Special report: New magma intrusion into El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands, Spain

Few days ago a new magma intrusion did start in El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands, Spain. But this means that the pressure is increasing inside El Hierro current magma still. The new magma is going the same path as before, and is forming a new sill north-west part of El Hierro volcano. It seems that this magma has not yet encountered the magma that is already inside El Hierro volcano. What happens when the new magma encounters the slightly older magma is a open question. But I am sure what happens is going to be interesting and is going to create a new eruption vent in my opinion.

The new magma intrusion in El Hierro. It is not yet in contact with the existing magma in El Hierro. It is hard to know exactly what happens when the new magma gets into contact with the magma that is already in El Hierro. Copyright of this picture belongs to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

What is really interesting about this new magma is that this seems to be a new intrusion from a new conduct below El Hierro. This conduct does not appear in the earthquakes that started in July 2011 to today. There is a great risk that more new conducts are going to open up under El Hierro in this same manner. But this means that new magma can start to flow into El Hierro at new point under El Hierro. But that is always marked by a increase in earthquake activity where a new magma intrusion starts in El Hierro. This new magma intrusion into El Hierro appears to be rather small at the moment. But it is most likely going to grow over the next few weeks.

Current harmonic tremor levels in El Hierro volcano. Given by the current harmonic tremor level this eruption remains small. But the harmonic tremor is poorly to not being detected on nearby Canary Islands. The spike in the tremor plot is a earthquake. Copyright of this picture belongs to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

It seems that IGN did rescale the tremor plot in the early beginning of the eruption. Making me draw false conclusions on what was going on in El Hierro. But it seems that the eruption is stable and has been from the beginning. But so far this is a small eruption, based on the tremor data. I say it is small because the harmonic tremor is not detected about ~60 km away from El Hierro. As a example in the eruption of Grímsfjall volcano, the harmonic tremor was detected clearly up to ~200 km away from the eruption. But the harmonic tremor signals how much magma is moving inside a volcano up to the surface. But not how explosive the eruption is. But explosions can and are detected on seismometers when a eruption goes explosive.

If anything major happens in El Hierro. I am going to update this blog post.

568 Replies to “Special report: New magma intrusion into El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands, Spain”

  1. There is a great risk of eruption on land. It cannot and should not be ruled out. The newest magma injection is growing, but is also already looking for a pathway up and might already have found one by now.

  2. Hi from a new entrant.
    I seem to remember that a whole lot of people got very ill, for a very long time after drinking tap water contaminated by accident with aluminium sulphate (20 tons of it) at Camelford in Cornwall. Obviously not just the citrate then.

    1. The tanker of Al sulphate that was tipped into the potable water outlet from the works raised the concentration very high -high enough to dissolve copper off pipes giving the water the blue colour of copper sulphate. Its pH ws low too. Amazingly people drank it. The health effects cannot be attributed solely to aluminium.
      Drinking tap water with orange juice ( citrate) will add to their aluminium burden. For years aluminium deposits in the brain were linked with Alzheimer’s disease – but now not thought to be causative.
      More stuff here:

      1. But drink it they did. I seem to remember that some of them got green hair for a while. Obviously this was an extreme example but as you say it does show that your risk is inflated by the things you mix with contaminated water and the vessels you keep it in.

  3. I have a couple of questions. Is there any consensus on what scenario would have led to the large scale collapse of El Hierro to the NW? Also is there any description of the geological structure buried beneath the debris flow and Frontera?

    1. I think that it was straightforward gravitational collapse.

      ” The most recent of these [landslides] was the ‘El Golfo’ landslide that occurred about 15 thousand years ago, involving collapse of the northern flank of the island. The landslide formed the El Golfo valley and created a debris avalanche with a volume of 150–180 km3. Turbidite deposits related to this landslide have been recognized in drill cores from the Agadir Basin to the north of the Canary Islands.[13] Detailed analysis of these deposits suggests that the slope failure did not occur as a single event but a series of smaller failures over a period of hours or days.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Hierro

      “The excessive growth of this volcano [El Golfo] triggered the failure of its north flank, generating the spectacular scarp and present El Golfo depression.” Source: http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=286492

      1. Thanks KarenZ, it was the historic collapse I was refering to naturally. I gather then that it is unlikely that inflation associated with a new single eruption would be sufficient on its own to destabilise the western arm of the island which looks to me most at risk.

  4. Found this on AVCAN, from 26th.
    Giggle translation:
    “””Station director Volcano Islands, Juan Carlos Carracedo, said today that the management after the submarine eruption in El Hierro was “nearly disastrous” and considered that the lack of foresight led to the loss of “valuable information” and that decisions are taken “chaotic and contradictory.”
    The situation was always “well controlled” by the National Geographic Institute (IGN), stressed Efe Carracedo, but managing it once began eruptive process “has been disastrous” because there was no place in the scientific staff who knew the island and this type of volcanism.
    Carracedo regretted that would not have ability to anticipate the need for an oceanographic ship that could observe and follow the eruption from its beginnings in the sea, which caused him to miss all the “valuable information” in the early stages of submarine eruption.
    This resulted in a lack of knowledge of “fundamental factors” as the depth of focus, which caused them to take civil protection measures “chaotic and contradictory,” he highlighted the vulcanologist.
    Juan Carlos Carracedo said that with the arrival of the ship Ramon Margalef, Spanish Institute of Oceanography, has resolved the issue “most important” because the volcano is located, its size and depth, and it was found that “no poses no danger. ”
    Earthquakes taking place in recent days may be due to two reasons, as explained by the volcanologist.
    The most likely in the opinion of Carracedo is that now we are producing an adjustment in the earth’s crust, after swelling and breakage occur.
    Therefore, the seismicity located in the north of El Hierro is the usual procedure and there is no danger, but Juan Carlos Carracedo has not ruled out another option, which considered more unlikely, that is the reactivation of the eruptive activity. EFE”””

    Ah, the frustrations of the scientist. It all comes down to cash, and I suspect distance from the capital city.

