El Hierro Volcano eruption (Canary Islands) : Part 6 – October 22 until October 26, 2011

Last update: November 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm by By

Read also : Scientific paper reveals massive historic Tenerife volcano flank collapse

This is Part 6 of the El Hierro Volcano eruption report

CLICK HERE TO READ THE LATEST NEWS

Our tweets are also posted into our Facebook Volcano Page
With the collaboration of Joke Volta, an El Hierro resident.

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

Read also
: Part 1 (from July 28 until early September)
Read also: Part 2 (from September 25 until October 10 )
Read also: Part 3 (from October 11 until October 13 )
Read also: Part 4 (from October 14 until October 17 )
Read also: Part 5 (from October 18 until October 21 )
Read also: Part 6 (from October 22 until October 26 )
Read also: Part 7 (from October 27 until October 31 )
Read also: Part 8 (from November 1 until November 3
)
Read also: Part 9 (from November 4 until November 6
)
Read also:
Part 10 (from November 7 until November 8
)
Read also: Part 11 (from November 9 until November 11)
Read also: Part 12 (from November 12 until November 15)
Read also: Part 13 (from November 16 until November 19)
Read also: Part 14 (from November 20 until November 23)
Read also: Part 15 (from November 24 until November 27)

Ramon Margalef Oceanographic ROV ship in the El Hierro Las Calmas sea - image courtesy navaltecno-en.blogspot.com

Update 26/10 – 20:15 UTC : Big news for tomorrow …. Ramon Margalef will put his diving ROV robot in the water in the north of El Golfo! The El Golfo bay is the location with the most of the current earthquakes (” empezará en la zona norte del golfo a la espera de que se normalice la situación en el sur, y así poder ver la situación en el fondo con mayor precisión”). The responsible of the second phase Mr. Fransisco Sanchez told La Provincia that he hopes that the situation in the south will improve enabling a visit that area.

Update 26/10 – 18:35 UTC : PEVOLCA, the combined committee of authorities and scientists is stating in a strong message that the population of the island is NOT alone in this crisis situation. They are reaffirming their constant vigilance to deal with the situation.

Update 26/10 – 18:25 UTC : The Canary Islands parliament has approved a series of measures to support the economy of El Hierro from last September and as long as the volcanic crisis would last.

Update 26/10 – 18:20 UTC : The El Hierro authorities have strongly advised NOT to swim in the eruption contaminated waters.

Update 26/10 – 18:15 UTC : NASA’s Earth Observatory has published a satellite picture of the green stain to the south of El Hierro. NASA is giving us often outstanding and exceptional pictures like in the case of the Nabro volcano. We however find the RapidEye satellite pictures much more detailed than the NASA ones. Click here for the link to Nasa’s article.

Update 26/10 – 18:00 UTC : Almost NO change in harmonic tremor since this morning. The number of earthquakes is steadily decreasing again. The strength is fluctuating slightly below and above M2.

Update 26/10 – 12:28 UTC : The municipality of Frontera has invited its inhabitants to a meeting to be held tonight at 20:30 Canary Island time at the Plaza de Tigaday . The authorities have called the meeting to explain what exactly is going on below the El Golfe bay.

Harmonic tremor until 11 UTC on October 26 - Image courtesy IGN

Update 26/10 – 10:25 UTC – Overview of the last 12 hours : – we expect a dive of the Liporos2000 ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) aboard of the Ramon Margalef today.
- most of the people at El Hierro were happy to hear that the new crater was finally discovered and seemed to be happy also with the birth of the new baby
- A 3.1 magnitude earthquake occurred this morning at 07:07 UTC (click here for the epicenter – green arrow)
- Late yesterday night, 2 weak earthquakes occurred at the shallow depth of 2.2 and 2.8 km at a safe distance from the coast (these are the only shallow ones so far and have to be confirmed by IGN – instrumental errors can always occur). If confirmed, this could mean that the magma has found a way up to that depth. These are the 2 locations of the shallow earthquakes. Location 1Location 2
- AVCAN (Actualidad Volcanica de Canarias) has a very good animation page of the earthquakes. You can select de date and see the earthquakes occur in realation to the island. Click here
- the harmonic tremor has been more irregular than the previous days
- the earthquakes are increasing steadily since the the burbuja or Las Calmas jacuzzi stopped. Yesterday alone 15 earthquakes had a magnitude of 2.0 or higher. Today IGN has reported 6 +M2 tremors
- As can be seen on the AVCAN animation, almost all of the (still deep) earthquakes have an epicenter on the El Golfo bay
-
The Ramon Margalef, oceanographic ship has been partly financed by FEDER, a European Resional Development fund

