Increased eruption activity in El Hierro volcano

I was going to post this yesterday. But I fell a sleep at 17:00 UTC and I didn’t wake up until 03:00 UTC.

The eruption in El Hierro volcano continues as it has been doing for past few weeks with little change. The first eruption vent that did open south of El Hierro Island has continued to erupt. But so far no Island has formed and it is unclear if it is going to form, as the depth is great in this area. Since yesterday around 06:00 UTC the harmonic tremor has been increasing. But this suggests that new vents have opened up in the south eruption area. I got some pictures of that yesterday in the email. But they did not show anything new in my view. Thanks to the readers how did send me those pictures.

The current fluctuation in the harmonic tremor from El Hierro suggests that magma is on the move in the north part of El Hierro Island. Both off the coast and maybe inland on the Island where earthquakes have been taking place. It is impossible to know how this is going to develop during the next few hours to days. As that depends on the rock structure of El Hierro Island and earlier eruptions.

Earthquake activity

During the past two weeks the earthquake activity have been growing in the North-west part of El Hierro Island. The reason why this is happening is that a new fissure is about to open in this area. As I have mentioned before in earlier blog posts. When and where is impossible to know for sure. The largest earthquake so far took place this morning, it size was ML4.0 with the depth of 20 km. But this is the automatic data from IGN. This pattern of earthquake activity is most likely going to continue during this eruption process in El Hierro volcano. Since the eruption type here is a fissure eruption.

It is worth noting that earthquakes in once place does not mean that the eruption is going to happen in that place. As the magma can travel in dikes all over the El Hierro Island and show it self anywhere on the Island it self. So the general risk is high in my opinion. The only action that can be taken is to be prepared for sudden eruption of new vents on El Hierro Island. Since there is a good amount of magma on the move inside El Hierro volcano.

The harmonic tremor in El Hierro at 08:54 UTC (when picture is saved). The spikes are earthquakes, and harmonic tremor spikes are the “waves” in the harmonic tremor pattern. Copyright of this picture belongs to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

Update 1:

* When I wrote this blog post. This two earthquakes took place.

1109584 02/11/2011 08:37:11 27.9267 -18.1084 3 1.7 mbLg NW FRONTERA.IHI
1109582 02/11/2011 08:36:00 27.5986 -17.9594 1 1.9 mbLg S EL PINAR.IHI

This are the most shallow earthquakes that I have seen so far. From the depth it is possible a magma has found a clean path to surface in this two areas. Sadly there is no map. So I am not sure where this earthquakes took place in El Hierro volcano.

Update 1b: The earthquake have been revised. Now the depth is 9 km for the ML1.7 and 22km for the ML1.9.

The shallow earthquake.

1109584 02/11/2011 08:37:11 27.9304 -18.1107 9 1.7 mbLg NW FRONTERA.IHI [+]

I am going to post more information when I know more on what is taking place in El Hierro.

Blog post updated at 11:24 UTC on 2 November, 2011

1,078 Replies to “Increased eruption activity in El Hierro volcano”

  1. I am sorry I think i interpreted the video wrong “:oops:”
    The sea surface activity,”the bubbling black water bit” is I think old stock footage from another event.
    The halestone pyroclast it up to date footage though.

    1. Peter Cobbold was the intended recipient of the above post, I got the Crapcha wrong… Yes “Crapcha” I like that, being dyslexic I like that a lot….

  2. Thay would cover all the area on the map above the 10,000 earthquakes, and 1-3km extra on each side. Its not much help is it? – except to identify where it might be safe on the island.
    KarenZ’s plot shows that there is no big magma chamber, just a labyrinth of small pockets of magma and sills and dykes – so magma might come up almost anywhere within the area AVCAN said.

    1. Peter that was not my interpretation of the plot. My view was that the EQs were occuring at the top of the magma reservoir(s).

      The magma has risen since the Petrology paper which was produced in 2009, following a study made in 2008.

      1. The lava samples they used were from old submarine lavas so the concept is general: magma moves ‘fast’ from the crust upwards. I am really, seriously puzzled that we have not seen EQs trending up fom the depths recorded July-Oct in the big swarm. Now it might be that they are there but all to small to be detected once the tremor started- but we see almost none, not even a few bigger ones than mag1.5.
        So I am still not convinced there is any new magma at all involved in the July-Oct swarm zone. However it also depends on what we think of as ‘fast’: the Stronik paper put the time to traverse from crust to eruption as up to several months , so magam could be there, it still has few months to go.

      2. Check out the link posted by Ursula yesterday:

        Google translates this as:

        “Cracks found in the north of the island by the rising material

        The ship of the Ministry of Education and Science has collected samples in the Gulf.

        Research continues on land and at sea with the ship’s ministry of science and innovation, the Ramon Margalef docked this morning at the Port of Los Cristianos in Tenerife. This is a technical stop to collect material and to relieve the crew. New scientists, including several from the University of Las Palmas, have jumped on board to begin the third phase of the campaign in El Hierro. Yesterday they were inspecting the Gulf with good sharpness and geologists have discovered new generation material, magma that for a few days could be coming in the bottom of the sea.”

      3. A Giggle translation (!).

        We have to be careful here not to jump to the wrong conclusions (happened to me also, yesterday, on the same occasion).

        This is just the paper titling to draw attention. But in the text (at the end of it) they are using the conjunctive, meaning “it could be that new material was being ejected there”, they are not at all sure about that!

    1. Armand,
      Thank you – we’ll see who responds here.
      I had a career as an academic research scientist – ‘publish or perish’ etc – but the ability to communicate that we get on sites such as your’s and Jon’s adds an immediacy to science that is really stimulating.

    1. Yes, that paper explains quite a lot of it. Espcially the functions on page 5 gives a clear picture on the “chuggin” that Lurking talked about earlier today.

      1. Dunno if that is it or not… definitely similar. I alway interpreted that as the main column/flow bouncing off the gas rich walls of whatever structure it is in.

