El Hierro Volcano activity report

Last update: April 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm by By

This is the most recent El Hierro Volcano eruption report You may follow also Facebook Volcano PageGoogle+ VolcanoesTwitter : @VolcanoReport With the collaboration of Joke Volta, an El Hierro resident and Julio del Castillo Vivero, photographer. Read also:  links to all 59 prior parts of this eruption report please go to the bottom of this page Read also: The 2011 submarine volcanic eruption in El Hierro (Canary Islands), Spain Useful links  : @VolcanoReport  -  Picasa Photo Album  El Hierro Webcam (only 1 active) :  Frontera-Sabinosa FrançaisNederlandsEspañolJapanese (automatic translations) THIS PAGE WILL REFRESH AUTOMATICALLY EVERY 10 MINUTES, KEEP IT OPEN IN A BROWSER TAB 

Many thanks to all the people (among them a lot of volcano lovers) who have send us donations. May we ask the people of El Hierro, reading this page, to use our I HAVE FELT IT form when they feel the current earthquakes. The way you feel it will give us some additional information on what is going on (written on December 22 at 19:46 UTC). Click on this I HAVE FELT IT link. You can write in your own language.

2014-04-17 15:37 UTC
I am currently traveling in Ethiopia until Easter, which is the reason for this late update :
Except for the M3.3 who was felt my the islanders, no unusual seismic activity the last 2 weeks.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 18.42.38

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 18.34.20 Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 18.34.52

2014-04-05 15:41 UTC
The seismicity of the last couple of days. Nothing unusual has been noticed in the earthquake pattern.

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 17.36.16

2014-03-31 22:38 UTC
Hard to believe that the once so active island has been almost asleep for almost 2 weeks. Below the seismicity during that period. No fear that we would stop our reporting on what happens on the island, we will continue until a new eruption happens :)

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 00.33.42

2014-03-17 23:23 UTC
This was probably one of the shortest swarms so far.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 00.22.17 Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 00.22.59

2014-03-16 14:00 UTC
A bunch of new earthquakes after this new Magma intrusion. No tremor on the seismographs though (earthquakes are still too deep and are mainly below the central-north of the Island (in between Frontera and Valverda). This is an entirely new activity area for the last many years. The frequency of earthquakes is further decreasing.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 15.32.50

2014-03-15 23:55 UTC
Although we have listed a huge number of earthquakes today, we can say that both strength and frequency have decreased the last number of hours. An impressive list of earthquakes

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 01.28.15 Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 01.28.49 Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 01.29.22 Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 01.32.41

2014-03-15 06:13 UTC
Most of the many recent earthquakes below the northern part of the middle of the island. Strongest earthquake 2.4 unchanged depth. NO direct danger to the population

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 07.14.09

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 07.11.06 Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 07.11.33

2014-03-14 23:34 UTC
Even more earthquakes this afternoon en evening. Location of most of the epicenters from Frontera towards Valverde.

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 00.36.36 Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 00.36.57 Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 00.37.57

2014-03-14 16:07 UTC
We can talk about a real swarm now. A lot of new earthquakes are being added, all of them at the same depth. The Magnitude is somewhat weakening.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.26

2014-03-14 08:51 UTC
Another set of earthquakes have been listed by IGN since our last update. Almost all of the earthquakes at a depth of 18 to 20 km which is deep for volcanic earthquakes.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 09.52.19

2014-03-14 07:44 UTC
An earthquake swarm has started a couple of hours ago below the Frontera / El Golfo area

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 08.42.11Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 08.41.55

2014-02-24 18:16 UTC
No more seismicity after 05:00 AM this morning and only the CRST seismograph showing a lot of movement only during office or labor hours will probably mean “false alert”. As no other seismographs did show an serious increased tremor, we expect the picture to be the result of human interference.

2014-02-24 10:00 UTC
After a period of calm, the volcano gods are turning themselves in their sleep. Readers Henk and Jens told us a little earlier that there was some new seismic activity at El Hierro. To be honest, everything is still  weak (below M2), but the location of the earthquakes , the number and especially the seismograph makes it certainly relevant to follow it up very closely.  Most earthquakes are below the middle of the Island.
The last listed earthquake is however from 05 AM this morning and the same seismicity like the below chart of CRST cannot be seen on other installed seismographs.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 16.11.30 Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 16.13.08 Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 16.38.40

2014-02-17 23:55 UTC
What looked like renewed activity today was in fact a couple of earthquakes (rather aftershocks) of the major earthquake to the West of El Hierro. The last one being a deep earthquake on the Northern shore of Tenerife. So, no renewed seismicity and a lot of bad weather the preceding days.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 01.09.41

2014-02-12 10:47 UTC
Apart from a deep quake near Las Sauces, La Palma (single event) nor much to report. Very weak seismicity both in strength as in frequency

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 23.34.51

2014-02-05 10:47 UTC
We will cut a big portion of this article later today (Thanks Leona for telling us).
This is the seismicity below the island since our last update. A limited number of daily earthquakes after all.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 11.45.08

2014-01-28 16:34 UTC
The El Hierro volcano sleeps again. the earthquakes during more than 1 week can be counted on one hand.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 17.33.47

2014-01-22 13:45 UTC
Nothing special to report but we want to keep you updated about the seismicity near or below the island.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 14.46.33

2014-01-19 12:30 UTC
1 earthquake with the seismographs at Ctan and Ctab working again.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 13.27.46

2014-01-19 01:22 UTC
No changes after our 20:02 update.