    1. Actually, cudos to the dude, he actually admitted that they have been chaotic to say the least. But the crap of talking about it being over he should stop with.

    2. El Hierro, itself, is a small island and I would not expect it to have a full team of scientists on hand. However, I would expect them to develop a decent incident plan and test it, sooner rather than later – they might need it.

      I really don’t think that Carracedo can be so sure that there won’t be an eruption. It is reasonable to assume some settling after Baby Bob, but there is still a very robust harmonic tremor and a pattern of rising EQs. And the settling itself might cause another event.

      Fraid I am in Jon’s camp, I think that the incident is not over yet and we could see something bigger, possibly on land.

  5. The floating stones, aka SvampurinnBobs revisited:

    I now have an ID on the pesky mineral. It was rare, but not entirely unheard of in a volcano.
    It was just your average garden variety of Millosevichite. Anyone who have heard of that one can now pat your own back with both hands. I guess that perhaps one of our esteemed geologists knew that one. It was apparantly first found in the well known neck of the world called Chelyabinsk. If you can drink five bears and say MillosevichiteDiscoveredatChelyabinsk five time quickly you can probably pat yourself on your back with your foot.
    Now I will go to bed with one less mystery in the world..
    I just knew that Yugoslavia and the Hague tribunal was involved somehow… 🙂

    1. I tried, but I’m afraid I got stuck at the bit about drinking five bears. The first one got its paw stuck in my nostril.

      1. Interesting – so the heat and gassing is passing through a level of former vegetation from millions of years ago!

        This is such a fascinating volcano – with the unusual sedimentary layer.

      2. Or it could be material from the ocean crust or magma.

        The small crytsals were formed by, as Carl said in an earlier post, from rapid cooling when the lava met cold seawater.

  6. I am rather sure that there might be a earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge tonight or sometimes in the next two days or so.

    But I am going to sleep anyway now.

    1. Thank you. A great plot. This is consistent wtih SABI moving SE and the other stations moving SW.

      Interestingly REST has moved further from FRON than the area to the south of Tanganasoga. The latter either has not moved or has moved more slowly than FRON (in a similar direction) so the distance between it and FRON has decreased.

      Would I be right in deducing that there is inflation around the bay of El Golfo?

      Not sure how we would explain the movement at REST as part of the same incident. But there may be additional inflation south of the NW ridge.

      The vertical displacement would be very interesting to see.

      1. But should have said: consistent with SABI moving NE and the other stations moving NW. Tanganasoga is also moving faster than FRON in a similar direction (distance decreasing) and REST is moving slower than FRON (distance increased).

        So apparent net inflation south of the NW ridge and possible net inflation north of the NW ridge.

        And you can see why I need a navigator when I go for a drive.

    2. @ Lurking: so, looking at this geometrically only, is it correct to read this so that there are two areas that are lifting up (around Sabinosa and La Restinga, red-yellow) for some reason (not going to speculate what the reason is) and because of this uplift they are squeezing between themselves the area around Tanganasoga (violet-pink), which is contracting?

      1. This is looking only at lateral displacement from FRON, not vertical displacement.

        So horizontal displacement between SABI and FRON has increased and between REST and FRON has increased, but between Tanganasoga and FRON has decreased.

      2. Yes, but geometriaclly, if you look at the surface as a mathematical object (imagine a rubber surface that has elasticity in the material), from the lateral displacement you can, I think, deduce that areas that are stretching (lateral displacemetn increases) are actually going upwards and areas where the lateral displacement is decreasing, the end points are “pushing” and squeezing the area in-between. I think, but not sure, so perhaps Lurking could explain if I am correct?

    3. Lurking, thank you very much again for your amazing plot with a very good introduction.
      Still I have to ask one question.
      The red, yellow and green colours have positive values, meaning increasing distance to FRON, red the most. So Sabinosa and La Restinga move away form Frontera (laterally). Corresponding, violet and blue have negative values, meaning decreasing distance to FROM, violet the most. So Malpaso moves towards Frontera (laterally).
      Beacause I for some reason expected something else; is this the correct interpretation?

      1. It is how I interpreted it when I got N & S round the right way.

        This is also why I am interested in the vertical displacement.

    4. Stylish, now you even have narrative and a plot to your Plots. Really nice and informative.
      Something tells me that the lateral increase spot is slightly larger, but I of course have no reason to believe so.

    1. Interesting.

      300,000 years for a magma chamber to fill, currently at 1 cu meter per second. A lot of magma. Hope it does not all come out at once.

  7. Hi – brill updates to catch up on here.

    I’m focussing on the NW Frontera area – and another kilometre climb has occurred this morning – now 14km depth.

    As Carl notes – once it meets the 8km layer it may go quiet. Then I fear it will meet the cooler magma which I suspect is pushing up slowly at present, under pressure from below. This is the stuff we consider is probably soft and so not registering movement.

