El Hierro volcano enters Surtsey eruption phase

This is a short blog post about latest events.

Earlier tonight a Surtey eruption started in El Hierro volcano. Before this phase did start there has been increased harmonic tremor on seismometers that are located on El Hierro Island. Volcano ash is to be expected while water can still get into the crater. When the water does no longer get into the crater it is going to stop making volcano ash. The ash plume can go up to 3 to 10 km high, depending on the strength of the eruption. New vents have also been opening up south of town of La Restinga. That means the fissure is still growing, at least that was the case yesterday and earlier today from what I can gather. I am unsure of that has continued or stopped.

Earthquake activity still high north west of the town of Frontera. This suggests that fissure might open up there. But so far that has not happened. I do not think this are earthquakes due to tectonic stress changes due to the eruptions in south El Hierro volcano. But this stress changes are because of the magma injections at depth in El Hierro volcano.

Harmonic tremor from the eruption in El Hierr volcano. It now shows clear signs of explosions (strong ones) and increased eruption activity. Copyright of this picture belongs to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

If new vents open up closer to the shore there is going to be instant Surtsey eruption activity. But that might only last for a short while the water gets into the crater. There the lava stage is reached much sooner then on the vents that are erupting on more depth at the moment.

I am going to post more updates on this. If I can get more details on what is going on.


Renewed Eruptions at El Hierro in the Canary Islands (Eruption blogs)

I also want to thanks reader how email me about the current status of what is going on in El Hierro volcano. My Spanish is weak at the moment.

342 Replies to “El Hierro volcano enters Surtsey eruption phase”

  1. I have just published a comment from a vulcanologist in ER, good discussion basis i think :
    Earthquake-report.com received a note from Patrick Allard, Directeur de recherche CNRS, Paris, on the current and expected El Hierro events, and is happy to share it with our readers.

  2. the following posted on twitter :-
    INVOLCAN confirma incremento en la emisión de CO2 en #ElHierro.1218+-46 toneladas diarias. 3,5 veces + que promedio normal.

    Giggle translate:-
    Increase in non-tip confirms CO2 emissions # ElHierro.1218 + -46 tons per day. + 3.5 times that average.

  3. And if its recycled crust… it has hydrocarbons in it that could turn explosive in the face of higher oxygen levels as it rises. I fully believe now that we are going to see some unfortunate events as the magma rises onto land.

  4. INVOLCAN confirms a further increase in carbon dioxide emissions in el Hierro

    1218 tons/day

    1. Are the IGN and Cabildo waiting for people falling like sacks to the ground to start taking some action? Evacuation, for example.

      1. I remember…. there was a tribal custom which consisted in feeding the volcanoes with human sacrifices to calm down ….but I don´t know if Bob likes Armas and company taste and he gets more anger.

      2. In Bob’s case you would have to weight the sacrifice down or else it would keep popping up to the surface like a cork.

      3. Perhaps you are right. I asked Xana las night and she explained some things I didn´t know. The only thing than still worring me is the quality air analysis. There´s a link I can´t open anyway.

    1. I think that could be a transliteration of a Russian word for the part of the opposite gender.

    2. Actually, “hooie” is a semi-solid byproduct of digestion. When petrified, it is the subject of study for scatologists world-wide in order to determine the dietary habits of the creature that left the sample behind.

      1. Ahem! Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Please remember this a seriously scientific (with a bias towards geology) based Blog. Please refer to the offending matter as a load of Old Coprolites. 🙂

  5. Update 06/11 – 20:06 UTC :

    Understanding the current and next phase of the eruption.
    Earthquake-report.com received a note from Patrick Allard, Directeur de recherche CNRS, Paris, on the current and expected El Hierro events, and is happy to share it with our readers.

    According to today’s last observations, I agree with Raymomd that the eruption is in a transition phase between purely submarine and Surtseyan-type subaerial, and that the relative calm in the afternoon could have simply resulted from partial removal (collapse?) of the upper part of the new volcanic cone.
    From my experience, a clear change towards subaerial activity will be associated with a change in gas composition, that will be manifested in the gas smell: instead of ‘rotten egg’ (i.e. H2S emission), Raymond and local people will start smelling SO2 emission (i.e. sulfur from striking matchstick).
    Sulfur dioxide is charactersitic of high temperature magmatic gases, whereas H2S is more typical of lower temperature hydrothermal gases or residual magmatic gases that have previously reacted with liquid water.
    The main gas precursor released during such a deep seismogenic phase of a basaltic eruption is carbon dioxide, the earliest exsolving magmatic volatile. Huge amounts of magma-derived CO2 shoud currently being released from the eruptive vents and through sea water, generating the jacuzzi and the billions of gas bubbles bursting at the sea surface. Therefore, measuring/monitoring both the chemical composition and the mass output of emitted volcanic gases should become an important priority during next days and weeks.