Update 25/10 – 23:51 UTC : Nemesio Perez, an experienced volcanologist from ITER (Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables de Tenerife) said that he thinks that the activity is not over yet. What is happening at El Hierro has a lot of unanswered questions. He also said that the activity at El Hierro will have no impact on La Palma as both volcano systems are not interconnected.

Update 25/10 – 15:18 UTC : The image doesn’t look very spectacular but the findings are. The base diameter of the new volcano shape (as they call it) is 700 meters. It has a present height of 100 meter and a crater of 120 meter. The base of the crater is measured at a depth of 300 meter.
We congratulate the crew from the Ramon Margalef with these great findings.

Update 25/10 – 15:00 UTC : The ship which we hoped would arrive 2 weeks earlier, has done the job where he was called for. Finding the eruption crater/fissure. The Spanish ministry of Science and Innovation published the following press release :

Digital terrain model of the Rift south of El Hierro. The crack in which activity has been detected can be seen at the southwestern side - image courtesy Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia

Ramon Margalef locates the sources of underwater volcano eruption in El Hierro
* It is the first time that the birth of an undersea volcano was mapped …
*
This finding will facilitate the interpretation and understanding of volcanic activity in the Canary Islands

Un equipo de científicos del Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), organismo público de investigación dependiente del Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, ha localizado y cartografiado los focos de la erupción del volcán submarino en El Hierro durante la misión científica que, desde el pasado 23 de octubre, están desarrollando en la zona a bordo del buque Ramón Margalef.

El equipo científico, dirigido por Juan Acosta y Francisco Sánchez, ha localizado un edificio volcánico de nueva creación de forma cónica, con un diámetro en la base de 700 metros, una altura de 100 metros y un cráter de unos 120 metros de anchura. La base del cráter se encuentra situada a 300 metros de profundidad. Asimismo, y mediante la utilización de ecosondas de mayor frecuencia, ha sido posible localizar las columnas de gases y fluidos que emite el volcán y otros puntos de emisión (fisuras).

Los autores del hallazgo destacan que es el primero que se consigue en estas condiciones en todo el mundo, dado que se ha investigado el volcán y las actividades volcánicas asociadas en el momento óptimo de su actividad eruptiva sobre el fondo. Esta temprana localización y caracterización del fenómeno volcánico permitirá estudiar la evolución temporal de estos fenómenos y facilitará la interpretación y conocimiento del fenómeno volcánico en las islas.

Primera misión científica del Buque

El buque Ramón Margalef partió de Vigo el martes 18 de octubre rumbo a Tenerife, donde llegó el pasado sábado. El domingo por la mañana llegó finalmente a El Hierro. El Ramón Margalef, hasta hace escasas semanas aún en fase de pruebas, aceleró su puesta a punto para encabezar esta misión científica, que supone su estreno. Su objetivo es estudiar la actividad volcánica en la zona y sus consecuencias tanto en los fondos marinos de la isla canaria como en su ecosistema.

El buque lleva a bordo un vehículo submarino de observación remota, denominado Liropus, con capacidad para observar y muestrear ecosistemas de hasta 2.000 metros de profundidad.

La campaña oceanográfica en la cual se han realizado estos descubrimientos se realiza en colaboración con la Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) y la Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Sociedad de la Información (ACIISI), en el marco de apoyo al Comité Científico del PEVOLCA.