    Back to my eureka moment a few days ago – Carl and Peter – you were discussing Icelandic rift volcanoes at the time – I fear that if, or when, a degassing event occurs on land, it may act as a chimney and draw the heat up – fast.

    I wish there was a clearer evacutation plan ready for if it becomes suddenly necessary.

    1. That still leaves 14km of rock to punch through. And it will take hundreds of small EQs to do that.
      I’m with Carracedo on this – I dont think its going to get to surface on land, or anywhere for that matter.

      1. @Peter, while I hope that you are correct, there have been EQ’s closer the surface than 14km throughout the entire incident from July 2011 and there have been 10,000 EQs in the area in that time.

        No one can give Carracedo’s level of assurance (even if he is correct), because no one knows the state of the rock between the magma and the surface; and, no one knows exactly where the magma is. And no one knows El Hierro’s full eruptive history.

        Right now, it is better to err on the side of caution.

      2. No-one can be certain, I dont claim that.
        But I watched Eyjaf day to day. It erupted at the Vimmvorduhals fissure on 20th. Here are the EQS over two days from 14-16th.
        (diameter of spots are magnitude).

        The number of EQ events above 8km at Hierro is tiny compared with Eyjaf. So I wait to see a clear upward EQ trend at Hierro – ones and twos of low magnitude per day dont add up to much in my estimation.

      3. Thank you for the plot; that’s interesting.

        From the plot it would appear that there were three upward paths of EQs before eruption. Was this three initial vents or is the magma between them somewhere?

      4. Thing is that Fimmvörduhals eruption did have pretty much no likeness to EldfjallþessierþekktursemBobs eruption. Yes, it started with the quaking. But the quakes before EldfjallþessierþekktursemBob was all over the place, probably as the pressure evened out against your sedimentary plate, and the quakes never really went above that plate more than a comparative few. So we could call it a dead zone. Then all of a sudden, without any small quakes above 8 kmm you had a swarm with a 4+ quake, and then silence… Then high tremoring… Then EldfjallþessierþekktursemBob.
        Eyjafjallajökull had a perfect progression of quakes as the tube was built up. Huge difference.

      5. Peter, sorry but there is not absolute evidence for the need of those quakes. In all fairness EldfjallþessierþekktursemBob did have pretty much no earthquakes before eruptions. So there is no real reason to believe there would be any EQs at another side of the Island. Quite the contrary.
        I actually believe the only thing you will notice is the tremoring itself, and perhaps cracking of the surface layer.
        This is a very unusual pattern for a volcano to have. As far as I know it is only Hekla that has these quitet eruption.

  8. Lurking – fascinating. Thank you.
    Here’s my pennyworth to what’s happened since July.
    During July to early Oct Fron moved towards La Plama,Gomera, Tenerife.
    The EQs at that time started shallow ( 8-12km) and trended deeper with time (12-18km) -see Lurking’s plots here:
    That pattern does not fit with a model in which magma is forcing its way upwards- indeed it denies it. So I suggest that the NW-wards motion of Fron reflected a strain imposed on Hierro at considerable depth- mantle – such that it was ‘bent’ about an axis from NW to SE. That would also cause Fron-Rest to separate as we see on going in the latest Lurking video . Under such bending forces rock would be under greater tension higher up, so that is where EQs started, and unzipped downwards. The rock in the area of the EW ridge would have been most weakened by the eruptions that formed Hierro so it is here that EQS focussed. The fractured rock then allow existing magma that was already in place to redistribute with perhaps degassing to cause the tremor. We are now seeing even deeper EQs.
    Since July we have not seen upward trends involving more than a tiny fraction of the 10,000EQs. To me it looks like an inverted volcano: its an important clue.
    The initial bending event has to be deep, but there are hints in the overall EQ distributions of laminar structures:
    1. from 8km down to about 15km
    2 a EQ-free gap from 15km to 20km
    3 the present active layer 20km to 25km
    What causes that? The upper bound at 8km corresponds to the lower limit of Jurassic sedimentary rock which my have conformed to the flexure a-seismically. That 3km layer of shales/clays/limstone may also have elimnated strain in the shallower (<5km) erupted volcanics that comprise Hierro. As to the deeper laminar patterns?? – dont know.
    So my model has no new magma arriving under Hierro, just old stuff shifting at some depth. And it fits a number of unusual observations, and with Fron's GPS motion.

    1. While I agree that all but the western end of the NW ridge of the Island has moved NW (at different rates) which would produce EQs. You also need to take account of:

      – SABI has moved NE
      – EQs have occured at other depths
      – the ongoing harmonic tremor
      – “an inverted volcano” could be the upper sections of magma reservoirs
      – magma may not have appeared to move upwards because it is already there or it is not producing many EQs
      – the rifting can release magma, especially if there is a hot spot / plume

      The vertical displacement may shed more light on this.

      1. OK, lets run over that:
        – motion of SABI can be effect of the deep flexure if it has an additional vector – say a dome-like shaperather than linear fold. It could be the top of a deep, buoyant, ‘plumelet’ that does not infiltrate the structure.
        -the broad EQ pattern is interpretable , but singletons here and there cannot be read, unless thay are big magnitude. Models dont have to embrace all events.
        -tremor is on this model a redistribution of existing magma with degassing as a result of tensile fracturing. The EQs from such fractures will have different charactristics from those generated by magma intrusion but those data are not given us.
        That could be the acid testof the model. IGN will know so will Carracedo.
        – Vertical GPS motion is conventionally interpreted as magma rising*, but it is also allowed for it to be the result of lifting of the entire structure by a push from below by a bouyant plume.