        What I was thinking was that as the bubbles in the magma elongate, the viscosity goes up, whether one causes the other or not is immaterial, the point being that when they do elongate they do so under higher viscosity tend to increase that viscosity. Based on what I’ve read, once they get to a certain point the mix fractures. Whether this only happens in explosive events or not I don’t know. It may happens on the smaller scales down in the tubes also.

        But… the discussion about it (the tremor) resembling hydrothermal activity is equally intriguing. (and probably more plausible).

        I’m not saying one way or the other… I don’t know. It was just a thought.

    2. If the tremor is gas-driven the paper could be useful as it applies to explosive eruptions. Whether it can be applied to a submarine vent(s) I dont know.

      1. Thought someone had said that CO2 was raised all over El Hierro yesterday afternoon. They must be measuring it but are not publishing it?

      2. Bob is warming the globe even more than my 1000 kg Mitsubishi? Who would have imagined something like that. They should tax him hard. Bad volcano, really bad volcano. Hello Kitty in person will spank you…

  3. Would it be possible to to have 2 seperate threads on this site. One for Iceland and one for El Hierro.

      1. Seems to be one +3.0 just now. Perhaps a vent has opened in El Golfo and will build more island at a safe distance from the shore.

      2. A >3 has just occurred:

        1110079 03/11/2011 23:06:28 27.7735 -18.0451 22 3.2 NW FRONTERA.IHI

      3. And not quite a 3:

        1110080 03/11/2011 23:54:13 27.7899 -18.0415 21 2.9 NW FRONTERA.IHI

      4. They might have detuned it again and not told anyone, so it looks like no +3’s? They did it before and that thing was pretty loaded up until sundown here on the sesimo gear.

        I havent been able to find out stuffin’s about the local conditions except from two gamey souls who are mounting the ridge. They said they cant see anything in El Golfo because its been cloudy and hazy.

        Been jumping on the island though and they said that they are cat napping rather than sleeping. Quakes are keeping them away like someone shaking the bed.

        They cant get down to Restinga for whatever reason. Crappy English when they tried to explain it. I think its going to rain tonight and tomorrow so we might miss out on a lot of visual activity.

  4. At AVCAN there are many people saying that they are feeling a constant shaking.
    Would any of you get any sleep at all under such conditions?
    I remember, over EB, a terrified lady’s comments about the horrible shaking caused by Etna during one of its paroxysms. It was hard to convince her that there was no imminent danger. Because we KNOW about Etna, and what are the possible outcomes of such paroxysms.
    But here, at Hierro, with so many contradictory information, what can we say to these poor people?

    1. Dunno.. I’ve slept through missile launches. And my rack was in front of the magazine.

      1. I’ve slept on a fauly rear loading door of Hercules cargo plane. The door was gaping 4 inches. I slept like a baby for 8 hours.
        The army/navy does that to a man.

      2. OK, Carl and Lurking (LOL), I am serious about this.
        I’ve had some experience with this young lady who had some gastrointestinal problems and I couldn’t sleep the whole night.
        But we are talking here about volcanoes, I suppose. 😉

      3. Was her name Eyja? 😉

        It is hard, I am a bit of a coward on this. I will not say that people should run away because the risk is not that big, but on the other hand, there is a bit of risk. I think that if they are really worried, they should go. Because we are not there, so we are missing a lot of it.
        If I was there I would probably feel the tremoring, and that is not good.
        But on the other hand, Las Formigas positively vibrate so much that you have a standing wave in a water glass, and that one has not erupted for 1000s of years.

      4. 200 days in a ship in artic.. near Spitzbergs Island.
        I sleep well all days.. Gale force 10.. or strong. With the sea ice, the banquise screaming in the hull of the ship.. or not
        And some days, i sleep in its engine room..

        Buy i dont have a volcano under my bed..

      5. No alcohol allowed on the boat. I had done a couple of days with bad sleep and had just come off the dog watch.

    2. I am thinking of them and praying for a safe outcome.

      Hopefully the authorities will take the stress on the local population into account in their decision-making.

    3. I think people should not have to stay there as long as the ground is shaking. Nobody can say for sure if it is safe or not – until afterwards. For myself, I would be terrifyed if I felt that tremor. Would rather walk up the old road towards Valverde with my backpack.

    1. Una, That’s a very useful set of diagrams for anyone new to Canary eruptions. Portugese not required for pictures!
      Thank you.

  5. Good night all. Hope you can get some sleep in El Hierro and that you have a quiet night. Hope you have a quiet night in Iceland.

    Off to check on the shleep.

  6. And this is my las post before go to sleep ( or try to ).
    In this video, it is said that Ramon Margalef has discovered new cracks under the seabed of the Gulf where magmatic material is coming out. Some of these material were taken for examination.

    1. So , local inhabitants would have about a day to get away from an eruption of that size?
      I understand Hierro has local, community-level coordinators who can presumably be text-messaged by the authorties, and able to get their neighbours to safety in much less than 24 hours.
      My concern was a big EQ triggering a landslide but that now looks too alarmist.

  7. Yes, Ramon Margalef found cracks at El Golfo from where recent material has been extruded.
    We have little Bob’s brother now!

    1. Talking about cracks, somehow I got an instructional video on the formation of hemorroids, not the video of Ramon Margalef.
      I am now slightly green, and think that I will go to bed instead. But first I am going to wash my eyes with industrial strength soap to get them clean.

    2. OOps! Maybe this was a false statement on TV.
      The anchor says the cracks were at El Golfo, but the scientist in the interview doesn’t say it was there. So, yet not confirmed little Bob’s birth.

      1. AVCAN:
        “De todas formas, los científicos no descartan totalmente que otra sismicidad “más pequeña y de menor magnitud” que se está produciendo a 15 kilómetros de profundidad de la corteza terrestre, en la zona de El Golfo, pudiera derivar en una erupción submarina, pero no de manera inminente.”