  6. Apparently, from what I gather in the AVCAN Group, the officials on TV said there is a magma reservoir of a cubic kilometer down there…

    1. Bit of a problem there.

      It is all going to filter down to what percentage of the area is eruptible.

      IF you take the area of the initial quakes as being indicative of the reservoir, then you get a volume of about 690 km³. A 1 km³ reservoir would be 0.14% of the volume.

      That’s a value that is probably quite normal.


      The problem is that if these quakes represent the top of a chamber, that will throw the relationship far off. Probably by a factor of 2 or 3.

      Additionally, we know that the quakes moved south and deeper after August, eventually eruption at “Bob” near La Restinga. The size of the probable reservoir has just gotten several magnitudes larger. (easily double what we had, so now we are at 4 to 6 times my original estimate)

      After Bob erupted, diffuse quakes began to occur in the area under neath it, and probably reflect the stress changes as the reservoir is slowly emptied out.

      Now we have a stronger set of quakes from the mantle that may indicate a recharge of the reservoir.

      No… I think that “one cubic kilometer” of eruptible material is a very very conservative estimate. It could easily be much more that that.. in total.

      1. Buff… if that all comes out in el Valle del Golfo… means a lot of work for city planners… I’d get my ass and stuff out of there. That would be even worse than Timanfaya.

        Canaria, leiste lo? Dice que van tener mucho trabajo los amiquinos de los poderosos en el ladrillo…

      1. Very illustrative image, thanks.
        Also you can clearly see several linear groupings of cinder cones – probably from fissure eruptions.

      2. Yes, there are alignments of cinder cones and there were fissure eruptions there in the 18th and 19th century.

        Been there, were interesting to visit. It’s still so hot that you can’t get around in yr. own car, they just allow special busses and camels. Also they have built a restaurant over an open dyke there where they roast steaks and you can look down into the fire.

        Here is some information (in Spanish) about the National Park of Timanfaya: http://reddeparquesnacionales.mma.es/parques/timanfaya/pdf/timan_folleto.pdf

      3. One can not solely as a car driver to Timanfaya area because it is protected. It is observed how the nature develops under these conditions. But with advance notification, you can make a very interesting walk from the Nature center.

  7. Magnitude mb 4.9
    Region CRETE, GREECE
    Date time 2011-11-06 20:56:50.0 UTC
    Location 35.80 N ; 25.69 E
    Depth 7 km
    Distances 73 km NE Iráklion (pop 137,154 ; local time 22:56:50.1 2011-11-06)
    70 km NE Néa alikarnassós (pop 11,886 ; local time 22:56:50.1 2011-11-06)
    54 km N Análipsis (pop 1,259 ; local time 22:56:50.1 2011-11-06)

    1. Yeah it’s too bad that they lock out the quake catalog data for Santorini.

      Can’t have any prying eyes ya know. Might hurt the tourism.

  8. Jón Frímann says:
    November 6, 2011 at 18:09

    I changed the embedded video to link. I think it works better that way.

    I have never been able to get ANY vimeo video to play, not just on your blog.

    Not sure what sort of voodoo incantation it takes to get their video’s to play but I have given up even trying any more. Is that video hosted any place else?


    1. Same here! 🙁

      I’ve never looked into what the problem is, but anything Vimeo-related seems to use massive amounts of memory, and my poor, decrepit net-book can’t cope!

      That said, embeds of important videos/graphics would be really useful when scrolling through the discussions. Jon, I don’t know whether you would consider pre-approving some members to post embedded links, or even if it is possible to do that?

  9. http://www.diarioelhierro.es/t26496/pag02.asp?BD=ESPECIAL%20CRISIS%20S%CDSMICA&id_registro=140724&Id=26496&BDi=INICIO&nt=p&Md=

    El Involcan confirma un nuevo incremento de la emisión de dióxido de carbono en El Hierro
    La emisión difusa de CO2 es uno de los parámetros precursores de una erupción volcánica pero que tiene que ser valorado conjuntamente con otros, como son la deformación, la profundidad y la sismicidad.

    DIARIOELHIERRO.ES, redacción (6/11/2011. 20:52 horas)

    El Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (Involcan) ha confirmado a la dirección del Plan de Protección Civil por Riesgo Volcánico (Pevolca) un nuevo incremento de la emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono (CO2) a la atmósfera por el edificio volcánico insular de El Hierro. La tasa de emisión registrada ha alcanzado las 1218 ± 46 toneladas diarias, el mayor valor observado desde el inicio de la reactivación magmática que se está registrando en El Hierro, informa el Gobierno de Canarias.

    Desde el pasado 21 de julio de 2011 el Involcan ha materializado más de 7.250 medidas de flujo difuso de dióxido de carbono (CO2) a través de las numerosas campañas científicas realizadas en todo el edificio volcánico insular subaéreo de El Hierro (278 Km2), y en las que han colaborado y colaboran un importante colectivo de voluntarios residentes en Canarias. La finalidad de estas campañas científicas es contribuir a la mejora y optimización de la vigilancia volcánica dado que los gases son la fuerza motriz de las erupciones volcánicas.