Update 25/10 – 09:00 UTC:
- Rumors are circling that a “research instrument” has been lost in the sea.
- The Ramon margalef has been noticed navigating the Las Calmas sea this morning.
- why is there no webcam on the Las Calmas sea ? :)

Update 25/10 – 07:42 UTC : The RapidEeye image below reveals the probable location of the strongest emitting point. The dark grey colored stain in between La Restinga and Puerto Naos, is almost certainly the second eruption point also called the “Burbuja” or “Las Calmas jacuzzi”. The first eruption fissure could clearly be seen on the first set RapidEye published (second image). The green stain color should be studied by scientists to find out where it come from, but our opinion is that it is not related to direct eruption but due to the dilution of the strong emission point by the water currents. We congratulate RapidEye (a private satellite imaging company) in publishing these images in the open internet. They are simply a lot better than the NASA pictures we have seen so far and will be a major study object for scientists.
What is even more amazing to Earthquake-Report.com is that satellite image was taken on October 23 when the Jacuzzi or Burbuja was halted. The picture clearly reveals that this was NOT the case. A new major discussion subject for the next meeting of PEVOLCA. We also think that the eruption is continuing at a decreased flow (based on the harmonic tremor still present – same frequency as on October 23)
(We do thank reader Markus who told us that the picture was published)

El Hierro volcano satellite eruption image - Courtesy and copyright RapidEye.net - Click on the picture to go to the RapidEye website

The RapidEye satellite picture below taken on October 13 shows the probable 2 emission points (the right one the later Jacuzzi or Burbuja and the left arrow the first opening at 600 meter depth). What also can be seen on this picture is that the sea currents have a totally different profile south of Puerto Naos and right of La Restinga, which explains in part the widening of the stain.

Rapideye satellite picture as taken on October 13 - Click on the picture to go to the original in the RapidEye.net website - image courtesy and copyright RapidEye.net

Red bullets = earthquake epicenters from the last 2 days - image courtesy IGN

Update 24/10 – 22:35 UTC: Earthquake-Report.com is disappointed that the Ramon Margalef is not openly communicating on what is observed. El Pais wrote a couple of hours ago “Por su parte, los 10 científicos pertenecientes a la tripulación del buque oceanográfico Ramón Margalef continúa en la zona de las Calmas en donde tienen previsto estudiar la erupción submarina con la ayuda de un vehículo submarino de observación remota.” Translated, it means that the 10 scientists are continuing their observation of the Las Calmas sea with the help of the remotely operated robot. Why all this secrecy? People are constantly criticizing politicians but they are at least open communicators at El Hierro. We hope that the Margalef scientists will have a meeting with the Pevolca committee tomorrow, will explain the results of their findings and will also show the first video footage from the ROV, even at a distance from the supposed fissure (where water quality and temperature allows the ROV to dive).

Update 24/10 – 16:38 UTC: The red bullets on the picture at right are the epicenters of the volcanic earthquakes of the last 2 days. People living at Frontera would probably getting nervous now, but there is no reason for it at the moment, as the earthquakes hypo-centers are deep enough to be secure. PEVOLCA is watching the evolution carefully and if the earthquakes would become shallower, they will certainly act swiftly.

Update 24/10 – 16:33 UTC: After waiting so long for the ROV to start investigating the seafloor of the Mar de las Calmas, we (and our readers) are disappointed for not seeing the results of it.
A couple of months ago, we have been looking at the live HD video pictures of the Ropos ROV diving to the axial seamount in front of the Oregon coast. The ROV was installing instruments and checking cables to be ready for the next eruption of the underwater volcano. This is a 2’26″ highlights example video of the axial seamount dive (many more here).
Unless we missed it (possible, as we were very busy with the Turkish earthquake yesterday), we haven’t seen any results of the Ramon Margalef’s Liporos 2000 dives so far.

Update 24/10 – 16:10 UTC: Scientists have denied the rumors that the Las Calmas Jacuzzi was reactivated. They also said that there is no specific reason to predict a new activity phase.

Update 24/10 – 15:27 UTC: Alpidio Armas, the president of El Hierro has explained that the current situation may go on a lot longer than hoped for. He said to the population of El Hierro that they should stay calm because “we will have to live a bit longer with the present situation“.

Update 24/10 – 15:20 UTC: IGN, the Spanish seismological service has said that the risk on an explosive eruption in the Las Calmas sea is no longer seen as realistic. Reason : see our 15:18 update

El Hierro - El Golfo Bay and Frontera

Update 24/10 – 15:18 UTC: The scientists are investigating more and more the El Golfo / Frontera area as the epicenter of most of the earthquakes has shifted to the North West. We are repeating this already a couple of days, so for ER it does not come as a surprise. This part of the island looks like a half moon crater from the air. We have however not found any evidence that is was the old crater.