        Sin embargo, en esta entrevista a un científico a bordo del Margalef se dice que hay fisuras en El Golfo y que se observa sobre el fondo rocoso sedimentos de nueva generación sobre ellos. Completa diciendo que hay una nueva fractura y que está saliendo algo de material en suspensión.”

      1. This is a similar female woord: “boobies” (single: boobie?), but I’m sure that is far too small for a volcano.

      2. What the hork, there is a very clear doppler shift.
        Look at the artifact at 1,2 that goes in very dark red, then look as it s falling down to about 0,75Hz.
        One could calculate the speed of the motion away from CHIE with that one. At least roughly.

      3. Hello Peter!

        Thank you for the article.
        I do not really think it was gliding, but I learnt a couple of new things, so this is already a good day 🙂
        I still go with a wave of magma and gas that passed at higher speed causing both the hard tremoring, and the doppler shift.

      4. And Restinga is much closer to Bob than CHIE.
        I think I would be camping out a bit further away- cant see Bob at night.

      5. I agree with you, something rather big and nasty rushed past CHIE towards Bob judging from the strength and doppler shift on signal.

        Well, now it is time for me to Shleep.

    1. Just to expand… Carl said:

      Carl le Strange says:
      November 3, 2011 at 21:47
      Josh, I think you are fairly close to the truth with that one, but I think reallity is even more complex. But you are definitly presenting the best “picture” so far of it.
      Good thinking there ol’ chap!

      First of all, I do not know how he identified my English origins… But anyway…

      The point of this is that there should be a correlation between the Restinga tremors and the Frontera ones… But that the frontera ones will stay deep, and, if anything, slowly rebuild the shield volcano over thousands of years (with the occasional burp), while the Restinga ones will continue to de-gas noisily, like the cinder cones they are.

      There is a lot of discussion about potentially devastating effects of this event… But we overlook two factors. First, that the presence of a population creates an echo chamber that did not exist for the previous x number of eruptions; and secondly that the presence of measuring tools (especially in this field where we know so little) creates a further magnification of attention.

      My point is not that the catastrophic cannot happen; just that it happens with far less commonality than our lifetime-adjusted scales suggest. There is certainly much more complexity to the current situation than my lame picture can suggest – but it may still be a vague representation of the facts…

      1. Josh:
        Looking back to your graph, I was pondering to myself:
        1 – Why the deeper magma doesn’t rise directly above its location? Isn’t there only sediments? Couldn’t it also mix with those sediments? Therefore, again, we could have not an effusive, but an explosive extrusion?
        2 – Why the “bending” to the South occurs, forcing the magma to push through the mixing layer under the island? Pressure? Ductility?
        3 – After all, where were actually those fissures that Margalef’s scientist said they had found, damn it? How could the anchor lady be so clear when she said they were located in El Golfo. That would answer question number 1, wouldn’t it?

      2. There should be ancient fissures in el Golfo, in the heart of the original shield form; but, if this theory is correct, there should also be less pressure there, and denser magmatic material.

      3. Attaboy!

        That is good calm thinking. I really like it.

        I did actually not identify you as an Englishman, I had just decided to go from Americanisms to Eton English in my own English. As I am not a native English speaker I have to broaden my usade of English.
        So it was a coincidence 🙂

  8. Carl le Strange says:
    November 4, 2011 at 01:30

    “What the hork, there is a very clear doppler shift.
    Look at the artifact at 1,2 that goes in very dark red, then look as it s falling down to about 0,75Hz.

    One could calculate the speed of the motion away from CHIE with that one. At least roughly.”


    There has to be something else at play in that frequency shift. Using rough figures for the speed of sound in altered basalt and the Doppler equation, you get some… pretty fast movement. The only way I can conceive of the mechanics behind it is if it’s a sputtering frothy mixture of steam, magma and water just before exit down at Bob. (location 1 in the plot).

    Anything else is… well, waaay out there in conceivability.

    Other possibilities are the resonating path or what ever is causing the dominant frequencies is constantly changing shape and that’s what did it. If not… that’s some pretty fast moving stuff…. probably mostly gas. I hope.

    1. Even the low end is beyond beleif. A 1911 Colt has a muzzle velocity of about 1100 fps. That’s about 338 m/s.

      Nah, it has to be something with the path dimensions that it’s flowing through.

      1. That would be the case here.
        If you are on a train moving in 90km and pass a bell or a horn you get a doppler shift of (about) 2 octaves withing 1 second.

        The combined doppler shift is then 1 octave in pitch increase as you get nearer to the bell, and 1 octave of pitch decrease as you pass. This from closing the distance with 90km/h and then all of a sudden moving away with 90 km/h. (Yes, I used to ride trains with my head outside when I was a kid…)

        This is then relative to pitch and so on, but, let us here think that whatever it was had the pitch increase when closing to CHIE (the observer) and as it passed you see the decrease.

        Well then, back to the math. I got it to a spead of about 160m/s average, still really fast, but possible. My guess would be a gas bubble, or a pressure wave running past causing low frequency reverberations as it is running past CHIE.

        Then I went back and did a bit of check against reallity. Let us say that the event happened over at the magma reservoir under El Golfo, and that it ran through the tube to Bob. Ie, that the start of the event was in the “chamber”, and then it was just a measuring from chamber to Bob, and then I got a speed range for it. The numbers matched.

        But, it would still be the fastest fart in a fluid ever recorded 🙂
        Bob is one gassy child 🙂

  9. Got a request from one of the regular contributors from this site to erase the links from ER to JONFR. I think he/she is right and i did so. It may be accidental or not but the remark that suddenly a bunch of scaremongers appeared here was seen earlier by me too. It is a pity, it was well meant!
    I block them in ER from making comments but unfortunately this is not possible here as otherwise the site would have to be guarded every minute to erase them … but you guys and girls did the wrong thing in answering them. There are enough “believer” sites for them.