    El registro de la emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono (CO2) por el edificio volcánico insular de El Hierro desde el pasado 21 de julio hasta la fecha va desde las 331 ± 16 a las 1.218 ± 46 toneladas diarias.

    A raíz de los trabajos de emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono (CO2) realizados en El Hierro por el grupo volcanológico del ITER desde 1997, ahora en el seno del Involcan, se ha podido establecer que el valor promedio de la emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono (CO2) por el edificio volcánico insular de El Hierro es de 345 toneladas diarias.

    El pasado 6 de octubre de 2011 y previamente a la erupción submarina ocurrida al suroeste de La Restinga la tasa de emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono (CO2) alcanzó las 990 ± 49 toneladas diarias; una tasa de emisión 2,8 veces superior valor promedio normal . Los resultados recientes reflejan que la tasa de emisión es del orden de 3,5 veces superior al valor promedio normal.

    La Dirección del Plan Especial de Protección Civil y Atención de Emergencias por Riesgo Volcánico en la Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias (Pevolca) destaca que la emisión difusa de CO2 es uno de los parámetros precursores de una erupción volcánica pero que tiene que ser valorado conjuntamente con otros, como son la deformación, la profundidad y la sismicidad. Cabe recordar que estamos inmersos en un proceso eruptivo, en curso en la zona sur de la Isla, que genera emisión de gases en la superficie terrestre.

    Asimismo, la dirección insiste en recomendar a la población de toda la isla que centre su atención en los mensajes ofrecidos por las autoridades competentes a las que le asiste el Comité Científico. Las administraciones públicas disponen de los dispositivos y medios necesarios para hacer frente a una modificación de la situación actual con la comunicación, en el momento adecuado, de instrucciones precisas para la población.


    CRISIS SPECIAL SEISMIC – 11/06/2011 (20:52 pm)
    PEVOLCA confirms a further increase in carbon dioxide emissions in El Hierro
    The diffuse emission of CO2 is one of the parameters of a volcanic eruption precursors but has to be assessed jointly with others, such as deformation and seismicity depth
    DIARIOELHIERRO.ES, writing (11.06.2011. 20:52 pm)
    The volcanological Institute of the Canaries (PEVOLCA) confirmed the direction of the Civil Protection Plan for Volcanic Risk (Pevolca) a further increase in the diffuse emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere by the volcano island of El Hierro. The measured emission rate has reached 1218 ± 46 tons per day, the highest value observed since the beginning of magmatic reactivation being recorded in El Hierro, Canary Islands to the Government.
    Since last July 21, 2011 PEVOLCA 7250 has materialized over diffuse flux measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) through numerous scientific investigations carried out throughout the building subaerial volcanic island of El Hierro (278 km2), and in which they have collaborated and collaborate a significant group of volunteers based in the Canary Islands. The scientific purpose of these campaigns is to contribute to the improvement and optimization of monitoring volcanic gases as are the driving force of volcanic eruptions.
    The registration of the diffuse emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the volcano island of El Hierro from July 21 to date ranges from 331 to 1218 ± 16 ± 46 tonnes per day.
    Following the work of diffuse emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) made by the group El Hierro volcanological ITER since 1997, now within PEVOLCA, has been established that the average value of the diffuse emission dioxide (CO2) by the volcano island of El Hierro is 345 tons per day.
    On October 6, 2011 and prior to the submarine eruption occurred southwest of La Restinga diffuse emission rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 990 ± 49 tons per day, an emission rate 2.8 times higher than average normal. Recent results show that the emission rate is about 3.5 times the normal average.
    The Directorate of Civil Protection Special Plan and Emergency Response for Volcanic Risk in the Canary Islands (Pevolca) points out that the diffuse emission of CO2 is one of the parameters of a volcanic eruption precursors but has to be assessed in conjunction with other such as deformation, and seismicity depth. It should be remembered that we are immersed in an eruptive process underway in the south of the island, which generates greenhouse gas emissions in the Earth’s surface.
    The management also strongly encourage people across the island to focus their attention on the messages offered by the competent authorities which assists the Scientific Committee. Public authorities have the devices and means to cope with a change in the current situation with the media, at the right time, precise instructions for the population.

      1. Can they claim carbon credits if it kills a bunch of people? Take them little Co2 producers and put them into a box…if you can find them after the eruption.

        I expect Al Gore to show up and try to cap this things fun just anytime now…

        Co2-Cant have that.

  10. I have a question: the increassing of CO2 at the surface does it means that magma is much closer to the surface, even more that we have believed untill now?

    1. Es uno de los indicadores que el magma puede ser buscando una salida.

      It’s one of the idicators that magma may be searching for an escape.