        * in the lake Tahoe magma intrusion the GPS data fitted the EQ swarm nicely- but the EQs trended upwards: “…During the first 23 days of the swarm, hypocentral depths migrated at a rate of 2.4 millimeters/second up-dip along a 45
        kilometer2 structure………” We dont see that – the EQS trended downwards.

      2. I am also have difficulty with E & W this morning. Apologies for confusing anyone.

        – SABI has moved NW; the rest of the island has moved NE.

    2. I think I get your drift here.

      As far as I can see, the slight lifting of the entire structure and it then bending along the NW to SE axis does fit the quake pattern quite well.

      What the displacement plot should show from the very beginning, say July or so, until last month would be an overall slight uplift. I’ll have to go look for that.

      For all. An additional thing that can cause stations to move apart… extension and thinning. You don’t have to stick a slug of magma in the strata to make it move apart.

      Don’t get caught by over simplification. Remember that Occam’s razor has two edges… both equally viable (simple).

      1. From what I understand, FRON, HI-04 and REST show uplift; SABI was not clear; and, VALV again not so clear but may have dropped a little.

        But you know me and directions.

  9. Hi guys and girls,

    Here something to discuss about (which i just published)
    Letter from Raymond Matabosch (dedicated volcano follower), currently at El Hierro
    Yesterday evening Earthquake-Report.com received an Email from Raymond Matabosh, a French volcano follower currently at El Hierro (staying overnight at Valverde at the moment). Raymond has been studying the Canary Island volcanoes for a long time as a auto didactic amateur volcano follower. Raymond attracted our attention towards an article he had written on September 28 regarding the El Hierro activity. As Raymond has no University degree and is not connected to any science organization, his work is merely done off site and based on the open source data he can get. We print the Story of Raymond because we are convinced that what he wrote is one of the viable scenario for what currently is occurring below El Hierro.

    This is the most important on what he is saying :

    The volcano presented by the Ramon Margalef is not the new volcano. The other parts of the picture are not showing signs of an recent eruption … In addition, the new vent culminates at a very shallow depth of 70 m. Contrary to what a lot of people and scientists are telling i have to stress that the Jacuzzi is still working. Also small geysers, stage 2 of an eruption surtseyenne, are appearing …
    I am here on the island and i can see this from my viewing point …

    1. No-one actually claimed that the crater discovered was Bob (or Pancho, using the local name) and there were blanked out areas, if I recall correctly from last night.

      But they have claimed that the eruption was nearly over / had stopped and the recent EQs were just settling. Does your source have pictures? / can we get pictures?

      1. Will ask him Karen – Well he was reacting to the topography pictures of the Ramon Margalef. As you know it was brought in Spain as the great discovery. I guess he is out in the field watching what unfolds. I hope that the Canary Island press read it also and try to find him for an interview. He should be discussing in this panel, but he cannot write English

      2. Finding any (new) crater / volcano is, in itself, a discovery and more pictures of it would be good.

        If it is not Bob, it means that there has been more volcanic activity in the region than people might have been aware of.

      3. Armand

        We use google translate to translate what is in Spanish. We would love to hear his eye-witness perceptions. He can use it to translate our responses too.

    2. Thank you Armand for this very interesting information!
      Have to think about this for a while and will come back later.
      By the way, which languages is Raymond speaking?

    3. EldfjallþessierþekktursemBob says Hork!

      I actually believe the dude, I was a bit stumped about the depth they where stating. But, I do think it is one of the first fissures that opened up.
      First went, gas only.
      Second went, the one we saw on the imagery, and the same that gave me the SvampurinnBobs that a “kind” firsherman sold. Real eruption, but very small, and heavy on guess.
      Third Vent is the EldfjallþessierþekktursemBob that we have come love. I had a problem believing that the boat could go there, but stupid and trusting as I am I believed that the Jacuzzi had gone quiet.

      So, EldfjallþessierþekktursemBob has started to produce “geysers”, or more to the point, pre-explosive water displacements. Interesting indeed.
      EldfjallþessierþekktursemBob is SO going to pull the pants on the Cabilde and Carraceraccas.

  10. Carl le strange could you paste again the laboratory testing made of Icemine Ltd?

    I am looking, but i can´t find the result.

    Thank you

  11. I am stressing big-time about the situation in El Hierro.

    While Carracedo is the expert my theory is not being disproved, as far as I can see, with all the new events. I wish it was.

    I perceive the quakes in El Golfo as the starting point, rifting from the mantle. I guess that El Hierro is pushing to the south where the coast is more sheer. I imagine pockets of cooler magma under the island which have gradually climbed up over millenia. I imagine sedimentary layers rich in carbon which can burn and melt surrounding rock, and, this being so, that they form hollows and tubes in the sedimentary layer.

    I see caves and lava tubes all over the island, especially around the coast. I speculate that where they terminate is not where they originally terminated but is where perforations have caused sheer.

    I speculate that new hotter magma is pushing the older more plastic magma upwards and south. I speculate that the gasses venting below the water line south of the island are the detritus of this interaction between old magma and the sedimentary layer, burning carbon and ejecting it with new rock such as Carl analyzed in Bob’s floaters.