    1. Armand, that link is not the reason for them coming here. They always pop up now and then.
      I still think that the linking between sites would be good for both of you. A couple of loonies will always come here per week. They always go away quickly.
      Or in a couple of rare examples become “as normal” as the rest of us… 🙂

    2. Fair play, Armand. It looks different from here than it looks on the ground, and the scale of the geology, in terms of depth and surface relevance is difficult to be clear about.

      My stupid remark yesterday didn’t help either.

      Jon, Peter, Carl – There is a new trend in the tremor patterns in this last hour. Is this a slowing? Or a blockage? Or an opening somewhere, allowing a freer release of gas or something?

      1. I am not understanding what you are talking about.
        The harmonic tremoring is as heavy as before when I look at the hourly plot of the tremoring.
        I am though on my first cup of coffee, so if I am missing something (quite possible), please explain what it is 🙂

      2. Glitch on the graph… There were gaps along the blue of the previous hour with aparently empty spaces between bursts as if the tremor had dropped to nothing. It looks steady again now and no sign of whatever it was before.

    1. Why would it be a technical glitch?

      What I find amazing is the periodicity of the harmonic tremor waves that are occuring now. To about the minute there is a wave passing every 48 minutes. Something is going on down there, and it is sure as hork not good.

  10. Good Morning Jon et Al
    This link is not working for me. Just checking in case it is my PC playing up again.
    @ Lurking. I cannot check your Maths I am not that advanced. I am also maths phobic 🙂 However I could suggest…. flying sheep…..They are fast! 🙂
    @ Josh A nice piece of logical thinking. It would explain the behaviours we are seeing. It would also explain the numerous cinder cones around La Restinga and the long submarine “tail” That runs away from the Mount of Bob. It would also explain the formless plain beneath the sea to the North where there appears to be no major features that look remotely like anything volcanic. Of course that could just be due to the material that slipped when the volcano rim slipped but I still feel that if there was lots of magma shoving up there must be some faults in the sedimentary rocks and I am sure the energy in that shoving magma could easily break through relatively recently slipped material (geologically recent of course)
    All this based on my view of the sea bed from Google Earth and my inexpert thinking as a volcanologist.

    I am sorry if someone has already discussed/explained this……but to get back to basics……What may have triggered this eruption after so many years? (or….has this happened more frequently than we think?)

      1. Woff!
        Is that the lava-plain of Hekla in the front?
        Anyhoo, that will be one sexy camera during the first half an hour of the eruption.
        Totally different location, and the colouring in the morning is so sexy.

      2. Thank You Christina…. I have that link already I think it is from Heklubyggð … You see I need the other link to ….The Dalek.
        Yes Carl the view is lovely. I would not go as far as sexy. I worry for you. 🙂
        There again you may ask why I am so besotted with the Dalek!!! 🙂
        Volcano watch does strange things to people!

      3. Well, the Dalek is round, big, tall, and very standfast. So I do not have clue why you like it 😉

        Well, might be that I have been singel for too long if I find volcanos sexy in the morning… 🙁

  11. I have been lurking here daily for years.

    Anyway, about the ‘doppler shift’ on the traces.
    It seems to me there is an obvious mechanism.

    Its essentially the geyser effect, but with molten rock and dissolved gasses.

    Lets start with a column of gas-rich lava rising in the pipe because the pressure below is greater than the hydrostatic pressure of H km lava (+Y m water etc) .
    Pressure at bottom is thus 1000H x 2000 g Pa (quite a lot) [g = force of gravity, approx 10).

    At some point the gas starts to precipitate out into bubbles. At this point the density of the lava drops, lets say it halves, the pressure below is thus reduced and even deeper lava can start foaming, further reducing the overall pressure. This local degassing then spreads as lava- foam is ejected from the volcano, causing an explosive discharge.

    The gas-lava foam is ejected from the volcano into the air (water here).

    As soon as the gas escapes, the lava (now gas free) falls to the bottom of the riser as the pressure due to the gas collapses. The lava in the riser is gas-depleted.

    New lava then starts to enter the riser.

    Go to start….

    So consider the sound produced. Its basically an organ pipe.

    Of frequency (see second box, L is pipe length)

    f = V(sound) / 2L

    and.. Hmmm

    suggests speed of sound in liquids is pretty well constant at about 1500m/s, whilst air is significantly less, maybe 1/5 at 300. Temperature will affect this of course, but significant differentials will remain.

    So the declining chirp is most likely to be due to gas formation in the sounding pipe, reducing the speed of sound there and thus reducing the frequency. Er, providing its not much more than 3:1 or so.

    NB At say 1500m/s a .17Hz organpipe is 4.4km long. Quite interesting, don‘t you think?

    If this is so, and I am allowed some uninformed amateur speculation, these sounds are due to actual eruptions of a gaseous magma, that is the Jacussi at La Restinga. We know what that produces (so far). Its PROBABLY NOT lava rising at Frontera.


    1. Hello!

      I would agree with you fully, if it was not that pesky down-shift in frequency. Because that would pretty much give the logical conclusion that Bobs pipe is a Kazoo (or perhaps the trombone would be a better example). To have downshift you would need to elongate the organ pipe in mid-tone.

      But I agree with you that it is a sound wave moving towards El Bob de la Restinga.
      Regarding lava foam, agreed.

    2. I like it.

      That would be the physical properties of the media traveling through Bob’s kazoo changing in physical properties as the mix ratios changed that imparts the shift… or at least contributes. Lengthening the kazoo, like with a trombone, would be impractical since you would need to stretch the whole thing by a few hundred meters in short order. I think the residents would notice an uplift of that magnitude and start asking questions.

      @Carl, the problem I have with the shift being caused by pure speed is that the velocities in question are well above the speed of a bullet. Nothing in geophysics that I know off can do that without causing a bit more that a shift in tremor frequencies.

