 19km
    Mean depth of EQ swarm: 15km
    So volume of that : 19000 x 15000 x 0.05 cubic metres = 14.2 million cubic metres
    Add volume from lift: 2.5 million
    Total 16.7 million cubic metres.
    That has made a big difference, but still small compared with Eyjaf (erupted volume expressed as magma: 70-80 million cu metres.)

    Would have to assume greater depth – to MOHO – to get more magma volume under El Hierro.

    1. Peter, you have just calculated (well!) “the topping off” of the tank, not the volume of the magma chamber. That is much larger.
      So you missed 2 points. To take into account the magma-reservoirs total volume, and that one could have been filling up time and again during the years without anyone noticing.
      Second of all, you forgot that Eyja is a bottom feeder that sucks up the magma from the MOHO directly.
      Eyja is a very differnet bird to El Hierro. Compare El Hierro with Krafla instead and you will get a clearer picture.

      1. Carl,
        Well I guess a difference between our approaches of a factor of 4 to 40 is not too bad then (See your post above).

  6. In case of eruption, and landslide, whats the best warning site or system to follow at the moment? I believe im in a danger zone as many are as well, and TV is too slow.

    1. Are you on El Hierro?
      Otherwise you are not in any danger what so ever.
      If you are in America and believe in Supertsunami mega-doom, you are in danger of getting shot by your neighbour. (Joke)

      1. hehe… i can die crossing the street i know, but thats why i look left and right before crossing, better play it safe even if therell be nothin crossing that street for days. cheers 😉

      2. You are safe in Lissabon. At least from El Hierro whatever it does.
        This will most likely be a small to medium sized well behaved rifting fissure eruption like Krafla.

        I have heard that Lissabon is filled with people speaking portuguese, sounds dangerous 😉

      3. i read the danger of land slide was in Las Palmas, and the wave could reach Lisbon in 3hours, england, ireland, usa, brazil… is that wrong?

      4. Tsunami at 400mph – from Hierro 900 miles – about two hours’ warning in Lisbon.
        The Las Puntas web cam would probably go down if a BIG landslide took out north side of Hierro
        A slide on the south west sope could take out the CHIE tremor station or its power.
        And if on the west facing side of the island – nothing.
        Now you’re going to have to stay awake and keep watch.
        Then you fall asleep when the bus is heading towards you……

  7. I agree with Jón and Carl. Likely there is a lava erupting fissure down there. My interpretation is as follows (but I stress, I am not expert on this, merely a observer); There seems fissure (crack) opened up early morning 10 Oct 2011 (just before 04:19 UTC or there about), extending over several hours, maybe becoming 5-6 km long at most mid-day today. Then either subsiding, clogging or material ejected becoming less gaseous. The discolouring seen on the surface likely has drifted with sea currents making actual position slighly off from where observed (or the fissure is actually shorter, maybe just one or two vents at most), but because of sea dept (500 m below sea level at highest point) it likely will not show on surface, unless it has enough marterial to build a 500+m cone or ridge. However from Lurking graphs, the IGN maps and other papers (all posted before) this likely is located on the high ridge, but if on the slope on its sde – such can (I think) collapse or slide because of the continiuing quaking, ongong deformation, gas pressure from within clogged vents (or steam pressure building up in surrounding ground) etc. Seeing airial photos of El Hierro, I think the current “eruption line” might extend north- or northwest but mostly be paralell with the south ridge (and coast-line), possibly without reaching dry land. Just my feeling of events. I can be wrong on all of this.

  8. If the sea has turned a green shade, and there is a smell of sulpher in the air, does this mean that magma has come though on the sea bed, or is it just speculation? Can they know for sure without a visual of it?

    1. I actually do ask…
      Why that angle? Why that hair? What was he picking out of the hair? Why is the computer screen running to movie (that is actually showin the eruption well) turned on its side..?
      Who is the girl talking?

      1. I was going to de-@#$ the video, but after I rotated it 90 deg, stabilized the image and zoomed to the screen…

        It’s basically crap. A flyby of a discolored patch of water. Could be an eruption patch, could be a CHT spill.

    1. that was in reply to ‘the other lurkers’ first link a few posts above, but it didn’t get nested nicely – anyway looks like it was just broken for me – so I’ll just go light the BBQ and get my hat out of the marinade 🙂

    1. I don’t know the source of his location data for the “deserted city of Puerto Naos,” That position is at the bottom of an 80 meter cliff with poor access. About 1 km to the west is “Roque de Naos” that has a gentle slope to the beach area. In my opinion, that would be a more likely location for an abandoned city/port.