    I fear that as the new hotter magma – which may not even be there, I grant – rises up, it will meet the older magma and push it harder through the perforated layer. This could lead to an eruption or possibly a collapse, first, anywhere on the island. The areas showing elevation on Lurking’s charts would appear to be most at risk, however, pressure on the ridge could alter the lava tubes and caves on there. The eastern end seems least affected. I would move there for now, if I was there.

    I am watching the quakes at what I think is the source, in NW Frontera. As it climbs steadily then everything else moves too, if this theory is correct.

    I can only say again that I hope I am wrong.

    1. Alyson,
      This is indeed a viable scenario which is in other words what Raymond and Lurking are telling too in less words.
      When you see some more elements of what you are telling confirmed, i would like to print it in ER (eventually in a condensed version)

      1. Armand, please note that I am speculating; I do not know anything. I have read the expert papers, some of which contradict each other, and I have observed what is happening and reached these conclusions, which may be in error.

        I suspect that if there is a centre at all, for an eruption of hot, fresh magma, it is in the slip area just off the shore of NW Frontera. Most of the experts say this is not possible. I cannot prove this, although there is a ‘lip’ just below the shore-line which may be where the quakes are now centring.

        But please note, I am not a volcanologist, just an observer who wishes you all well.

    2. Alyson,
      Imagination is a fine thing but it has to be moderated by the facts.
      -The sheerness of the coast of Hierro is not significant when the EQs are at a depth of 25km. ( a 1km tall cliff would increase the mass of rock by 4%)
      – Hollow tubes and caves are not feasible at the depths the EQ have ocurred. -The sedimentary layers are unusual, but they wont burn ( no oxygen). They will be wet – so steam and decompostion of limestones to carbon dioxide could occur. But those gases will be under such high pressure – as is the bulk rock- as to be compressed into tiny volumes, and may redissolve. But its these that may find a way to the surface first (Bob could be such a process )
      – There is no evidence for magma rising. The EQ swarm started shallow and got deeper with time:
      Lurking’s plot shows it clearlry:
      I find it conceptually impossible to envisage magma rising to create EQs at say 8km depth then rising more to create EQs at 15km depth – how did it get past 15km without making EQs in the first place?
      -The upside-down trend in EQs must be the result of another process as I have proposed above. Thus, old magma redistributes into fractures created by a large strain imposed on the entire structure from a deep plume. But old magma adds no heat to the system – thats very important. Once the strain has been taken up the EQs stop. In fact we no longer see any significant numbers in the original zone 8-12km deep where we had nearly 8000 up to a week or ago. The magma has moved locally into the 8000 fractures – maybe a few metres – and gelled again. There no new heat added there so no accelerated melting.
      – I dont share your alarm. The most I expect is perhaps another break out of gases like Bob. A fumarole. The worst I see is near-surface gas pressure dislodging a slice of rifted escarpment and a local landslide- but that is just my imagination at work – it may not be feasible.

      1. Thanks for discussing the subject. The Canary Island Diario El Hierro writes the following :
        Científicos ven magma a 25 km bajo El Hierro y dicen que la erupción continúa. With my knowledge of Spanish it means : Scientists are seeing Magma at 25 km below El Hierro en are saying the the eruption continues.
        Do they have xxxxxxxxxx-ray instruments to look at it or did i miss something here ?

      2. They have instruments which measure the seismic signals and these give the information that the hot magma is at 25km depth. It is my suspicion that it is also rising from this depth, and that the small earthquakes show the decreasing depths of small amounts of this hot magma.

      3. Armand,
        I guess thay are watching the pattern of the terremotos too. They have mases of tremor data so the new ‘semblence method’ might have given them clues as to where its coming from .
        If I were in a position to ask them a question:
        The EQ swarm started shallow and trended deeper: how does that fit with fresh magma rising?

      4. That would indeed make the view a lot better. They are using indeed tons of data more than they are publishing in the website, which will enable them to make a Lurking X² plot of the area. It is indeed strange that the depth has increased steadily and the harmonic tremor is still going on even when the seismic activity shifted that much to the North West.

      5. And Lurking’s plot shows (right panel) that magnitude trends greater with depth:
        Maybe this reveals a N-S gradient in the resistance of the rock to fracture (density of dykes?? -more at north end where EQs are shallower and weaker ) The depth trend with time could than merely reflect that. Then we could believe in a consistent magma intrusion from deep as in the textbooks.

    3. I do not believe that Alyson’s and Peter’s initial interpretation of the facts are mutually exclsuive. To summarise:

      Alyson is concerned about magma rising from the mantle to meet an existing magma chamber, leading to an eruption. And that so far we have seen erupt from Bob: rock produced by a reaction between hot magma & detrius from previous eruptions or sediment; and, gas.

      Peter postulates that the EQs were more likely to be caused by rock which fractured as the distances between the stations increased than by magma movement. He also considers it possible that rock is bending over a dome-like structure. He considers (and please correct me if I am wrong) that the eruption is essentially over and that Bob is incidental.

      If Peter is correct in that there is a dome like structure under El Hierro, this may be part of the magma reservoir (a complex one that may be a system of multiple reservoirs). For rock to bend there has to be heat. This could come from new magma or it could be generated by movement along a fault line.
      Softened rock can release magma more easily so there would be fewer earthquakes or softened rock facilitates settling of heavier rock structures above it (“halo of ductile rock”). Settling of heavier rock on top of the magma reservoir may lead to fracturing of the reservoir.