      1. Sound can…
        I have been thinking the entire idea, and then it dawned on me. Sound can doppler shift on its own if the source of the sound is moving.
        Okay, what can cause sound in a tube and travel fast?
        Well, basically then we have a wave of pressure, a shock wave.
        That shock wave would then be travelling as our sound.
        And the speed of sound in media is high, very high.
        So what we saw dopplershift was the sound of a fart in the magma-reservoir producing a massive shockwave that travelled down the tube creating that doppler shift.

  12. Here is a link to one of the latest pictures of the “jacuzzi”:
    (the article is about wildlife that is affected by the volcanic activity, no direct interest for this blog)

    Could someone suggest to the Canarian authorities that this blog is a great source of reliable information to them, and that they should consider voting a subsidy to finance Jon and his equipment before he is obliged to close because of lack of cash?

    1. Fred!
      I think that the Spanish and Canarian officials would officially vote to finance blowing this place to smitherins if they see the scalding criticism in here of their actions.
      But, perhaps you could walk over to the parliament and ask them to fund him?
      (This from the last part of your nickname)
      If Iceland had been a part of EU I could probably have gotten some money to fund this place from the European Social Fund, they have a bit of money set aside for people connecting and learning about things. But since Iceland is still miffed at the world after we had to bail them out, I guess they wont be members.
      Another more hilarious version would be if we convinced our finance minister to run the monthly check to Iceland for 100 million€ to go through Jóns account. And yes, that is the defficit monthly for Iceland, and yepp, we are paying it. Troublesome small brothers and all…

      1. Now that was news to me..European union have money? I thought all of it was pumped in the mediterranean black holes. 😉

      2. The European Union does not have money… But sadly we do, currently our cash-surplus is routed to bailing out countries. If it continues at this speed we will own the EU at arround 2047.
        Together with Norway we are horking the cash for Iceland, Lettland, Lithuania, Ireland, Portugal & Greece. If they ever get their economies into shape, we could probably sit back and live on the interest for a long long time… 🙂
        What scares me is that we will get horked with the Italian joke of an economy. I hope that they for once refuse someone when they come begging. It would gall me no end to pay for a fascist state with a Clown for President.
        Political Rant Mode Off

      3. While this certainly does not fit to the theme of this blog: Living on interests would mean actually importing more than exporting and that won’t ever happen with the current export fixation.

      4. You are of course correct. And we do export more than we import.
        And that is why we have excess cash. A nations longterm wealth is a derivative of the amount of natural resources that is “produced”, and in how many steps you have it augmented.
        Let us take iron. First we mine iron ore in Kiruna, then it is made into low-grade steel. Then it is re-vamped into high grade steel, then it is formed into machines, and cars and soforth, and then those are sold. The price increase from ore to a machine part is very high. And if you are able to do it all in-country before exporting you will have a net-profit at all stages that accumulate into a hell of a systemic profit in the end.
        Then you add a large public sector that also generates work and income, that also gives a net yield of surplus as long as the economic base is large enough.
        Pretty much, large enough export and you make money however you do it.

    2. I dont know but I guess they are very busy elsewhere. And all information used here (almost all) comes from IGN.
      And to be honest I am sure someone is keeping half an eye here reading a bit. 😉

      1. More sollid material in the water.
        Northerly large waves pushing it downward.
        All is still from El Bob de Normales.

        Conclusion, there is more ejecta in the water. This is due to increased intensity of eruption. The increased amount of tephra in the water is due to vent closing in on the surface.
        I would say that Bob is starting to show very clear signs of explosive aquatic surface behaviour. I hope the will do a flyover with a helicopter today, because I am pretty certain that you would see semi-explosive to explosive behaviour ontop of Bob.

      2. What a good picture. Some interesting features there that need interpreting.
        Firstly the light green whorl directly south of La Restinga. Either this is an area where currents of similar strength meet to cause this surface pattern or it is another vent. There are three small sea mounts to the south of the island suggesting that volcanic activity has ocurred there in the past to form small cones.
        Secondly I think maybe the discolouration of the sea in El Golfo is likely to have been transported there by sea currents. The colour is not intense enough to suggest a direct source of emissions..
        I do hope someone reading this blog can interpret what we see with more expertise than I

      3. This is what RapidEye says about the El Hierro pictures:
        «The imagery below has been resampled and compressed into JPEG format for on-screen viewing and has been manually color-corrected for maximum visual appeal.»

        Thus I think care is need when interpreting any colour or color changes, or intensities. You probably need the original pictures to make conclusions.

      4. The seamounts south of La Restinga (not on the fissure mountain range where Bob is) are old remnants that is dated to be from before the hotspot came wandering.

        I do not believe in any new vent, this is just normal vortices that happens in all water that is moving with a current.

      5. Yes Diana,
        Discolouration in El Golfo was due to currents. If you watch the entire sequence of daily Modis satellite images you perceive this.

    1. On your site you ask:
      -a big mystery is the coloring in the El Golfo bay. was this coloring created by the sea currents or by new activity

      The answer:
      In earlier pictures – e.g. of October 26 – there is only one stain, visbly wrapping around the island into the El Golf area. It seems the El Golfo part just has separeted from the rest of the stain due to wind, weather and/or currents.

      1. Thats my conclusion also Parvaneh, but i left it open for the people to discuss it + i truly hope that IGN and/or CSIC will comment on these satellite pictures.

    1. Hello Christina!

      First of all, the scale-setting of Búrfell at the corrected strain plot is really low. Combine that with a tiny bit of energetic movement and the round and nice plot becomes a bit jagged in the edges.
      It is per see not that much to get excited about. But, it is a longterm sign of the coming eruption. Hekla started to show this behaviour in may. It is actually more common that it is jagged now, than it being smooth.
      But, when something is really happening, like when we have the transients, you see jagged drops in the hundreds to hundreds of thousands. So, the small jaggedness right now is not that much really…

  13. OT here. Just wondering about something. You people that think that sunstorms can effect volcanoes and earthquakes, why don’t they effect airplanes?