      1. Xana-No it IS an indication that its fractured the overlying rock. If the gas can get through, then the magma can as well. Thats the reason Lurk and others are talking about whats the temp/Co2/So2 etc levels.

        I for one would like to know about the lava tube caves. Temp, Co2 levels in those and whether they are loaded with water or not. Thats always good for a nice steam explosion. Trapped water in a lava tube surrounded by hot as hell magma.

      2. OMG… not good! My doubts were if the rise in CO2 were related to underwater Bob’s tantrums. But with the off-land winds… not logical/.

        The whole inside may wel be one huge Sponge Bob of lava tubes, and sure enough there are underwater caves etc.

        I was looking at maps of El Hierro with a friend. He is someone who often’sees’ things. Now for what it is worth, and since you bring it up, he saw a hollow towards the southwest leg of the island, a kind of ‘ledge’ inside, a ‘weak and dangerous point’ that gave him the creeps.

        Indeed, it would be very good to know where the samples are taken, combined with wind direction etc. And infrared images of the island that show how heat is distributed – isn’t there a satelite that looks into that?

      1. Could that indicate a possibility of more explosive behaviour when Bob breaks through this obstacle? And could there be a connection with the high CO2-emissions?

      2. Now I am going to say something that will make people jump…
        The CO2 level is only 3,5 times higher than the background average release of the island of El Hierro.
        What stumps me is not high levels of CO2, it is that the levels are unusually LOW.
        Heck, it should be at least 10 times higher at a volcano that is not gassy. And heavens know Bob is really gassy.
        So where the hork does the CO2 go then?
        Well, as long as the fissure of Bob remains open the CO2 will mainly be dissolved into the water as carboacids, and some will be released out at sea as CO2 gas.
        If, and I say if, Bobs fissure closses before the eruption is over, and a fissure opens on the island we will most likely see something like 1000 or more tons of CO2 being released per hour. And that is still counted low.

        Compare the numbers against Stromboli and Etna for instance, they are releasing the above stated numbers.

      3. Might just be venting out those caves Carl. The areas mostly where they are are near the sea and you have to kind of climb out to them.

  11. I’ve been reading Janet Anscombe’s blog from Tenerife. Has some really good local information on road closures, evacuations etc that you might otherwise be reading in giggle Spanglish:


    She’s even got a couple of pictures/comments I haven’t read elsewhere, so she’s well informed:

    Update 2 November 3pm: Just as an update on the “smoking magma analysis”, scientists are saying that they’ve never seen anything like this before, and are not able to classify it from previous experience.

    They are still analyzing its components, and say it is a white spongy mass covered with a dark glassy material which they presume to be some sort of basalt composition comprising minerals of peridot, pyroxene, magnetite and halite (sodium chloride). This part is not surprising, but the white interior is, since it is minerologically very different, and might even have been brought up from the oceanic crust. They think it’s a type of silica, and it will be some days before they can say more clearly.

    1. The ejected material and its possible composition as well as what it may imply have been discussed on an earlier thread.

    2. It might be new or at least rare. I doubt that you can often collect smoking magma from a submarine eruption. In subaerial eruptions, that magma would probably shatter into ash on hitting the ground.

      It could be an ocean crust or it could be a rhyiolite from crystallised magma – that magma has been there a long time since the previous eruption so has had plenty of time to separate; or, debris from a previous eruption.

      1. Perhaps its rare because of the sedimentary layers. Shales, clays, limestone etc are down there – unusual for volcano.

      2. Possible.

        And I was thinking that this is a submarine eruption that is taking place close to land so it is possible to get more pyroclasts than might be usual.

    3. The white material is the point of some conjecture.

      Being noted as possibly resembling rhyolite, this would infer a more explosive capability of the magma under the right circumstances. Later … “discussion” and press releases by IGN have called it “traquita” and calmed the furor since it’s less prone to an explosive mix.

      The only problem is that “traquita” is the Spanish term for trachyte, and about the only difference being in the silica content. Rhyolite having a higher composition and viscocity. (holds it’s bubbles better)

      So… the idea “They think it’s a type of silica” doesn’t sit to well with the harmless “traquita” camp.

      It’s all going to depend on how it mixes and or fractions in the reservoir.

      1. Here you are a text that I´ve read in a blog. I think it´s interesant. It´s about the famous rocks:
        “…new magma, basaltic and at temperatures of 1200-1300 degrees during its ascens can penetrates in others previous lands, anothers rocks formations and also (in this case) old magma chambers and practicaly fried. In his rise this magma at very high pressures will drag whatever lies ahead and it will appear with the materials of the eruption. It is what called xenoliths or boulders outside the process that magma has dragged and mixed with what is typical of that eruption. For example, those rich traquita coconuts. The magma when pull up found a old warehouse of traquita litlle bit hot andand showed us with his own material covered, or what is the same, with good qualitiy black basalt.”
        Este es el enlace:

      2. The problem is.. those coconuts are melting. Becoming part of the mix. No longer distinct xenoliths.

      3. Thanks for that post and link Una.
        That is exactly what I was wondering about in my earlier post about the possibility that the unusual, white stuff might even turn out to be Blanca ignimbrite.

