This is a short update on the activity in El Hierro volcano.
In the last 24 hours there have been no major changes in the activity of El Hierro volcano. No eruption has started yet. But earthquake activity continues with the same rate as in past few days. Magnitude of the earthquakes that are currently taking place is around ML1.5 to ML3.5, with the focal depth of around 20 km. But deepest earthquakes have the depth of around 28 km. While the shallowest earthquakes have the depth around 15 to 12 km. No harmonic tremor is currently taking place in El Hierro volcano. According to GPS data from El Hierro volcano. There is inflation taking place at the current moment. That means magma is injecting it self into the volcano at the depth of 20 km. There is already older magma from last year magma injection. Some of that magma erupted last year, but not nearly all of it. I do not know what happens if the new magma gets into contact with older magma that is in El Hierro volcano. There is also possibility that older magma from eruptions that took place thousands years ago is still in El Hierro volcano. That magma might be andesitic to rhyolitic in nature. If that is the case is impossible to know for sure. But this is always an risk with any volcano, regardless where they are located in the world.
It is difficult to day what happens next in El Hierro volcano. But I do believe that current earthquake activity is going to continue for the next few days to weeks. That activity depends on how much magma flows into El Hierro volcano. That flow might not be constant all the time. So there is going to be period of time with low activity during current events. When this is written, total of around 130 earthquakes have taken place in El Hierro volcano today (29. June 2012) so far.
Known eruptions in El Hierro volcano
Year 4790 BC (Radiocarbon)
Year 950 BC (+- 150 years)
Year 550 BC (+- 75 years)
Year 1677 (Uncertain eruption. Not confirmed.)
Year 1692 (Uncertain eruption. Not confirmed.)
Year 1793 May to 1793 June. Erupted on NW rift, GVP says that the eruption may have taken place at Volcán de Lomo Negro (?). But that is not confirmed or established at current time.
Year 2011 September to December, off the coast. Not on GVP web page.
Source: GVP web page, Hierro
Blog post updated at 20:16 UTC on 29.06.2012.