2014-01-18 20:02 UTC
We are noticing increasing tremor in the ctan and cjul seismographs this morning (Ctan and Ctab have both been stopped or hided from public viewing by IGN). We do not think that the current increase is due to bad weather or increasing waves although a slight increase in waves occurred earlier. NO additional earthquakes. We will keep an eye the following hours and days to find out eventual changes.

2014-01-18 08:55 UTC
THE news the last couple of hours at El Hierro was the report of AVCAN that a lot of pumice was collected the last 24 hours in the waters and at the beach of Arenas Blancas at the West Coast of the Island. The pumice will have to be analyzed by specialized laboratories to find a clue where it comes from. This will not be easy at all as the instruments are not showing any traces of eruptive activity at this moment besides a weak increase in tremor on a couple of seismographs (which can also have been caused by the waves).
We do not know whether the strong subsidence of some GPS stations are related to the newly found pumice.
Link to the deformation graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to the deformation graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04
No significant seismicity since a couple of days.

Image courtesy and copyright AVCAN Canaric Islands - Click on this image to go to the full AVCAN article

Image courtesy and copyright AVCAN Canary Islands – Click on this image to go to the full AVCAN article, with a lot more pictures

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 10.08.50

2014-01-13 06:09 UTC
Nothing special to report today. The deformations are remaining at the same level since a couple of days ago

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 22.26.51

2014-01-13 06:09 UTC
The activity on all the Canary Islands seismographs are due to the very strong earthquake out of the coast of Puerto Rico earlier today. It has NO link at all with the El Hierro activity. Thanks for reporting in the comments though.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 07.14.33

2014-01-12 09:38 UTC
Time to make a new update, just to say that the activity below the island has come to a standstill. Only 2 earthquakes since our latest report of earthquakes (1 of these 2 in the region of the M5.1 earthquake relatively far out in the Ocean).
The amplitude of the seismograms is back to very low levels. The increased amplitude the last couple of days was generated by a stormy sea. On some seismographs one could see clearly the tides !
Deformations show small ups and downs but are in average constant.
Link to the deformation graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to the deformation graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 10.38.20

2014-01-07 08:30 UTC
Vertical deformations are down all over the island again.
Seismographs are showing the same amplitude than yesterday evening although the waves have decreased already somewhat (6 to 4 meter average)
No new earthquakes.
Link to the deformation graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to the deformation graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 09.37.36

2014-01-06 21:29 UTC
Reader Max wrote in a comment a little while ago :
Manfred Betzwieser mentioned that there is a bad weather advisory for tonight (6 meter high waves).
This may explain indeed the increase of amplitude on the seismographs.

2014-01-06 20:05 UTC
During the last couple of hours we notify an increase in activity on many seismographs. No earthquakes listed so far.
the earthquake happened in the same area where the M5.1 occurred = far out of the western coast.

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 21.05.57

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 21.07.11

Please be aware that the scale of this seismograph is a lot more sensitive than most of the other ones, but we have to mention too that the amplitude now is amongst the strongest since the start of the new crisis on December 21 - CTAB is installed in the vicinity of Sabinosa

Please be aware that the scale of this seismograph is a lot more sensitive than most of the other ones, but we have to mention too that the amplitude now is amongst the strongest since the start of the new crisis on December 21 – CTAB is installed in the vicinity of Sabinosa

2014-01-06 10:15 UTC
NO earthquakes, but almost all the GPS deformation data slightly up. Tremor continues to show at the same stations than yesterday but is decreasing strongly the last couple of hours.
Link to the deformation graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to the deformation graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04

2014-01-05 20:19 UTC
Our yesterday’s update was unfortunately not published.
Todays picture is somewhat like the preceding days. Almost no earthquakes, subsidence (even strong) in some parts again (weak) lifting in other parts.
Some tremor is still present in some parts of the island (probably due to a very sensitive scale).  When we see this kind of tremor, and if the weather is not the source, this is mostly followed by a weak or even stronger lifting. We are curious what the current situation will generate on tomorrow’s deformation.
The picture below is from the lighthouse seismograph. As the amplitude on every seismograph is different it is hard to say what exactly happens.
As long as the deformations (see links below) are not stabilized, we will continue to follow up the situation on a daily basis (in fact many times per day)
Link to the deformation graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to the deformation graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 21.26.12

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 21.24.45

2014-01-03 13:25 UTC
Another special event took place very recently, 2 relatively shallow earthquakes (9 and 10 km deep) in a new area to the east of La Restinga. The first one being a strong M2.8 earthquake, the second (aftershock?) a M1.8 earthquake 1 minute and 44 seconds later. Especially the location is intriguing us.