    Sorry Jon, for taking this up here, but I’m just wondering, and they seem to know it all 🙂

    1. o.t. I don’t know if sunspots have an impact on earthquakes/volcanoes but at high altitudes an airplane getting a direct hit with a corona mass ejection (x type flair) the human beings in the plane would get a good dose of radiation. Also you can send all gloom and doomers to Godlike production, I tried to ban this site from popping up on my computer to no avail.

      p.s. I am an earthquake/volcano follower. I’ve been watching el hierro since july, this site is one of the most informative.

  14. Can i start by saying im not educated in Geology and my field is meteorolgy and flooding. So there are contributers on here much better educated in the field of Volcanoes.
    I see as an outsider that SO FAR the Authorities and those studying the eruption at Hierro appear to have made the right calls at the right time.
    Now if them calls are made because of Economic reasons they are very wrong, but so far they have either got it right or been very very lucky.
    People on the Island would have now been facing a month from their homes, with nothing signifigant having occurred.
    Obviously its a dynamic situation and continous risk assessment needs to be made.
    Do they have more information than everyone does on here, allowing them to make a balanced assessment, or are they taking huge risks?
    I hope its the former as no risk should be made with peoples lives.
    For the people on Hierro it must be pretty frightening with contrasts in information and actions.
    Peoples thoughts on reasons for lack of proactive action by authorities, have they got it right so far, or are they possibly crossing fingers and risking lives?
    Thoughts and coments welcome

    1. Can i as a complete novice throw an idea for the assessment made by the Authorities. It is only an idea.
      Could it be that the previous eruption was very iron based, so making the structure of the Island and its outreaching base very strong in comparrison to the areas a few km from the Island. IE sandstone, limestone would be far easier to beak through than where magma from previous eruption is lying.
      Basically making a hard iron based plate around the Island which the Magma will find dificult to break thru, as it looks for path of least resistance.
      Is that a possible reason, or totally irrelevant

      1. I can throw an emediate spanner into that wheel. Actually the ejecta of El Hierro is weak, that caused the collaps of the El Golfo volcano since the material could after a while not carry the excess growth of the volcano, so it crumbled and slid out into the atlantic. So, not much iron no.

      2. Thanks again Carl,
        Just trying to understand how Authorities seem so blaise about the situation, and looked for possible explanations. I am not a Geologist so probably a stupid idea to those who are.

      3. There are no stupid questions.

        In part they are being responsible due to one fact that people often forget. This type of volcanoes normally does not kill a lot of people.
        Bob will never kill anyone unless they are out on a boat when it starts to become explosive as it reaches the surface.
        If there would be a new vent forming onland, most likely would be a Fimmvörduhals tourist volcano, but with a small chance of it becoming more like Eyjafjallajökull. And the Eyjafjallajökull option would then be the worst case scenario.
        There is no risk of it becoming a mount Saint Helens eruptions, and I would also say that it will not becoming a Peleian eruption with large scale pyroclastic clouds.
        Pyroclastic events are the most deadly volcanic eruptions followed by Mt Saint Helens eruptions, and with that risk removed any death tolls would be low to non-existant.
        Pretty much, an eruption would need to happen directly under you for you to be killed.
        I am more worried about people dying due to driving like idiots in mass fear.

        Largest risk is gas-poisoning and ash-inhalation. So facemasks would probably be a good idea as minimum protection.
        Otherwise, I think that the tent-camp is a good idea as a holding area before they can be shipped out. There is no risk at all of ash accumulating on the ships in such a degree that they sink as someone mentioned.

        My problem with the authorities are more that they seem to more make into a political game, and the really discusting thing is that the politicaly endorsed scientists does the same thing. They should be ashamed.

      4. Sorry, this program doesn’t read it like Wikipedia. Should have been:
        Thumbs up. : )

    2. Just to mention, aside from possible any possible financial reasons for actions/decisions, there is also a Gereral Election comming up in Spain on (I think) the 20th of this month. One can only presume (hope) that these wouldn’t have any effect on the actions of IGN/PEVOLCA/Cabildo or any of the other organisations involved.

  15. Hi Christina, they do.
    During a CME its like having an xray for both high altitude aircraft passengers and space crews. Satelites can have instruments severely damaged and even powerlines can be super charged causing billions of dollars in damage and large scale outages. Radio propogation also hugely effected.
    Perhaps this could be discussed better at so it does not take room up on Jon’s Blog

      1. It does affect many systems and organisms. Migratory birds can be affected, as can humans in high-flying airplanes (radiation poisoning) and airplane systems themselves, like their navigation systems.

        NOAA provides a list of how they categorise such events and some of their effects.

      2. Hi again Christina, not that i know of, but i only studdy the sun for Meteorolgy and so not really looked into it, i know those effects as it effects communications and communication satellites which are needed in my field.
        My honest answer is “not that i know of” but never looked into it. Only really looked at this effect from being on here. Obviously here in UK gravitational pull is more important due to spring and neap ocean tides which cause flooding which is where my knowledge is.

    1. To add, im not saying thou that solar activity does effect Earthquakes just answering your question as asked. Some Geolgists believe that Gravitational effects like those effecting the tides may add in some very small part to strain put on the tetronic plates, but Jury is still out on it. I would think any truth in that would still leave Volcanoes almost completely uneffected. But i like to have open discussions listening to people thoughts on the subject, whether they are right or wrong. Just thought i’d make it clear which side of the fence i sit. Problem really has been the end of world sites which make it sound like a major contributer and all the 2012 dooms day scenario, not helped by the blockbuster movie.

      1. But, as Lurking has said, it is impossible to see any effect that reaches above background noise. And he really really tried to find it.
        I know that your interest is mainly weather related, and there the sun is by far the largest contributor, and that you are not an alarmist really.