      Bob may be the result of a fractured gas reservoir. [He may also be giving magma an escape route from a small magma reservoir].

      If we combine Alyson’s model with Peter’s model, we have new magma rising to meet a magma reservoir under ductile / fracturing rock probably between SABI/FRON/REST and the mysterious HI-04.

      So far this has manifested itself as a massive EQ swarm 10,000, a strong continuous harmonic tremor and eruptive activity near La Restinga (gas, sulphur, a rare aluminium sulphate combined with aluminium oxide (probably made by hot magma mixing with old crust sediment) and possibly magma).

      1. We could be in yet closer agreement if the EQ swarm reflects a N-S gradient in the susceptibility of Hierro at 8-20km depth to fracture. The hint of this gradient is the increase in EQ magnitude as we go south. See reply to Armand above. Then I dont need to propose bending ( I think) -conventional magma shove from below would work. But the outcomes will be different as fresh magma adds higher temperatures to the equation.

      2. But the magma push concept does beg the question why have the EQs at 8-18km – the site of the swarm of 8000- now gone almost completely silent?? If fresh magma had got in at the sites of those 8000EQs we should surely be seeing more action at that depth, rock melting from the new heat, more fracturing, and more EQs. I think I’m back to the ‘big bend/old magma’ idea rather than ‘magma rising’.
        And the increase of magnitude with depth is because the rock there is hotter and so more compliant and hence able to absorb small imposed forces rather than rupture with a small EQ.
        Well, someone has to be Devil’s advocate, why not!

      3. Being devil’s advocate is constructive.

        I am considering the scenario in three stages: pre emergence of Bob, emergence of Bob and post Bob.

        Pre-emergence of Bob:

        Not sure that fresh magma, itself, needs to reach the upper levels of the magma reservoir – we only need the heat from it and / or pressure if the magma reservoir is fairly full.

        Hot magma rising from below would push existing magma upwards. The EQs swarms could be caused by the movement of magma or gases at the top of the magma reservoir where pressure would be greatest. This pressure, if at an angle, could cause rock to fracture round the parts of the edge of the magma reservoir. The magma reservoir could be dome-shaped at the top.

        Or the heat from new magma could rise through the existing magma and cause fracturing of rock at the top of the reservoir.

        The fracturing of rock would cause heat, as would new magma. This might have softened rock to produce some settling of rocks round parts the dome and / or settling of the heavier upper portion of Hierro towards the dome. Rock fracturing can produce large swarms of EQs (we have seen this in the Hengill area, Iceland).

        If not from new magma, the heat could come from rifting / part of movement of along a fault.

        Emergence of Bob:

        At the moment Bob seems to be an anomaly to the general pattern of EQs so he has probable emerged as fracturing of a small gas and / or magma reservoir.

        Unfortunately Bob now seems to have active siblings, which is confusing the picture at the moment. But when we know more about them, will probably add to the picture.

        The brothers between them have produced de-gassing, sulphur, combined Aluminium Oxide & Millosevichite rocks, acidic sea and possibly magma. To produce the combined Aluminium Oxide & Millosevichite rocks, something had to be very hot ≥1000°C. It is likely that one of the brothers is near magma and / or a site of a lot of rock fracturing.

        Post Emergence of Bob:

        The EQs and harmonic tremor are continuing, the former with a current predominance around the El Golfo bay area. Most are deeper but there are some shallower ones. While we are not yet seeing the huge swarms which preceded Bob, the level of EQs is still respectably high. So we may be seeing new and rising magma.

        Does this need to produce swarms of EQs to precede an eruption? Possibly not – if the EQs, rock settling and rifting have opened up a feasible route for magma to rise.

        Unfortunately 10,000 EQs may be masking the evidence and we are looking at a very short time span in terms of the life of El Hierro.

        A lot of “might”s and “may be”s so it is a case of time will tell.

  12. French – i am sure he is reading us here also (he uses giggle too) – but he wants to be in the shadow he told me just a while ago – not to much hassle – but when he has a new finding he will inform us first (and of course i will make sure jonfr too).
    The following link is the blog where he is posting his articles.

    Btw he is regularly translating part of what we write into French in the comments of our site.
    The main reason why he came forward and had send me an email is because he doesn’t like what is being told all the time – just like you here 🙂

    This is what he wrote me a couple of minutes ago (proof of giggling) :
    Je suis quelqu’un qui aime chercher et je n’aime pas trop la lumière. Alors, je resterai au calme et je me consacrerai à mes recherches
    (Avec google traduction : I am someone who likes to research and I do not like light. So I kept quiet and I will devote myself to my research

    Dès que j’ai du neuf, je vous le signale
    (Avec google traduction : As soon as I new, I will notify you)

    I truly appreciate that he will share what he sees with us, we have not that many independent volcanao followers around at El Hierro

  13. I know that the island structure is supposed to be a sort of three way rift system but what if you considered that the rift from the southern arc now continues northward through the island under Frontera and beyond. If there were a new magma source roughly centred under the island trying to cause spreading on that rift could you not get earthquake series similar to what we have seen? And of course our little eruption.

    1. I do believe that is what had happened. Or perhaps even more to the point. The original shape of the island does not really agree with the idea and current believed placement of the trippe-junction with the before mentioned shape. Because with that placement there would be no El Golfo.