      1. There is really no “city” or “town” there…stuff in El Hierro has a bit of funny names…there are tons of -playas- (beaches) too..but in reality there are none..lol..it’s just names for example for a place between two bolders of rocks with a bit of sand on it at low tide. Naos is just a few old abandoned fishermens “huts” (would be the best way to describe it) from old times. There is really not even a proper access to it by car even.

    1. Yes, it always seems that the full moon brings out the people who adores full moons.
      This little endevour has been going on for 3 months now. And the largest quakes was when the moon was in van. Hm… A well… Whatever I say there will be another one.

      1. but mostly, people read the flow of things(vulcanos), and the moon does make a difference in the flow of life(ocean,Lava), does it not? (gravity pull)

      2. The difference in forces are quite simply to big to find any evidence that it has ever happened.
        Lurking actually did try to find something, but he never got beyond the background noise.
        Elementary physics actually.

      3. No, erm, it does not.
        Carl please stay calm, i thought i’d take this one off your hands…

      4. not to be rude or anything…you guys sound like the moon does not exist, im not a moon lover i just pointed it out, but i also believe everything should be taken in account, specially about forces we understand little, just cause you cant see doesnt mean it does not exist. 😉

      5. Rick, I know that the moon exist. It is just that there is no scientific or statistical evidence of the moon affecting volcanos.
        Magma does not behave like water, that is why. It is to slow-moving to be affected like the oceans.
        If the mantle had been molten like lava it would probably have affected things more, but it is not molten. Think of very very stiff jelly and you have it. So it cannot move enough to cause “tides”. Is it a bit clearer now? Ontop of that the crusts are really thick, even under volcanos, the moon does not have the time to build up sufficient pressure to do anything.

        But, to make you happy. The earth actually changes shape with the tides, about a millimetre up and down. But it is still not enough.
        And, trust me, scientists have actually tried to find evidence for it, and failed. Failed hard.

      6. @Rick

        Re: Moon.

        As Carl pointed out, I actually went looking for a Moon-Geological connection. I went through 179,110 individual earthquakes and took the time-stamp for each and every one and looked up the moon distance, phase, and declination at that moment in time.

        I then ran scatter plots of the data to see if there was a correlation in any of the Moon’s orbital characteristics and the rate of quake energy release, or the rate of quakes occurring. While doing this, I also compensated for the dwell time of the Moon at each portion of it’s phase changes.

        I’ve run both a Pearson and Spearman’s correlation algorythm against various binnings of the quake occurrence rates.

        It isn’t there.

        The spreadsheet has all quakes Mag 4.5 and higher from 1973 to August 2011, Solar and Lunar data from 1973 to Dec 2010 (Sun right ascension, Sun declination, Moon right ascension, Moon declination, Moon phase)

        I was using the spreadsheet for additional quake trends post Dec 2010 and never updated the later data with the Sun/Moon info.

  9. I know from my contact at El Hierro that most of the villagers are looking down to the so called eruption area because they cant sleep anyway – so far nothing heard from here – she writes me almost every hour

    1. That makes me feel very old. In 1964 the tarmac road stopped about four miles outside Valverde, no airport………
      Where does all the drinking water come from? In 1964 they gathered rain off tin sheets into a cistern…for the town.

      1. Hi Peter! Nice to meet you…

        They are getting the water from the rock. Former Mayor, Cayo Armas drilled after water years ago to prevent/stop people moving from the Island. And he found a large water source in the rock.

        Here you can watch a report from Il Hierro and their water supply development. Shown on Swedish TV today. The programme’s name is: “Korrespondentern” theme; “Peak Oil” approx. 12:21 minutes into the programme: http://svtplay.se/t/103500/korrespondenterna

        Must have been filmed very recently… btw all in Swedish and Spanish 😉

        Christian T.

      2. A weekly plane comes in with water from La Palma and Tenerife. Apart from that, things have probably developed quite a bit since -64 ;)..water is now collected in huge deposits and in Frontera there is even drinking water collected from a mountain deposit.

    2. My machine is too old to handle the footage – but a quick scan of the text said something like “two new eruptions detected off the coast, sleeves of green in the blue water”. Or something like that anyway – wish my machine could display the footage.

  10. Good night you guys – and keep writing – I really enjoy reading your postings. Hell, I now have to get up one hour earlier in the morning just to read through what happens at night. Rett og slett forbannet interessant:)

    1. It is right next to the beach. But there is something odd with that picture. If it was an eruption we should see an explosive eruption. Now it is just a lot of water disturbance next to the beach. Odd.

      1. Photo is darkish and some wind on sea too. Sea currents off the south coast of El Hierro likely “swirls around the tip”, where supposably the eruption is at, this map below (I do not know how accurate) shows that it flows from North-East, this could be reason for (light coloured) debris coming nearer to shore. Mix “light coloured” ash with water, it stays that colour!