        We’ve been told before about possible ‘mixing of different magmas’; Bob could be coughing up all sorts of new stuff mixed with interesting rocks from different epochs – so it may not be so improbable then, after all. Of course the new melt could get very nasty under the right conditions. Let’s hope those conditions won’t be there. (I’m not a geologist so probably they are laughing in the aisles!)

      4. And it gives them an out until they know for sure what it is. Yep, I think by Wednesday we are going to be in awe of whats going on.

    1. How many EQs does Yellowstone normally get per week?

      The USGS map of North America lookerd fairly normal, except for the Oklahoma (EQs are not a regular occurrance there).

      1. I think Yellowstone’s time is over for now. The hotspot is getting stuck under the mountains.

      2. I think I agree there. There was some eartquakes, quite big ones this spring, but after that, It’s gone down, and now there is NONE! I think Yellowstone has gone back into a really good dream 🙂

    1. Oh that’s good. Nothing like having data to work with in these circumstances.

  12. Pumice and obsidian deposits are found in the Canary islands so perhaps this unusual white material could turn out to be Blanca ignimbrite or is that an impossibility? We’ll hopefully know soon as it seems to be a fascination for the scientists.

    1. It’s not only fascinating for scientists, but the analysis can also tell us sth about the character of an eruption as Lurking said before.

      – So, good night, every body, and a quiet night esp. to people on El Hierro.

    2. Gawd I hope not.

      “Ignimbrites may be white, grey, pink, beige, brown or black depending on their composition and density. Many pale ignimbrites are dacitic or rhyolitic”

      Theres that rhyolite word again…

      Riolita – Traquita, Riolita – Traquita, Riolita – Traquita…

      The saga continues.

      1. Yes, Lurk/ Inge, that’s why I put it out there – “into the melt” so to speak. (Raving will like that one!)
        ; – )

    1. I would put them on EBay and tletthe worlds scientists get their hands on them, worthwhile collecting…

      1. Thats coconuts are already sold on Ebay and some of them cost up to 400 euros. Many people is getting rich thanks to Bob.

      2. The first floaters was rather more hefty.
        The creative El Hierran fisherman charged quite a lot for them, and just getting them on a plane back to that pesky Island in the north-sea (England) cost half a fortune…
        400€ is a bargain.
        I think I will try to get my hand on a newer one since it seems like they have changed a bit. Problem is just that the first once was authenticated, the ones on Ebay could just be any old rock really…

    2. @Carl. Is this more of the millosevichite that was discused earlier?

      “Millosevichite is a rare mineral with the chemical formula Al2(SO4)3.[1] Aluminium is often substituted by iron. It forms white to yellowish cryptocrystalline, often porous, masses. The mineral is mainly known from burning coal dumps, acting as one of the main minerals forming sulfate crust. It can be also found in volcanic environments” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millosevichite

      And: http://webmineral.com/data/Millosevichite.shtml

      1. Remember that the Millosevichite was the first floaters that was much smaller than the ones that are popping up today.
        Guess of the day here is that what is coming up today is something else. Probably rhyolite.
        What I am trying to do now is to see if I can get a new fresh sample from the same supplier, but he is being a bit hard to get hold of. I get not answer on the persons office phone in the Marina of La Restinga. So I guess he is evacuated, either of own free will, or by the authorities. And I do not have a mobile number.
        Ebay is really no go since you never know what you are getting.
        So, if anyone has a verified El Hierran source that could get hold of a sample, I would definitly by a sample and have it examined again.

        My geologist think that the first samples was from a vein of millosevchite that was shot out in the initial phase. Seems plausible. Even though oddly for being a professional geologist she is remarkably uninterested in volcanos. (If it ain’t a mine, it ain’t a mine…)

  13. @ Una Canaria: de dónde sacaste la información sobre ‘las cenizas’ (ashes) encontradas cerca de la Sabinosa? O hablaste solo sobre el CO2?
    –where did you find the info about the ‘ashes’ found near Sabinosa? Or did you only talk about CO2?

      1. translates as ‘I talked to a source’, but so far allof una canaria’s info has been good so I’m inclined to believe it 🙂

  14. Please note that the eruption is fluxuating and has been doing it since it started almost four weeks ago. This is to be expected from a fissure eruption.

    New fissures can also open up in areas that are not connected to the current eruption vents. As eruption vents depends on magma dykes that are currently taking place in El Hierro. But the dike activity is currently high North west of Frontera. It is important fact with magma dike that it can start without warning and also stop without warning. So that is something to look out for.