      No, I think there is a deep lateral rift going across the island.

  14. Magnitude ML 3.0
    Date time 2011-10-27 14:02:22.0 UTC
    Location 27.79 N ; 18.06 W
    Depth 22 km
    Distances 187 km SW San cristóbal de la laguna (pop 139,928 ; local time 15:02:22.0 2011-10-27)
    97 km S Los llanos de aridane (pop 19,635 ; local time 15:02:22.0 2011-10-27)
    80 km S Fuencaliente de la palma (pop 1,894 ; local time 15:02:22.0 2011-10-27)

    1. Looks like we need an expert to look at this please.
      Probably just another in a gradual waking process, but one can not be too careful with Katla.

  15. It (the 2.6) has left a spike on the God 2-4Hz. Weather it is a genuine 2.6 quake or a bit less we will see…It did register though.
    I thought it was quiet in Iceland, typical.

      1. Well, there’s not the slightest signal on the helicorders. So i think it’ll be downgraded to some 1.x or even 0.x

      1. No, not a very big swarm, but they are all on around 1 KM depth… Is this “normal”?

  16. Just an observation but the quakes seem to have shifted from the North east rim of the crater to almost in the center, magma changing direction slightly?

  17. Just out of curiosity, what was the modeled height of the volcano on El Hierro pre Golfo landslide(s) and how far out into the cove was the volcano’s main throat? (any links to hypothetical drawings would be cool).

    Wouldn’t it be normal to assume, that if the original El Hierro volocano was reawakening, that it would start, rebuilding itself, where it was originally located pre landslides? IE, right where all of the recent earthquakes are centering themselves? In the water?

    1. I dont know if it is correct but I read on a book that the main throat of el Golfo was located inside the landslide valley, near the cliff, also near where all the rifts cut each other, because (in theory) that should be the place where magma could rise more easily.

    1. Hmmm… That chart is a bit misleading at first glance, because it looks like the energy discharge is going lower since 23 Oct… But 4 M3 quakes in the last few days actually mean a significant overall increase in activity…

  18. Magnitude ML 2.8
    Date time 2011-10-27 17:26:21.7 UTC
    Location 27.64 N ; 18.02 W
    Depth 12 km
    Distances 191 km SW San cristóbal de la laguna (pop 139,928 ; local time 18:26:21.7 2011-10-27)
    113 km S Los llanos de aridane (pop 19,635 ; local time 18:26:21.7 2011-10-27)
    86 km SW Valle gran rey (pop 4,983 ; local time 18:26:21.7 2011-10-27)

    1. IGN could really learn somethings from CERNAGEOMIN, and then I am not talking about how to produce inodinatly long acronyms.
      Perfect warnings, splendid evacuations, high level of professionalism. This is how you do it. And also, they speak the same language, so I guess the spaniards at IGN actually would listen to them.

      Good post Armand.

      1. I still vote for a small digression into Portuguese territory if the Azores has an eruption. The reason for this would be that those Islands in many ways are very alike Iceland.

  19. This disputes the claim of the Frenchman?

    But how do you know that the volcano was not there before? The background is full of volcanic cones, the majority of some 10,000 years ago.

    The overlay shows the volcano

    The answer is provided by mapping the same area in 1998, with the help of researchers from the Naval Hydrographic Institute (Ministry of Defence) and in the framework of the Exclusive Economic Zone. Using a geographic information system scientists now these images have been superimposed with the current and thus confirmed the birth of the new volcano.

    “It’s amazing how seen in the bathymetry where until now there was a submarine canyon, today there is a new underwater volcano with its lava tongue that goes downhill,” said Acosta.

    The information provided by the probes also served to generate graphs of gas plumes that do not leave out the main crater and fissures nearby. Emissions reach the surface, although the crew, consisting of about 25 people, half-science has not yet had to use masks or the rest of the kit ready in case of emergencies.

    “We have not smelled sulfur fumes or anything like that,” Acosta reassuring, but does not comment on the evolution and possible risks of the volcano in the coming days. “We do not know what will happen tomorrow.” Its role is limited to providing all data to those responsible for Civil Protection Special Plan for Volcanic Risk in the Canaries (PEVOLCA) to assist in decision-making.

    The scientific expedition is now entering its second phase under the control of the researcher Francisco Sanchez, also of the IEO. Until 31 October, take pictures and videos of the volcanic cone with a ‘sledge’ high resolution cameras and remote monitoring underwater vehicle called Liropus . Thereafter, a third phase is scheduled to discuss the current and the physical and chemical composition of the water column surrounding the new undersea volcano.

    .Location: Spain

    1. Yes, there is no question that there is a new volcano there, but is it Baby Bob, or is it Baby Bobs cousin Miniscule-Bob?
      What they have so far photographed seems to be the Second coming of Bob. Where the first coming of Bob was Gasbladder-Bob. This second Bob seems to have been a small eruption that ran for just a few days before Baby Bob the Jacuzzi was born closer to the coast. And from all evidence the Third Encounter of Bob is still active, he is visible from satellite imagery, there is still vitnesses seeing Bob the Third, and also reports of increased activity as Bob the Third is coming closer to the surface.
      All Bobs are Bob, but Bobs works in mysterious and various ways.

      The new field of comparative Bobology is hereby born.
      If there is an onland eruption it will of course be called Baldrick.