      2. For my dumb penny’s worth the dark semi-circles remind me of a standing wave, like from vibration.

      3. I think Islander nailed it, point waves, waves that have been travelling down the coast, and that get pushed up as it passes the tip of the point of the Island, then they meet a cross current. A bitch to sail through waves like that, all of a sudden one is in a field of almost standing waves that are four times higher than what you just sailed through, and the waves are steeeeeep.

      4. Sailed through those with a tiny fishing boat in El Hierro…scary stuff in a small boat.

      1. Lol!
        Armand: Teideano twittered something about installing some IP-webcams, but I cannot find the tweet nomore, so pefhaps there is a change of plans…

  11. There is something fishy with that eruption next to the beach. Really fishy. And then I do not mean dead fish floating around.
    It is less then 200 metres deep (125 according to the Admiralty Chart of the Island) where “the beach” eruption is taking place. So, even if there was a small eruption we should see a lot of activity. We should see at a minimum silt, gunk and stoff being swirled up, even if it was a small piddly eruption.
    Most likely we should see explosive behaviour, we should see something. But no…
    All we get is perfectly clear water with a high enough gas content to make it green. The green water is just a highly gassy and bubbly piece of “pure” water.
    That is definitly NOT an eruption site. That is a large gas-vent, nothing less, nothing more.
    I am even starting to have second doubts about any eruption after seeing this one, the one a bit away at 250 metres depth, and the third at about 600 metres depth. The only thing seen there is also the same, chrystal clear water with a lot of gas in it. Yes, the gas can kill someone, but it is not an eruption. Even at the greatest depth volcano at 6,,4 kilometres out we should see some gunk being carried up by the gasses, but we do not.
    I have sailed close to the residues from an underwater eruption, that was at 1500 metres depth and there was a lot of gunk in the water still, that gunk was carried up by the convective heat stream caused by the eruption.
    So, to put it shortly. It is very unlikely that there is an ongoing eruption that close to the beach, and I even doubt any further out.
    We are still waiting for the real eruption.

      1. Well, couldn’t the clearer water have been brought by the currents and the gunk stayed behind?

      2. Gunk would have been moved with the current and tides too.
        I am not talking about sollid eruptive matter. Pumice and light tephra would float up, but not lava or normal tephra.
        What I am talking about is the normal silt on the bottom. That floats quite well and stains water like crazy. That would have come up, and we would see a blackish/grey stain, not a nice fresh turqoise.

      3. The so called “pumice rafts”. But are those expected from a basaltic type of magma?
        Still, I concur with you that this video says very little.

      4. I am not good at the actual chemistry of magmas. I am trying to learn, but haven’t gotten to the base-magma of pumice. I think it is high in magnesium content to be that light, even with all the gas-bubbles in them.
        Trust me, it is odd to sail into a pumice raft. There is actually a video somewhere on youtubber where we sail boldly into the crap.

      1. Click on the up arrow to get away from 1-second data, click on damped graph to get back to 1-second data.

      2. Carl,
        I found it by accident.
        Left click on the graph and the default long time -constant tremors are replaced with 1 second time-constant data – which looks a real mess. To get back to the legible recording click on the grey arrow pointing up ( its on the right above the station selector).

        No legend explaining it that I can see!

      3. Now I am getting it, you wanted to leave the 1 minute view and go to the hour view. Same thing as second/minute, I just used a different terminology where I sit in my sofa 🙂
        Same shit, different name 🙂

    1. Thanks for posting.
      Well, here we have it from the mouth of scientists and they show a picture of what they have called “black coral”, which, following Carl’s reasoning, could have been moved by degassing, no “pumice raft”.
      So, what we have, concretely, is the decrease in the intensity of tremors and a long way to go, in my opinion.

      1. That was a really good video. You could actually see gas-bubbles burst violently as they hit the surface. Nice!

        But not a single little slip of gunk showing, only dark blue gasless water, and green/turqouise water that is fully saturated with gas.

        I think we will see something pop up soon, but it is still just the de-gassing that surfaces, but lava should come up soon.

        Notice though that this one is rather far out compared to those closer to the coast. I guess this is the original 6,4 kilometre out first place.

        But the things in the hand is really funny, that is alumina. If that is from the volcano, then the chemical composition of the volcano is really weird.
        Alumina is the industrial name of a product you get when you start to make aluminium from Bauxite-ore. First you purify it to alumiumoxide that is pure. That is called alumina, and cost about 150$ per ton, that one you then melt untill the oxygent leaves, that takes a lot of energy, then you get aluminum.
        Alumina has that exact silvery shine on the surface, and the inside of the alumna pieces are blackish.