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 13.07.41

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 13.09.37

Epicenter location of the M2.8 earthquake this morning

The overall deformation picture of the island is subsidence (GPS data this morning).
Link to graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04

2014-01-03 13:25 UTC
A stabilized picture at the western and northern part of the island. The South-east however is lifting again. Check increase at HI08 and HI09
Link to graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04

2014-01-02 17:23 UTC
Mixed deformation picture. The HI04 who increased yesterday more than 2 cm is back down today. Other GPS stations are delivering a mixed picture.
Link to graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 18.18.46

2014-01-02 09:00 UTC
NO new deformation data yet.
1 earthquake listed by IGN
Some tremor, who started yesterday, is still present at the Western El Golfo stations.

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 09.56.52

2014-01-01 13:23 UTC
Renewed increasing tremor is visible in the El Golfo area (TAB en TAN seismographs). Remember that we mentioned this morning  that HI04 Sabinosa area GPS station had an increase of at least 2 cm during the last 24 hours.

2014-01-01 10:44 UTC
4 earthquakes since our latest update. The M2.1 at 3 km depth earthquake was located to the south of La Restinga in the Las Calmas sea
Ecxept for the HI04 GPS (Sabinosa) who shows a lifting of 2 cm, almost all the other stations stabilizes based on the new IGN deformation data.
Link to graph of HI00; HI08, HI09 and HI10
Link to graph of HI01, FRON, HI02, HI03 and HI04

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 11.41.18


 Links to earlier parts of this extensive El Hierro eruption report : (28/7 – early 09)  – (25/09 – 10/10)(11/10 – 13/10)- (14/10 – 17-10)  -  (18/10 – 21/10)  -  (22/10 – 26/10 )(27/10 – 31/10 )(01/11 – 03/11 )(04/11 – 06/11 )(07/11 – 08/11)(09/11- 11/11)  – (12/11 – 15/11) – (16/11 – 19/11)  – (20/11 – 23/11) – (24/11 – 27/11) – (28/11 – 02/12) -(03/12 – 07/12) – (08/12 – 11/12) – (12/12 – 15/12) – (16/12 – 18/12) – (19/12 – 25/12) – (26/12 – 31/12) – (01/01 – 03/01) – (04/01 – 07/01) – (08/01 – 13/01) – (14/01 – 19/01) – (20/01 – 25/01) -  (26/01 – 30/01) – (31/01 – 04/02) – (05/02 – 10/02) – (11/02 – 16/02) – (17/02 – 23/02) – (24/02 –29/02) – (1/03 – 10/03) – (11/03 – 18/03) – (19/03 – 23/03) – (24/03 – 28/03) – (29/03 – 03/04) – (04/04 – 10/04) – (11/04 – 21/04) – (22/04 – 30/04) – (01/05 – 10/05) - Part 43 (11/05 – 31/05) – (01/06 – 14/06) – (15/06 – 24/06) – (25/06 – 26/06) – (27/06 – 28/06) – (29/06 – 01/07) – (02/07 – 06/07) – (07/07 – 31/07) – (01/08 – 31/08) – (01/09 – 11/09) – (12/09 – 30/09) - Part 54 (01/10 – 15/12) - Part 55 (16/12 – 16/03) - Part 56 (16/03 – 26/03) – Part 57 (27/03 – 30/03) - Part 58 (31/03 – 12/08) - Part 59 (13/08 – 30/11) - Part 60 (1/12 – 25/12) - Part 61 (25/12 – 31/12)

Read also : Scientific paper reveals massive historic Tenerife volcano flank collapse Read also: Economic impact on El Hierro and the Canary Islands if an aerial eruption would occur

Volcano Discussion Panel : If you are a person who wants to discuss and read about all aspects of volcanoes,  this discussion panel might be a very good place to hang around. Especially if we start speculating about what to happen next.


  1. Sanne says:
    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Stromboli is in constant eruption (i mean every x minutes). Is this a very special then ? When i looked at it, it looked like a normal stromboli eruption

  2. Mafl says:

    A SAR Airplane is cruising south of El Hierro:

    I don’t know if it is related to the vulcanic activities. Perhaps it is to far away from the island.