  20. Estoy aprendiendo mucho, ya conoci dos erupciones en mi isla, la Palma, pero esta de el hierro es muy apasionante, todos estamos temerosos de que slate por el Norte, en Frontera o Los llanitos. Saludos a todos los Bloggeros de una canaria enamorada de vuestra isla. Islandia es una maravilla de la Naturaleza en la que me gustaria vivir.


  21. Please can anyone explain why this is happening on all the islands.

    WoW! Tenerife is showing some really strong signs now too. For this larger island to be recording Hierro or maybe even La Palma suggests to me something is really picking up.

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Holy crap! Fuerteventura doing the same thing! Even more so! Maybe this activity is originating from East of the Canaries instead? Or, perhaps the magma tubes going to Hierro are originating from the eastern islands instead of La Palma and Gomera.

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Hierro is nothing but scribbles…BUT…definable scribbels!

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Okay…I’m at a loss. They’re all pretty much off the charts here…This is Lanzarote which is the further east of Hierro if I remember correctly

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Gomera the same…with a nice large red spike towards the bottom there

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    La Palma…same as Tenerife…really active

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Well…this finishes off the entire list. Grand Canary island has a lot of activity too. This is the MOST I’VE SEEN since this all began.

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]
    ~Life Without Faith Is No Life At All~
    Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 … 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 View AllTopPrevious PageNext Page

    Related Threads1 Volcanic eruption alert issued for el hierro canary islands las palmas 10/09/11
    Related Topics: Earthquakes (Disasters) – Technology (Science) – Volcanos (Disasters)

    the magma tubes going to Hierro are originating from the eastern islands instead of La Palma and Gomera.

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Hierro is nothing but scribbles…BUT…definable scribbels!

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Okay…I’m at a loss. They’re all pretty much off the charts here…This is Lanzarote which is the further east of Hierro if I remember correctly

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Gomera the same…with a nice large red spike towards the bottom there

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    La Palma…same as Tenerife…really active

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

    Well…this finishes off the entire list. Grand Canary island has a lot of activity too. This is the MOST I’VE SEEN since this all began.

    [link to http://www.01.ign.es]

  22. Sorry have copied this from another site the links should go to each seperate Island to see the graphs and seismic movements and spikes recently of all the Canary Islands that the poster is talking about.

  23. The island has felt the last 3.1 at 18.15 there are a lot of peole writing on the Avcan page and they seem very worried that no one is letting them know whats happening. One has said the Tv should be saying something to the people now.

    1. There’s a new blog post about yesterdays EQ swarm at Katla/Iceland, but the discussion about El Hierro goes on there. It will better to post questions or interesting things in this new blog.

  24. An analysis of the simian moderate Tenema a map of earthquakes equal to or greater than 3, which is tremendous.

    En el primer enjambre (17/07/2011-10/01/2011) hubo muchos sismos iguales o por encima de 3.0, pero ninguno en la zona Norte, todos en el Mar de las Calmas (Violeta) y el mas fuerte el 4.0 en (amarillo). In the first swarm (17/07/2011-10/01/2011) there were many earthquakes at or above 3.0, but none in the north, all in the Sea of ​​Calm (purple) and the stronger the 4.0 in (yellow).
    En cambio ahora en este segundo enjambre (11/10/2011-28/10/2011), la cosa ha cambiado radicalmente, ahora todos se localizan en la zona norte de la Isla, en el mar del valle del Golfo (Naranja) es absolutamente total.(Enrique) But now in this second swarm (11/10/2011-28/10/2011), things have changed dramatically, now all are located in the north of the island in the Gulf Sea Valley (Orange) is absolutely total.

  25. “a HI04 es la estación del IGN situada en la zona oeste del Golfo, cercana a la costa y como a un kilometro del escarpe del deslizamiento que dio lugar al valle del golfo. Esta al NW del Tanganasoga y estaba registrando … un aumento en la deformación. Un poco más alla, cerca de la costa esta la HI03, al NE del Tanganasoga que no muestra deformación respecto a la estacion de frontera. Esto se debe a que el problema ( sea una falla, fisura o hinchamiento) que está provocando la deformación en la horizontal está entre ambas estaciones( la vertical no la dan). Es la unica que da datos sobre lo que ocurre y resulta que no va o no la actualizan o hay un fallo técnico… esto es España…”
    “no saben si ha habido deformación en La Frontera, porque la estación HI04, que ella dijo que está en la zona del Pozo de la Salud (debe ser la que está en Arenas Blancas, AVCAN, ya recibieron las fotos?), ha estado inoperativa varios días por problemas con la wifi, y que hoy se ha arreglado, pero que todavía hay que esperar varios días para verificar si ha habido deformación, lo que dará la respuesta de si estamos ante una recolocación o ante una reactivación en la zona del Golfo.”

    PH, a OLD inform of 17 th:

  26. Hola amigos, aqui les dejo una grafica particular, de un apasionado de los volcanes, y que me autoriza a que os la envie, advirtiendome que como no somos cientificos, “me pueden llamar de todo”….Jejejeeee……mas cosas le dicen aqui a Carracedo, y no le afecta en absoluto——.C:\Users\Carmen Rosa\Pictures\Graficos de Antonio

  27. Amigos, creo que no podreis ver los graficos, tedria que anviarlos con una direccion concreta, ya que no puedo añadir fotos a este post. Lo siento, son archivos PJG y no los puedo copiar aqui. Saludos y lo seguire intentando.

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