  12. Thanks Peter, just got it right.
    Now, about Carl’s video, I really think there is nothing concrete to it: they say people can be more tranquil since “tremor has ceased” – which is far from true, and the evaluation of the colour was given from the mouth of a fisherman, as well as other laypeople in the island. No scientist to assert the fact. Therefore, I think Carl has a point here.

    1. Very odd. The surface evidence for this eruption is still slim. I saw the “black coral” but have to admit that I do not understand why it is whitish on the outside & black only in the middle, and also relatively smooth. Burned coral I would expect to be blacker on the outside than the inside. Carl may be right that the journalist is actually holding alumina. And I have seen sea that colour off the coast of the UK with not an eruption anywhere remotely close.

      Sulfur smell is indicative of de-gassing, geothermal activity or (small) eruption.

      Dead fish and alumina may be more indicative of a bad accident involving a fishing vessel, which may or may not be caused by volcanic activity. Have all vessels in the area been accounted for?

      Hope they can get a camera on the sea bed soon to see what is really happening and to see where / what the alumina came from.

  13. Hello eveyone, I live in Tenerife, next door but one to the island of El Hierro. I just wanted to say thanks very much to Jon and all the other people who have contributed to this site for the wealth of information you have passed on regarding the situation. The Canary Island news, government, papers etc have given us nowhere near the info that you guys have given…..whilstI don´t often understand the technology that you guys are discussing, you manage to put it into laymans terms that normal people like me can understand. Keep it going, because I am sure I will find out more from you guys than from the Canary Islands government….I was wondering if we were being deprived of info to keep us from undue panicing…

  14. I live in NJ/USA on the Atlantic coast. I am very concerned. I remember watching the landslide/tsunami documentaries a few years ago. I emailed NOAA for information about the size of a tsunami from an eruption and was told that a 2′-6′ waverun would occur and that the safest place is on the top of a parking garage. I was informed that the scientists are incorrect as to the size of the resulting tsunami. My response: Why aren’t you alerting those on the East Coast to be prepared? I have not gotten a response to that question.

    With regard to why there isn’t a lot of information in English, I will answer that as an American on the Coast who has communicated with NOAA. How do you evacuate NYC, Boston, etc? You can’t. In the States we have an agency named FEMA that has for years told people to be prepared. They have TV commercials and website information but no one listens. Everyone evacuated after August’s “Irene” and they could have stayed in their houses. If the police tell anyone to leave now 99% won’t. It is a simple case of “Boy crying wolf.”

    It is now 6:30AM/EST on 10/17 and the news online from Spain states that there was a meeting on the island because the tremors have increased and expanded. I believe that the eruptions are going to go off one after another. In 1755 there was an eruption and tsunami that destroyed Lisbon…the Potuguese Empire. The waves traveled to England and killed many people.

    There is a very curious activity where I live. A large photo contest has been initiated to document our area due to the advent of a “King Tide” on 10/27. Well, my “hobby” is astroyphysics specific to the correlation between planetary alignments and seismic/volcanic activity. That is the constant pattern: Earthquakes always lead to eruptions. Planetary alignement do correlate but the scientific reason is yet unknown. Anyway, March 19, 2011 was the “Super Moon”… there is no “King Tide”. To me this is a ruse. I wrote to let all involved know they are not presenting scientific facts to the public. (Search: Barnegat Bay, NJ, USA King Tide). I am 52 years old and have spent my life on the shore. No one has ever asked for the public to document the area.

    So, why isn’t there more information in English? They can’t evacuate. (Search: FEMA purchases 7 million emergency meals, and thousands of plastic coffins and underwater body bags.) I will travel 20 miles inland and am packed to evacuate. I do not care if those I know think I am ridiculous. Science tells that we are correct. Note: 10/27 is an alignment of the Sun, Moon, Earth, and Jupiter. Harmonic tremors are increasing. This would be a “power” date. I would like to know how the islands’ animal life is reacting. If snakes are coming out of the ground that is the #1 sign of something happening really soon. The fish are dying from the sulfur. What is the behavior of the birds? Are they migrating in mass? Thank you for your work on behalf of everyone who will be effected when the volcanoes erupt…recent pumice was a very bad sign.

  15. El Hierro is my home. Yesterday we travelled to Malpaso, the peak of which is the highest point on the island. It was incredible, around 14.48 to 15.20 hours the Ocean to the south of La Restinga boiled, fascinating. The blue Ocean had a green slick from just off La Restinga drifting SSW.

    Here life goes on as normal, the only difference being La Restinga has been evacuated, but the locals may be allowed to return toady if and when a better warning system has been installed. The bars and restaurants are busier with press, scientists, emergency services and politicians. A friend who owns a bar confided that he hopes the darned volcano will rumble on ’til Easter.

    Here is a link to the local press. It is of course in Spanish, because English is rarely used here, there only being five English residents on the island

Comments are closed.