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.

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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. jan says:
    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Thanks for telling us Jan, Looks that people are working in the area of the seismograph. Yesterday the same happened in between 07:00 and 17:00 (indicates human interference). Today it started at 08:00. Volcanic action is always coupled phenomenons like tremor but also volcanic earthquakes Armand

  2. Meredith says:

    The seismograph is showing some activity, a deep but small earthquake

    • Helmut says:

      I just reviewed the seismographic records of the other 6 Canary islands, when I detected that the strongest tremors obviously are since begin of December recorded at tenerifa and not at El Hierro. all other islands show similar currently quite levels ( despite a tremor in the signals) Both seimographs work but write confusing data – officially the wave recorder is “fuerra de servicio” (out of service) since over one month ( and was NOT EXCHANGED despite the ongoing crisis) . The second graph obviously has received a shock by the last and extreme solar event, a proton storm that took place on January 07 (protons > 1000.pfu.) and maybe just the computer has to be restarted.
      here the links to the data sheeds .>

      hopefully some expert here might explain us what goes on there? thanks
      Helmut Munich / Germany

  3. Helmut says:

    the geological situation on the canaries is one of the most less explored in the world , One reason is: the Canaries are situated on a common kind of plateau or microplate that reaches up to 3700. Meter below zero. Offisde of that plateau the atlantic has a depth of 5000 meter in average. The thing is, the sea currents have covered that plateau ( that maybe has a rather rough shape) with at least 1- 1,5 km of sediments. that obviously makes it impossible to find out more about the shape the fundaments of the islands The most volcano systems are roughly known. The activity in El Hierro is rather a scholar event for spanish geologists :Learning by happening. Currently seismographs and GPS systems serve for all theories about an existing magma chamber and the size of the system. When Spain joined the EU, the EU kind of sponsored the first geological examination of the Canaries in modern times. the result were not published but serve meanwhile as a basic for insurances to calculate geoligical risks on Europes most frequented Holiday destination.Mainly british geologist squarmed all over the islands. What they found out was not a real joy for the Canarios, who were absolutely ripped rather ruined of by the EU, Their touroist business failed m asl most cant afford to rebuilt their houses suitable to the million of Eu laws and prescriptions . Last not least , when the geologist found A cracks runs through the southern part of la isla bonita ( La Palma) the medieval sea battle (> admiral Nellson between Spain and the British Empire started all over. ff 2

    • Helmut says:

      f*** here writing—the comment 3 times dissapeared while writing by a time out function. to contiunue: That magma on a hot spot does not make strong tremors as it does not contain gases I dont want to explain: there is a coincidence of hot spot activities to so called solar SEPs ( solar proton events) . all activity phases on the canaries sive 2011 followed solar SEP events and similarcoincident events coud be obvserved at other hot spot systems(shield volcanoes or calderas such as sakura Jima Sinabung ETna White islands) and we have a medium strong SEP one since yesterday 6 UTC with > 10 ME Protons > 10 pfu.. If the canaries have a large magmachamber, than it would be rather deep (10- 16 km compare yellowstone. around 8 km ) and is not yet filled up . I don`t know what explains that the island is lifting upwards . Recently Swiss team found out that eruptions on hot spot volcanoes( most of them supervolcanoes) dont work by overpressure caused mainly by gases a such as H2O, Hs, Co2, SH2, as common volcanic systems, they have even magma chamber so large that overpressure could not even occure. hot spot supervolcanoes break their way free even through 10 km stone ( from that momernt on when their magma chamber is filled up) just by their sheer mass and the physical Buoyancy at the upper part of the magmachamber.
      additional to the previous post: By the way…Not to say, the islands would at all rather ” slippy”… The only but also most interesting thing published at that time ( research 1998)was the research vessel found the missing Northeastern flank at Mount Teide, but so far away from the island (I rememebr 30 km) that experts were astonishe (and the mystery remained) as there was not any natural force known to them ( until 2004?) that could have the force to do that. was its an gigantic flood wave reported 11.500 B C, caused by the surrender of Atlantis? PLatos report ends at the point when it says:” And Zeus spoke” (third ppart is missing) ( or threw this thunderbolt. Don`t throwna nuclear bomb into any hotspot!!!) . There is no trace found yet on the fllor of the Atlantic: How can such an island totally dissapear? If then by an seldom event which happened at Thera 1500 BC known as ” minoic eruption, in real explosion,a strong activity phase had accumulated large amounts hydrogen and othere explosive gases below the island, those reacted and exploded , twhen the activity was colling down Stones from Santorin were found as far as in the arctic

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Sorru about that – reason is the automatic refresh who reloads the page every 15 minutes. Easy for most people just following this story, but a pain for those writing long stories. We will leave this comment untouched at this moment, but we want to make clear that this story is not our story. We report facts and we try to refer to proven mechanics of volcanoes rather than trying to speculate on the unproven elements. There are sites who are specialized in these theories.

    • Helmut says:

      thanks no problem just to write it again brought me in hurrry so i couldn`t correct it better finally

      Armand Vervaeck says:
      . We report facts

      but what are the facts? Anything what happens or is done : Tremors can`t say anything about how strong especially such a volcano might erupt.
      please correct me if i am wrong:

      If there is a magma chamber ( is suppose yes and its estimated to have 8 km in diameter and some km in depth) in this mantle plume then it does currently fill up. I think it still fills up as quakes remain in 10- 16 km depth and it may take longer to do so. as long as the magma chamber is not completely filled it will not surge further upwards and: perharps the magma will recced again as it did in March 2013
      “cite” and we try to refer to proven mechanics of volcanoes rather than trying to speculate on the unproven elements.
      so what causes the islands lifting up and subsidizing again) the magma in 12 km deep or the gases or air the inflation compresses below the island,Or: Is the island lifted up from a depth of 10 km?
      Thats with the Sun is new ( but prooven by NASA and MPI=)and someway would turn many geological theories upside down . To become a geologists requries to follow also scholar theories about what causes Earthquakes.which energy makes it.
      The things is: NASDA solar program has brought up many new knowledge about the sun, what would even require a new theorie. However if there is any change or new realisation it may take hundred years until it is recognized by everyone and will also stand in a school book.
      out of my own research
      I knew activity will increase when I saw the data of new proton storm -
      So (joking) it could do nothing else than dress myself a prophet and make some money with it

      There are sites who are specialized in ( denying?) these theories.
      NO you are making a good work. best volcano and quake site so far
      I was living on the canaries for 5 years und thus I also was interested in the Canaries geology .I also read a lot, what I wanted to say that all about the Canaries ( differently to ETna or other Hs systems) rather theory based on seimsographic and GPS data
      best regards!
      Helmut Munich/ Germany

  4. Max says:

    Manfred Betzwieser mentioned that there is a bad weather advisory for tonight (6 meter high waves). This would explain the increase in activity

    • Linda Kirby says:

      Could this be due to the 5.1 quake in the Atlantic Ridge?

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      No, definitely not Linda. Probably the rsult of the waves. If so it will decrease normally tomorrow morning UTC

  5. Christiaan says:

    First of all all the best for 2014 for you Armand, the followers of this website and all the people at El Hierro.
    Looks like there have been some quakes when looking at the CTAB and CTAN stations starting after 17.00 UTC. Not yet confirmed though, so could be wrong. Maybe you can have a look.

  6. Max says:

    New deformation data shows an increase on many stations.

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Thanks Max – was a little late with my update today – remains a special situation!

  7. Henk Koning says:

    Sensors on Fuertaventura and Lanzarote show increased activity. Is there anyone who can explain this, or is this weatherrelated.

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