    It seems as the time passes by the eruption is getting more complex, even if this is just a fissure eruption in a Shield volcano.

    1. I actually don’t understand this: “dykes are taking place”? What do you mean here? And what do you mean by: “dyke activity”?

      1. Dyke/dike (spelling depends on preference), a magma intrusion that is typically vertical in alignment along fissures. If they broach the surface they tend to form cone rows… in the extreme, Hekla.

        Horizontaly oriented emplacements are usually called sills. All are variations on laccoliths.

      2. Contnuing (on a phone),

        The early activity (pre-august) was pretty clearly dike emplacement. Each set of quakes paralelled the preceding set.

        Now, though less defined, the deep quakes under El Golfo seem to be following a similar pattern.

      3. I know what a dyke is, just wanted to make sure, Jón was talking about “emplacement” here.

    2. I am not bying the part of it being a shield volcano.
      As far as I know it is not a shield volcano if it produces slopes with 50 degrees or more…
      If I haven’t gotten the volcanology 101 wrong this is a fissure volcano that builds up, fast.
      In a way it looks like, but is not at all, like Hekla, but a Hekla on a tripple-junction.
      Remember that El Golfo built up to a height and weight that was so steep and large that it toppled over. Normally shield volcanos do not topple over… 🙂

  15. According to recent statements by the OEM, at least 10 campaigns by many volunteers have established the more than 1K tons/day +/- estimate of CO2.
    Be nice to see where and how the readings were obtained. As well as the lab qualified values. Don’t see these detailed results of the SO2, H2S or CO2 data becoming available in the near future.

    Since this is new ground is it possible that we are not going to see the “normal readings”?

    Anyone see the research vessel since yesterday?

      1. Xana, yo no se demasiado de este tema, pero me preocupa cuando la gente del Hierro se queja de problemas como mareos, picor en los ojos y dificultad para respirar. Hasta que punto puede eso considerarse “normal” o “no peligroso”?

      2. Los mareos pueden ser producido por el ultrasonido d el tremor que es muy bajo (lo que se puede ver como los colores rojo y amarillo en el espectograma), asi como la presura en los oidos. Seres humanos no pueden oirlo, pero sentirlo si.
        De los niveles tolerables de los gases emitidos como el SO2 no sé que son, pero haylos, y a mi parece que alguna xente padece problemas más antes que otros (los sulfitos, por ejemplo, ya son problemáticos para los asmáticos) y nun hay que olvidar que el estrés también tiene un papel… pues, hay que preguntar cuales son los niveles tolerables de los componentes nocivos en el aire.

        The dizzyness people complain about on El Hierro may be caused by the infrasound of the low tremors (red & yellow in spectogram) just like the pressure on the ears some mention.
        About the levels of poisonous gasses in the air, I don’t know what they are, but there have to be guideline for how much of each is permitted, like SO2… I’d say that the levels of how much different individuals can bear before having problems, depends. Sufites, for example, generally are not so good for asthmatics. And don;’t forget that strass also plays a role in what one can take.

        So – if someone here knows what are the guidelines for the danger levels of SO2 &c in the air, please enlighten the people on El Hierro!

  16. Any repetition of that story about ash samples taken away for analysis at Sabinosa? Where did it come from? (the story)

  17. Goodnight all; I am off to bed to count sheep. Have a quiet night in Iceland and El Hierro.

  18. What do they need to be there for? Their gear doesnt work past 120 degrees.

    1. Results of the autopsies on various species of fish.
      I am presuming all fish were found floating in the Bob area and were already dead. They were not caught live by fishermen and then died!

      The conclusions
      To the external appraisal, the fish presented a medium/high degree of deterioration (loss of firmness, murky cutaneous mucus, concave and opaque cornea, characteristic smell motivated by the accumulation
      trimetilamina as a result of the bacterial degradation), and light smell to sulfur. The most prominent macroscopic wounds were eversión gastric, bubbles of gas in the cornea and severe congestion of the
      blood vessels of the air bladder. These wounds coincide with them found in the fish analyzed previously the 11 October of the 2011. The state autolítico in which they are found has impeded the
      microscopic diagnosis. They remain slopes the results of the analysis of the gases of the air bladder.

  19. It is common for many weeks to go by with out EQ visible on the USGS recent earthquake maps, which is where the map you were looking at comes from. If there were micro quakes in the area, they were to small to be registered on that type of map. They might be noted on a helicorder somewhere or some other sensor. A quake must be at least magnitude of 1 to be plotted on a USGS recent earthquakes map.

  20. Fahrenheit?
    NB recaptcha (college tirsti)
    M. Randolph Kruger says: November 7, 2011 at 01:36
    What do they need to be there for? Their gear doesnt work past 120 degrees.

  21. Yeah and I think the acid was eating the stuff up pretty well too. They had an opportunity to take some pictures of the actual vent but never got close that I could tell.