        Well, basically the sun has never caused a plane to crash, except for a few instances of pilots becoming sun-blinded.
        One could think that an electro magnetic pulse like a sun-burst would affect the planes, but it does not. Why?
        Well, there is a threshold for an EMP affecting an airplanes avionics that is due to the thing working as a Farradays cage, ie that the EMP follows the surface of the skin-metall. If the EMP is large enough it punches through into the avionics, but that pretty much take a nuclear blast. Secondly, a sun-burst is huge, but the effect is very much spread out when hitting the plane, so the energy hitting the plane is rather minute.
        To get any effect you need a large antenna receiving the EMP, this has happened at least once, and that took the entire electric grid of upper US and Canada to build up enough energy to create an effect. But then it was quite spectacular 🙂

        To put it shortly, one dude with a few micro-wave heads and a parabolla dish would have more success in blowing the avionics than a sun-burst.

      2. Thanks Carl, a very well put explanation.
        In your field Could you take a look at my questions at 09:48 and below it at 10:46. Trying to get an understanding here of a contrast by experts on here and authorities making decisions. Really appreciate it if you as a main respected contributer andon here could look and give me a better understanding of the situation and reactions.

      3. Modern planes need communications and positioning satellites for navigation, if those fail, or malfunction, the plane is basically blind.
        Besides even NASA does warn of the effects of large solar flares, among other things, for airtravel, so this is not scaremongering at all.

      4. Even NASA scaremongers now and then.
        No plane has crashed due to this out of all of the millions of airline flights in the avionics history… So, yes it is scaremongering.

      5. Secondly, no GPS satelite has failed due to sun-bursts. Why? Military grade EMP hardened electronics. Avionics equipment? Avionics grade hardened against EMP.
        During the 70s and 80s nuclear blast EMPs was the Big Thing, they hardened pretty much all electronic. Even normal computers use hardened components now a days.
        So, EMPs would mainly affect electric grids, and to be honest, it is only the crappy northern US and Canadian that is at any higher risk. And that network has been severely upgraded since it was taken out by a sunburst.

        This is all in the “Ain’t gonna happen” to “Very very unlikely dude” categhories.
        There are better things to worry about, like drunk pilots that are high on anti epileptic drugs… There is at least one instance of an airplane crashing due to this, compared to zero sunburst crashes.

      6. Hi Carl, you are correct, but a direct hit by an x2 flare may or may not have a much higher effect on satellite electronics, There is also extra drag on satellites from evem m type flares.
        Its pretty irrelevant in the context of this blog as this is about Volcanoes thou.
        Effects are as you say minimal for most scenarios but unclear if a direct hit by powerful x2 flare. Chances of that happening are pretty low due to all the things that need to happen at right time and right place, an x2 did leave the sun yesterday but was far from direct to us, but i would not say never.
        It could be like millenium bug, huge worry over nothing.

      7. Well, okay. NASA disagrees, NOAA disagrees with what you are saying, and I’ll side with them on this one.
        Then the is this we are not only talking about electromagnetic radiation (EMP) but also about fast moving plasma (ions, protons, electrons).

        Just because something hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean that it never will.

      8. The millenium bug is a good comparison.
        There are better things to worry about.
        And even better would to see all the good things to be happy about 🙂
        It is friday, half working day (holliday long weekend), the beer will taste well, women (men if you prefer those) are beautifull, and life is filled with things to learn and nice mysteries are there to be pondered upon. We forget that we live in the best of worlds.

      9. At Parvaneh:
        No, but it is so unlikely that you have a severely much larger risk of winning the jackpot on the lottery.
        See also Tor Hognes expertise comment below.

        Personaly I am more worried about the Strong Case Scenario of Whelans interpretations of Feynmans QED intepretations implication of the only thing needed to end universe would be that THEE electron looses coherence. And that my friend is so very very very unlikely that it is the closest to Not gonna happen that we will ever see…

      10. Parvaneh says:
        November 4, 2011 at 11:25

        “Well, okay. NASA disagrees, NOAA disagrees with what you are saying, and I’ll side with them on this one.”

        Careful, NASA employs some pretty disreputable and politically oriented people. Their funding is also controlled by how “concerned” their political masters are.

        This isn’t the NASA/NOAA of old, back when they were science driven.

      11. Fully agree, I could not have said it any better.

        My view is that there is not enough data and knowledge today to make any definite claims as to how the Sun might or might not affect geological processes on Earth (and other planets in our solar system) and while I don’t think that there is a direct link flare->earthquake (though it still needs to be investigated in a scientific way), I am not so sure about effects the Sun might have on planetary magnetic fields, and thus on planetary cores, which might or might not influence core- and mantle convection.

        But that’s the last thing I’ll write about the Sun on this site. For interested people there are many good (no scaremongering) sites for that.
        Like or

        And I also sometimes blog about the Sun (shameless self-promoting to follow):

      1. If I can, I´will notify at this blog. The pilot is my brother. If not, you must wait to official information.

      2. 🙂
        Ask him if there was any visible signs of large “bubbles” blooming up out of the water, and if so, if they looked like they contained grey to black material, or if it was more like pure water.

      3. I’d like to know how long each of Bob’s ‘eruptions’ takes from start to finish, and the quiet period in between ,and the exact time of day. So showing the camera’s clock on screen would be very useful ( if its set accurately)

      4. You should hitch a ride with him. Once in a lifetime event, not to be missed!

  16. Canarias7: 10: 47 the bubble of the submarine volcano of the calm sea has begun this morning to smoke, advises Rosa Rodríguez from El Hierro.
    2 minutes ago · Like · Original

  17. That means quite a lot, if we have water vapour at sea level then the temperature of the water in that area is heated to a higher level than surrounding areas, it seems also likely that water temp is allowing rapid evaporation. To understand possible degree of this would need dew point, air temp and sea temp. But would seem to be considerable heating of the water in that area.