  3. David says:

    A big one at around 17h32 (15h32 GMT). CHIE saturates.

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      And a couple of other stronger ones in the 30 minutes afterwards. Also strong HT.

    • David says:

      They managed to screw up… no hem… “update” the display of the stations. No more distracting text, only pure data ;-)

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      And we notice that EMSC do not use their own seismographs and takes the value s from IGN – this takes a lot of time to be listed – I hope their network is not saturated but that they have only a technical problem

    • Max says:

      1152346 28/06/2012 15:33:23 27.7056 -18.1052 23 Sentido 3.4 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI

    • David says:

      Looking at the IMS bulletin http://www.01.ign.es/ign/none/sismoDetalleTerremotosFasesDat.do?evid=1152346&zona=2
      Only ONE station was not saturated (CTIG – the farthest from the epicenter). There is nothing in the Amp (amplitude) column for other stations. So it is much more than 3.4 and I would not use that value at all !

    • David says:

      Updated version of the bulletin, now with some amplitude. I guess we’ll have to wait for a change in magnitude…

  4. PASCAL says:


    De verticale deformatie betreft 4 à 5 inches en niet zoals jij opgeeft in ER comment 4 à 5 cm.
    Dit resulteert in een verticale deformatie van 10 à 12,5 cm.


    PS. is dat eigenlijk veel op zo’n korte tijd en wat betekent dit nu effectief( ik als leek)

  5. David says:

    About the GPS data, note that we are not sure if the station are still monitored. See for instance http://www.seis.nagoya-u.ac.jp/sagiya/canary_gps/ICOD.pdf. It is obvious that the station is no working since late 2011. I am unsure about JULA and SABI, but it seems that REST is not working since at least a month (missing data points). It is only my opinion, try to compare the graphs to see for yourself.

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      We agree, as we have no detailed x axis, we can only guess about the dates. We did what you asked (in making other station data transparant) and found out that only PINA (El Pinar) and FRON (Frontera) have been updated (we still examine VALV (Valverde). The other stations lack or many days up to a month of updating. The article will be adapted accordingly. Thanks for mentioning.

    • Jack E. Lee says:

      I would argure that the available data supports the argument that a magma pool is forming south of Sabinosa from a mantle hotspot north of the island. The magma pool is forcing its way south and causing the Earthquakes we are seeing. The northern boundary of the earthquakes forms the southern edge of where the magma pool is building. The magma may escape to the sea if it can find a path. If not, it will continue to fill in its current location causing additional deformation and upllift.

  6. Diana L says:

    Hello Armand,

    On the Spanish lunch time news they have just refered to ‘unusual sea movement is being observed’ in the report on El Hierro… canal Tele5

    Would it be possible to have an update on this…what are they refering to ?

    many thanks Diana

    • Julio says:

      Hi Diana,

      Apparently they have misinformed the public with their report. In AVCAN spanish speaking facebook page everyone was furious at the way they have treated the information even saying things like you said they came up with and made it up!!! Don’t trust this channel its known for being sensationalist.

      Thanks for asking, hope this helps,

  7. Daniel says:

    Hi there!

    Something to read for evening hours. The geologic past, present and future of the Canary Hotspot (if there really is one..): http://www.mantleplumes.org/Canary.html Has it been posted half a year ago? If so, I’m sorry.

    And a petition to reinstall webcams: http://www.change.org/es/peticiones/gobierno-de-canarias-que-instalen-c%C3%A1maras-para-ver-la-crisis-s%C3%ADsmica-volc%C3%A1nica-de-el-hierro


    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      It has been posted indeed in part ???? (no indexing system here). Both links are very good, although for the webcams nobody knows where to install them yet. The very good telefonica set was dismantled but can surely remounted quickly.

    • Jouni E says:

      That Canary Islands Hot Spot article was originally posted on 10th of Jan 2012 and can be found in part 25 :)

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Thanks Jouni, This is the additional link as mentioned by Daniel : http://www.mantleplumes.org/Canary.html

    • Susanne Andersson says:

      what if you guy’s (ER) published the petition link in an article/quicklink, perhaps many others will participate in the list, if it’s published more centrally/higher up on the site?

      petition to reinstall webcams: http://www.change.org/es/peticiones/gobierno-de-canarias-que-instalen-c%C3%A1maras-para-ver-la-crisis-s%C3%ADsmica-volc%C3%A1nica-de-el-hierro

      Kind regards

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      To be honest Suzanne, the action comes too soon as nobody knows at this moment where webcams should be installed. The Telefonica webcams can be reinstalled quickly as a lot of cables are still present, but what if the current earthquakes epicenter location would create a fissure below land or in the Las Calmas sea ? The action is great IF more details about an imminent eruption are known. In that case we will be very supportive and we will certainly grant the petition a visible space in the website. Armand

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