    We got a dead starfish though. Yay !

    They are just not outfitted for this kind of work over there. It would take an ROV and a good operator. It would also have helped if the current where it started was stronger and they could have anchored the ROV to the clear water side of it.

    120 is about an arbitrary number. These things are designed to work in cold water and not hot. Wires start to turn gooey at 120.

    1. I read somewhere the robot/rov of the R. Margalef is designed to withstand temperatures up to 30º Centigrade… Not much for a Spanish research robot considering the Mediterranean seawater already nearly is that temperature in summer…

      1. So it’s a tourist bot?

        They need to get that one that was poking around the undersea volcano near Santorini.

      2. Or one of those ROV’s that they were using to cut the piping on the Deepwater Horizon site.

        Those be some rugged bots.

  22. M. Randolph Kruger says:
    November 6, 2011 at 22:58

    larry what browser are you using?

    I normally use the latest edition of Firefox, but have tried Microsoft Internet Exploder too, on several different computers, running Win 2000, Win xp pro and Windows 7. Both my home systems and from work.

    It does not even throw an error it simply hangs forever, I once left it spinning for several hours to see if eventually it would buffer and play no joy. I’ve tried clicking on links and cutting and pasting the links into browsers, Java and flash work on these systems on other web sites.

    Given so few people use Vimeo to post videos it was not worth my time to try to trouble shoot their video system when every other video feed and down loaded video works just fine.


    1. It may be that you’re just missing a video player! Install e.g. latest MS Media player.

    1. Man that is my boy Lurk…

      Jesus son give you a little data and you turn it into the Shroud of Turin.

      Amazing…. It also points to some of those real problems we were talking about.

      If this goes on for long its inevitable I think it will invade the island structure. Extrusions might pop out in all sorts of places.

      1. I put the accuracy of those posits at about half a kilometer. I kept having to tweak the graphic to the closest segment of coastline stayed in sync.

      2. El valor medio de la temperatura osciló entre los 22 °C en invierno y los 23 °C en otoño. La humedad permaneció constante durante todo el muestreo con un valor que rara vez descendió del 100%. Pese a la aridez del clima en el exterior, dentro de la cavidad se observa una elevada humedad, con numerosos puntos de goteo a lo largo de todo su recorrido. Ello es debido sin duda a la cobertura de piroclastos en superficie, que actúan a modo de esponja y retienen durante mucho tiempo la humedad, impidiendo la evaporación rápida que tiene lugar en terrenos desnudos con este clima. Gracias a esta gran extensión de piroclastos en toda la zona, muchas otras cuevas como las de Don Justo y del Lajial tienen buenas condiciones para alojar una rica fauna cavernícola.

        The average temperature ranged between 22 ° C in winter and 23 ° C in autumn. The humidity remained constant throughout the sample with a value that rarely fell from 100%. Despite the arid climate on the outside, inside the cavity there is a high moisture, with numerous dripping points along its entire length. This is no doubt due to pyroclastic cover on the surface, which act like a sponge and retain moisture for a long time, preventing rapid evaporation which takes place in bare land in this weather. With this large expanse of pyroclasts in the area, many other caves such as Don Justo and Lajial have good conditions to host a rich cavernal fauna .

        Taken from here: http://www.azoresbioportal.angra.uac.pt/files/publicacoes_DELACRUZ_LaCuevadelosPocitosElHierroDescripcionyBiocenosis.pdf

        And look here, onse sample of an underwater cave: http://www.skaphandrus.com/dive_locations/site/Spain/El_Hierro/Cuevas_del_Faro

      3. MRK, remember there are 500 open air craters and another 300 covered by more recent mudslides. Currently there are only 70 caves and volcanic tubes catalogued, best known is la Cueva de Don Juso with 6 kilometres length. Who knows what else is covered by mudslides…

        “Sponge Bob” was the ancient name of the island in the silbido-language of the Guanches.

      4. Okay… this is gonna take a while. Every few sites has the word “cave” in the description.

        El Hierro… Spain’s version of Swiss Cheese. (full of holes)

  23. Okay, so you go to the tools function…..

    You just have to put vimeo in the white list of this extension.

    Tools/Add-ons/Extensions/Options/ second tab/ add “vimeo.com”

    Its a crappy version of flashplayer anyway, and few people use it. The compression rate is very high though so you can get all in on less memory. Dropouts though are terrible and it will make the screen do all sorts of stuff that looks like a nuke attack when it does.

    But if that doesnt fix it then hit me at memphisservices@bellsouth.net

  24. Well that sort of worked

    On Windows XP with Firefox, doing the following allowed vimeo to run.
    security settings
    warn me when sites try to install add-ons, click “exceptions button”
    add : vimeo.com
    click “allow”

    That did not do anything useful on my Windows 2000 system but thanks to some of you folks mentioning “couch mode” (I have no clue who came up with that stupid name, or decided to park the icon for it off in the corner of the window).