  18. yes its on the internet now as an urgent message

    10:47 La burbuja del volcán submarino del Mar de Las Calmas ha empezado esta mañana a humear, informa Rosa Rodríguez desde El Hierro


    10:47 La burbuja del volcán submarino del Mar de Las Calmas ha empezado esta mañana a humear, informa Rosa Rodríguez desde El Hierro

  20. This is not correct. “Modern planes” utilize intertial navigation (laser gyros) to continously track it’s position. This position is then cross-referenced to GPS-signals and also via DME/DME ground based enroute-equipment (over land).

    If the satellites gets knocked out the aircraft still know where it is but with bigger margins of errors. It renders the aircraft unable to follow Standard arrival routes to be established on the inbound track (for the localizer), but I as an air traffic controller can still vector the aircraft based on RADAR.

    Helicopters in the north sea is however another matter, since these doesn’t utlize inertial navigation (too heavy), and have to rely on dead reckoning for navigation if they loose their GPS-systems. This also aren’t really a problem, because they can still use “dead reckoning” to locate an area with radar coverage, and then they can be vectored towards a safe place to land.

    1. Airplane controller? Well then the expert has spoken!

      I guess now we can put this discussion to a dead end.
      Thanks Tor Hogne! (Or is it Tor Högne?)

      1. Yes any more coments on this subject your more than welcome to discuss at so that discussions here are based on the subject – Volcanoes.
        I am happy to allow a forum on other related subjects on the floodwarn site if they are placed in appropriate place. Floodwarn is effectively a severe weather and floodwarning site so please do not post in different areas.
        I hope this pleases everyone as a proactive solution

  21. When the helicopter finish its work we will know more about the “mancha”, and not for the words of a journalist. So, it is better to wait for proves, don´t you think?

  22. An interesting description Carl. I’m still in the office though, but planning to go home.
    El Hierro cannot keep me away from the computer right now.

  23. Scientists believe that there could be three eruptive mouths in El Hierro the bubbling in the area of the eruption takes again “show”, according to witnesses dyes
    2 minutes ago · Like · 1 · Original

    1. The article does not make clear whether the 3 are in the same area or not …. journalists do not help

  24. Comment on Avcan

    that God forgive me, but to scientists and with all due respect, see very, but very lost, I hope that we have no regret as much roost them

  25. Giggletrans from AVCAN/ La Provinicia
    “””””” ‘We hope the volcano does not explode’
    Professor at the University of Barcelona Sunday Gimeno insists that El Hierro magma eruption could be dangerous
    ‘We hope the volcano does not explode’
    MEDINA MOROTE CIRA explosive or harmless, that is the question. The apparent discrepancy between the data provided by the Pevolca and professor at the University of Barcelona Sunday Gimeno on the dangers of magma of El Hierro had yesterday its second chapter. “Hopefully they do not disprove the volcano with a large explosive eruption,” the Catalan researcher, who told this newspaper that, contrary to what CSIC scientists argue, “most of the rhyolite pyroclastics are volumetrically” that is, one of the most explosive magmatic material existence.
    Of course, if someone has had access to the volcano’s pyroclastic The Calm Sea, these have been the CSIC volcanologists Joan Martí and Ramon Ortiz, who have been integrated into the Pevolca from the beginning. On Wednesday, Gimeno gave the bell with his explosive conclusions. In his report was clear that the City of El Pinar which requested the chemical analysis of samples was done for free, “because it is a sample collected in the context of national emergency”, and the University of Barcelona is a public body.
    It also describes all the techniques that were used to obtain the data and the time elapsed since the arrival of materials, October 27, until they could make findings, only two days later. The question that the scientist is why, if so immediate analysis, the public did Pevolca their data until Wednesday, coinciding for his appearance in the media.
    The fact that the analyzed material containing rhyolite gives a special explosive power, which has been consistently dismissed by experts Pevolca. But that’s not all. “The presence of pyroclastic material in the differential is significant, regardless of the genetic interpretation to be given, provides clear indications of a much larger explosive potential, so far not publicly mentioned by anyone, as we have been monitoring the news in press, radio and national television, “says petrologist in the report. He continued: “The inhomogeneous mixing of different magma compositions is a phenomenon widely reported in the literature as increasing the explosiveness of a magma, and on many occasions as a trigger for an eruption.”
    The point is that, at all times, there has been talk of an eruption surtseyana, quiet apart from the time the magma hits the surface, when a column of steam, followed a few hours, an ash , the famous rooster comb, which has given much play. Well, not always according to Gimeno. “The test material does not exhibit the characteristics of a surtseyano like rash, which is the stage repeatedly proposed by the scientific monitoring committee, at least for more than a week in the first phase of the eruption,” he says.
    Professor at the University of Barcelona can not escape to devote the final paragraph of his report to the manner in which the crisis is being managed El Hierro. “We must make the effort to attract talent, first local and national environment closer, prioritizing the description and understanding of personal hypotheses or small groups. Since it is also obvious, urgent works are used public funds and is played with the safety of persons and property “. This concludes.””””
    end quote.

  26. Apparently, the PEVOLCA will meet this afternoon to 6 pm with residents of the Restinga and tomorrow at the same time will do so in the Llanillos. Some reports suggest that these meetings could be direct between scientists and neighbours, or without the intermediation of political representatives. Since AVCAN we propose, if seem them appropriate that we discuss what questions they would like to ask the members of the PEVOLCA if they had that opportunity. Perhaps this will help for some of the people will be in attendance. Please, we ask you questions to propose to be concise and aimed to clarify the situation. It is an opportunity for neighbors, so that they can clear their doubts, by which we understand that there is no room for criticism, disqualifications, or speculation. Thank you for your collaboration. (Fernando)

  27. Just a thought could some of you send your evidence and graphs this afternoon to Pevolca and maybe ask them to have a look at your insight to whats happening on El Hierro at this moment.

    1. Ask them what additional facilities would improve their predictive ability to ensure public safety (equipment, staff, other resources).

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