Analyze on events in El Hierro volcano

This is a short analyze of what is happening in El Hierro volcano. What is taking place in El Hierro volcano has an simple explanation. What is taking place in El Hierro volcano is an dike intrusion. This creates earthquakes as new magma is injected into the crust. This is also creating inflation on the surface. It has been reported so far the inflation is 20mm up, 20mm east, 20mm north. This can clearly be seen on GPS data that was released today.

The inflation according to IGN. This is recent GPS data. Copyright of this image belongs to ING/AVCAN

The dike intrusion into El Hierro volcano is creating sill in it. While new magma is being injected into the volcano. It is going to mean earthquake activity and a lot of it. Currently there are three older sill that have formed in El Hierro volcano. This sill clearly appear on images that show the earthquake pattern over the past one year in El Hierro volcano.

Earthquake activity marks the sill and older magma injection areas in El Hierro volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to ING/AVCAN

Earthquake activity in El Hierro volcano as it is today. This is accumulated earthquake activity sine current earthquake swarm started. Copyright of this image belongs to ING/AVCAN

What happens if the new injection gets into contact with the old inection is anyone guess. But new magma, if it gets in contact with an older magma might mobilize it. It might not mean an eruption. But earthquake activity might get really intense for a while. A lot more intense then it already is today. With earthquake well above magnitude ML3.0 and up to ML5.0 (depending on the stress of the crust in the area).

Earthquake activity in El Hierro volcano today. So far no harmonic tremors have been detected. But that might change without warning if the magma finds a path to the surface. Copyright of this image belongs to ING/AVCAN

When I write this I see that El Hierro volcano has had it first ML4.0 earthquake as I did fear yesterday might happen. But I made a comment on that on AVCAN Facebook page yesterday (Somewhere, I have no idea where it is located).


Dike (geology) (Wiki)
Sill (geology)
Intrusion triggering of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull explosive eruption (

11 Replies to “Analyze on events in El Hierro volcano”

  1. Thanks for the post and that link in the post before .

    It’s interesting to see all the red dots, forming a layer or sill between the “old” layers from the beginning activities last year. Is it possible that there, in the “old” zone, are no Earthquakes because it’s already “week”?

  2. If anyone can spare a donation it would be welcomed. As July got the questionable status of having more bills to pay then my income allows for. I hope this is not going to be the case again. This is mostly due to start cost of ADSL, new mobile phone number, Last phone bill from Telenor, etc. So I do not expect this to repeat it self.

    However. I am most likely going to move in August to a small town called Padborg ( That is also going to cost some money. I am going to get a loan for the apartment insurance and first month rent at the commune here in Denmark (it is cheap loan compared to overdraft loan). Moving cost is going to be on my overdraft and the possibility (for the possibility of two months) of paying double rent (That is going to be paid back in part when I get my insurance of my current apartment back). That is going to be costly for me. I also have to buy an air plain ticket to Iceland during Christmas.

    All this is going to go on loan or overdraft (expensive one) since my income is low. Unless I get some donations to reduce my dependence on expensive bank loans. This also is destroying my debt free status as of today. There is nothing I can really do about it. As bill needs to be paid.

    Thanks for the support.

    I also want to say this. I hate being poor and I hate being on social welfare. But I am trying to change my current situation. But it is hard work and might not bear any fruit for many, many months to come. I hate having to worry if I can pay my bills, if I can buy food during the month. I do not like my current status and I have not liked it for the past several years. But as I say. Changing it is proving to be difficult and long process. But I am going to make it and stop being poor…somehow.

    1. Its more like 6 cms Charly. I sent the same charts to some guys here in Memphis and they do volcanoes for a living as Phd’s.

      Simply put, they said that if this continues then something is going to shear and suddenly. They are fully aware of what El Hierro could do and have been on the island before and noted the rift and more importantly in the lava tube system. The SW side is shot through with tubes and if it should break free there will be a lot of trouble. Their biggest fear is the trapped lava tube filled with water scenario. It heats, then suddenly like a pressure cooker lid blowing off it escapes. They also brought up the amount of expended energy estimates in the last few days. Their opinions were that the entire energy expended during the Restinga eruption cant match what we are seeing now.

      Me, I only look at it from what it can do if one of those walls shift and fall into the ocean. No way to evacuate 38 million people to safety on the east coast of the US. Lisbon gone in about an hour. French and English port cities wiped out.

      Worst case scenario isnt it erupting, its what happens if there is a landslide.

      1. the problem with this landslide thing is that no piece of the island is unstable enough, because the unstable parts did collapse already during in separate events during the past 500k years, and I highly doubt that a single eruption can trigger one. With a larger intrusion I meant larger than the previous one, but that would no be enough to trigger a large eruption, if it triggers one at all… worst case scenario would be, in my opinion, a small cinder cone growing where previously there was none, with its associated lava flow. There are thousand small cones that serve as a reminder of past volcanic activity on el Hierro and there is no reason, no petrological evidence pointing towards el Hierro changing is behavior towards a more explosive one, for example 2011 eruption magmas where ultra basic to basic, and probably this will continue for several thousands of years more.

      2. There is almost no risk of landslide from El Hierro volcano. At least nothing that creates tsunami like that you talking about here.

  3. Recovered comment from earlier to today. It got lost in the hosting move.

    Dirk Sch.

    Padborg? Close to the German border? My girlfriend is living in the City of Kiel, some 130 km south of the border.

    Can we use the donate Button or do you prefer a different way?

    Regarding El Hierro – the combination of rapid uplift and dike intrusion(s) and many earthquakes between mag. 3-4 is not a good sign. I would not rule out a smaller explosive event if eventually finds a weak spot and accelerates to the surface. Perhaps ist looks similar to Hekla… Initially explosive, but quickly turning into lava flow. What do you think?


    1. If there is going to be an eruption. It is just going to be lava if the eruption takes place on land. If it is under the ocean, the eruption is going to be explosive. But this is all just speculation. Nobody knows what happens until it happens.

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