Data update 24/10 – 12:48 UTC: Nothing special to report on the data scene. Constant harmonic tremor, 8 more earthquakes listed at IGN (all epicenters below El Golfo) and almost all M 2.0 or above.

Data update 24/10 – 07:31 UTC: IGN reported 62 volcanic earthquakes in total yesterday, up from 50 the day before. So far today we noticed 12 quakes who are gradually getting stronger. 7 tremors were M2 or greater! The depth is however at a safe 16.4 to 25 km. Almost all of the epicenters were located in the El Golfo / Frontera bay, in other words this is the area where the magma is most active at the moment.

Catch of the day - instead of fish, erupted volcano stones (the discussion goes on whether it is fresh lava of older ejected seabed stones) - image Joke Volta

Update 23/10 – 23:06: Overview of the most important points from today:
- the colored stain in the Las Calmas sea was not as outspoken as last week, also NO jacuzzi
- The number of volcanic earthquakes is still increasing : The first 20 hours of the day we have counted 58 earthquakes, the most since October 10. They are not only increasing in number but also in strength.
- The epicenter of the vast majority of the earthquakes has continued to be in the El Golfo / Frontera area.
- We noticed 1 earthquake at 7 km depth today.
- The strongest earthquake today was a 3.0 earthquake!
- If the earthquakes continue to become stronger, it cannot be excluded that the Los Roquillos tunnel will be closed again
- Harmonic tremor have increased slightly but has been more or less stable all day long.

Update 23/10 – 23:03: The video below is from a flight over of the supposed eruption area. The water is indeed colored but not as distinguished as last week.

[youtube 5GQePV0IIFA]

Update 23/10 – 09:44 UTC: The safety committee has decided to overfly the supposed eruption spot this morning to find out what is really happening.

Important Update 23/10 – 09:42 UTC: Canarias7 is reporting that the Las Calmas Jacuzzi is active again. The colored stain seems to renew also. But contrary to what could be expected, the jacuzzi does not follow the shifting of the earthquakes but came to life again in the La Restinga area (bad news for the La Restinga fisherman) (News to be confirmed by a second source).

Update 23/10 – 09:30 UTC: From midnight today until 07:02 UTC we have counted 42 earthquakes already! Not only the number is climbing again, also the strength is gradually increasing. The strongest one occurred at 04:52 UTC and measured M 3.0 (long time ago that we have seen a 3). Almost all of the tremors are situated in the El Golfo – Frontera area.

Update 23/10 – 08:08 UTC: - The number of volcanic earthquakes has climbed yesterday to 40, compared to 31 the day before
- The Ramon Margalef (the ship carrying the underwater robot) is finally on his way to his final destination: El Hierro.
- @ Earthquake-Report.com, we expect to see some great video (hopefully Live like the Nautilus dives) from the eruption of a limited number of minor vents. Although the Ramon Margalef said before that he is not able to come near the a major eruption fissure, we believe that he will still see some action at the bottom of the sea.

Update 23/10 : GeoLurking, a volcano follower specialized in plotting the volcanic earthquakes and deformation based on data he can get in the open source environment, published a new 4-D plot late last night with updated information from the spacial location of all earthquakes since October 4. The progressive shifting of the epicenters towards the El Golfo – Frontera area can well be seen on this plot. Also the depth is a major factor in his plot. It clearly shows that the earthquake activity is still far away from the seafloor and island surface.

[youtube kDIoi8-yIYY]

Update 22/10 – 15:26 UTC: The Ramon Margalef will arrive tomorrow at El Hierro. The exact calender is not known at the moment, but everyone hopes that the ROV cameras will finally resolve all hanging questions about the eruption.

Update 22/10 – 14:59 UTC: Joke Volta, the El Hierro resident reporting to Earthquake-Report.com, just returned from a visit to La Restinga (she lives in El Pinar) were she talked to the local fishermen. The fishermen told her that they have seen the Las Calmas Jacuzzi working again during the nightly hours (Puerto Naos longitude).