    It allows the video to play — it would be nice if the folks at Vimeo would be bright enough to put up a notice “If your video does not play try couch mode (upper right of window”. I totally ignored that icon because A) it did not look like a button, and B) I do not go around randomly clicking things to see what they do on strange web pages if they do not give me a clue what its function is.

    Thanks for the help, but I still am not at all inclined to view vimeo videos given their klutzy interface. A search of the help shows lots of folks complaining that they cannot get the videos to play — Vimeo support —- that is a clue you need to change your user interface.

    Back on topic, I have found the volcano coverage here on this blog highly interesting, and it has become a daily must check URL to keep up to date on all the interesting observations about both the El Hierro and Iceland volcano activity with Katla etc.


  25. So… Is there webcam following this eruption?

    Why is there no webcam, this has to be scientificaly interesting got to be worth spending a few euros to follow it.

    1. A termal camera I suppose that’s should be a must have from the scientific pov. at least.
      But, yap there is not.
      Only human type 😀
      Although I call them reporters

    2. Where do you suggest it be situated? This eruption is causing vents to open and close along a fissure that is many miles long. If they set up a cam on the south side activity could cease there, then start elsewhere. This is not like a strato -volcano with one main crater.
      I am sure that there are people there with cameras that will record events as they happen.
      There is a webcam on the North side here

  26. Magnitude ML 3.0
    Date time 2011-11-07 06:19:02.2 UTC
    Location 27.80 N ; 18.05 W
    Depth 20 km

    1. Not very well researched, as both articles have El Hierro located off the coast of Spain.

      1. pay peanuts, get monkeys?
        Their spelling is worse than mine and mine is only average.

    1. In the article it says:

      Innbyggerne på Kanariøyene er allerede i gang med å foreslå navn for den potensielle øya, ifølge Daily Mail. Blant over 500 forslag, skal favorittene være The Discovery, Atlantis og The Best.

      I still think Bob, short for Goldfarter Bob is a better name. 😉

      1. Ah forgot the translation…It basically says that there has been over 500 suggestions of a new name. The favourites are the ones above.

      2. surely nobody in their right mind would call an island The Best?
        The Beast would be better even. 😉

  27. Here are a couple of links to support my idea that ‘Little Bob’ may need to break through his big brothers’ previous flows of ignimbrites ( it’s a trial:nearly 11,000 earthquakes so far!) and spit the rocks out before he can do his own thing in a much more measured way (less violent)m I hope, for the sake of the islanders and the rest of us. Then he can settle back down.

    By big brothers I mean Tenerifian volcanoes:http://www.oceanic-research.com/shop/details.php?gid=37&sgid=&pid=739

    And background to ignimbrites:http://accessscience.com/content/Ignimbrite/757578

    1. Ahem, the Teneriffe volcanos would not impede Bob at all. Bob is quite simply to far away for them to affect.
      Secondly, even if Teneriffe had been close enough, it would still only had an impact if El Hierro had no previous eruption.
      Thirdly, we already have sonar-mapping of a more than 100 metre new cone (compared against a sonar-map from 1998), and a filled in underwater valley.
      Bob has defacto erupted out about 0,07 cubic kilometres of ejecta and counting already.
      If you really want to go hunting for old lavas that could affect, look to the southern seamounts that are remnants of old volcanic activity.

  28. Thanks Carl. My understanding is that it is not always easy to see what an island is sitting on top of. Layers, layers, layers. And El Hierro is the least studied of all the Canary Islands. (Take Iceland for example: it is only recently that it is proposed that it sits on top of a much older crust – link where are you?!) Ahttp://www.dur.ac.uk/g.r.foulger/Offprints/OlderCrust.pdfh, here we are:

    I haven’t read any of the attached studies but you may like to take a peak in a quiet moment:http://www.authormapper.com/search.aspx?val=journal%3AMarine+Geophysical+Researches&val=keyword%3ACanary+Islands

  29. Carl, you may well be right but let’s not forget that El Hierro is the youngest of all the Canary Islands as well as the least studied. Ignimbrite flows are capable of enormous reach and what went before on Tenerife could well have extended that far according to the definition .( OK it didn’t!! But I have not seen that documented, yet.)

    Have a lot of reading to do to begin to understand. : – )

    Keep the humour coming, Carl, as a little light relief in a stressful situation does us all a power of good.

  30. Carl, you may well be right but let’s not forget that El Hierro is the youngest of all the Canary Islands as well as the least studied. Ignimbrite flows are capable of enormous reach and what went before on Tenerife could well have extended that far according to the definition .( OK it didn’t!! But I have not seen that documented, yet.)

    Have a lot of reading to do to begin to understand. : – )

    Keep the humour coming, Carl, as a little light relief, in a stressful situation, does us all a power of good.

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