The beautiful volcanic landscape at El Hierro, the youngest volcano of the Canary Islands - image Joke Volta

Important DATA Update 22/10 – 12:14 UTC: Most of the earthquakes before October 7 occurred SW of Frontera. Starting from October 7 until October 19 occurred SW of El Pinar. Since October 19/20 activity picks up mainly NW of Frontera. Still deep without any danger. We are anxiously awaiting a new 4-D plot from GeoLurking to visualize the current earthquake area.
In the meantime the red dots on the IGN image from a few moments ago is visualizing most of the current (increasing) activity.
We also noticed that the earthquake from 10:47 UTC occurred at a depth of 1.8 km (preliminary findings and so far the only one listed in the earthquake list here).
The good news however is that the harmonic tremor is starting to subside again.

Seismic activity below El Hierro - Red bullets : latest activity - Big red bullet has been zoomed by earthquake-report.com to show the shallowest earthquake since many days -image courtesy IGN España

Update 22/10 – 08:46 UTC: - We have noticed a sudden change in frequency since about an hour. Click here to see what we try to explain. The yellow and red colored zones have changed. We do not know the reason yet, but some (probably minor) change is going on below the volcano (but very deep and without danger to the population or their belongings). Similar changes have occurred during the recent days, mostly resulting in less activity soon after.

La Restinga fishing boat - image courtesy Image ami-danielp.blogspot.com

Update 22/10 – 07:58 UTC – Overview of the last 14 hours
- The Ramon Margelef, the oceanographic ship with the ROV aboard has been detected by one of our readers in Tenerife this morning. We expect that the ship will extend his crew with scientists and load additional fuel and equipment to set sail for El Hierro later today.
- The number of volcanic earthquakes has been rising since the Sea Jacuzzi stopped working. Yesterday IGN recorded a total of 31 earthquakes varying in depth from 25.7 km to 10.6 km. Magnitudes reached a max. of 2.6.
The first 8 hours of today (the list is not complete as of yet) we noticed 13 earthquakes (max. 2.3). It looks like we are heading to the pre-eruptive state with a steadily growing number of earthquakes unless … also the engine would stop suddenly (but he hasn’t stopped yet).
- Volcano followers are suggesting that IGN and/or CSIC to call in IMO Iceland volcanologist(s), who are highly specialized in this kind of eruptions. If the El Hierro volcano would erupt, the chance that it will be a Surtseyan eruption is high. Surtsey was one of the first well monitored volcano build islands which rose out of the ocean from 1963 to 1967.
- 20 people of La Restinga have chosen to stay in the Student home of Valverde because they do not trust the situation in La Restinga
- Diving companies have made some dives yesterday in the northern part of the island. We hope that the water is continuously tested on Ph degree because the water currents are driving the green stain to other parts of the island.
- 2 restaurants have reopened their doors in La Restinga. Tomorrow the supermarket will reopen too. It will be the first time in a long period that they will not be able to sell fish from the local fisherman.
- people are depressed in seeing the dead fish floating on the water. They fear that one of the main income streams for the local people, the Sea, will be shut down for an unterminated period. Some said ” if the volcano would have grown above the water, we would have attracted a lot of tourists – now we are left with nothing and an eco-disaster on top”.
- people in the street continue to have lively discussions about the truth of the eruption. As nothing can be seen with their own eyes, they have to choose for one of the many different opinions of politicians and scientists on what is happening.
Thanks to Joke Volta for the continuous reports

Comments

  1. valter says:

    Uma situação que envolve a vida de milhões de pessoas , não deveria passar por sensura , ou aguardando uma escrita com moderação .

  2. valter says:

    aqui no Brasil , assim como muitas pessoas, que estão preocupadas com a situação das canarias,e todos são solidarios com o que esta ocorrendo ,desejariamos obter informaçôes condisentes com a realidade e que uma entidade como esta de respeito, nâo deveriam em hipotese alguma absorver pessoas com uma escria tâo ruim e sem logica , o cara sò escreve em cifras parece que trabalha nos telegrafos coisa do tempo em que foi a ultima erupção do cumbre,peça a este camarada escrever como homem . não ha erro no comentáriop favor posta-lo para o bem da comunidade ou não querem ver o obvio

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