El Hierro Volcano activity report

This is the most recent El Hierro Volcano eruption report You may follow also Facebook Volcano Page - Google+ 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-SabinosaFrançais - Nederlands - Español - Japanese (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.

2016-01-02 21:30 UTC
Happy 2016 for all those coming to look around the corner now and then.
It has been rather calm lately. Recently only the earthquake below was worth mentioning but that is already some days ago too.

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 22.27.18

2015-12-17 09:13 UTC
2 new earthquakes . The first one a strong one at 34 km depth with a Magnitude of M3.2 and the second one a M2.2 at a depth of 30 km. The second one has approx. the same location as the first one (see map below). Something is happening down there but to be honoured as a new crisis, the number of earthquakes should increase considerably. Also to be said is that in that specific area, the magma was not able to break through the rock layers above, not even with very strong earthquakes.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 10.07.55

2015-12-16 17:39 UTC
A M2.4 at 30 km depth earthquake earlier today (see google map for precise location epicenter). As you can see below, the same area than the earthquake 2 days ago.

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 18.37.30

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 18.40.42

2015-12-14 12:32 UTC
An M2.0 earthquake at the below location. No depth reported

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.51.23

2015-12-13 19:19 UTC
2 new earthquakes with only 1 minute difference. The strongest one west of the island but gradually the picenters are heading north.

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 20.14.23 Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 20.15.13

2015-12-11 17:02 UTC
2 new earthquakes off the South Western coast of El Hierro. Both at a depth of 33 km (same depth as most of the previous quakes in that area)

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 17.57.45 Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 17.58.14

2015-12-09 23:37 UTC
We have not forgotten about El Hierro but no more earthquakes since Sunday

2015-12-06 12:52 UTC
2 new earthquakes in the deeper zone South-West of the island (29 to 35 km). A shallower series in the 20 to 25 km range would be a significant change.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 13.51.27

2015-12-04 19:37 UTC
Thats a while ago. A relatively strong earthquake in the new cone eruption area. To follow up the following days and weeks.
Magnitude 2.8 at a depth of 12 km.


Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 12.07.27

Image courtesy IGN

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 12.19.53

2015-11-28 19:37 UTC
A new one today but again at a depth of 30 km. M3.0 is relatively strong

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 20.32.45

2015-11-28 12:11 UTC
An earthquake to follow up. M2.7 BUT at a depth of 22 km (almost all of the other earthquakes in that area were at a depth of +30 km) right on the western tip of the island. Especially the depth is interesting. The earthquake can be based on an intrusion or can be the result of the stress of the volcano itself. The near future will give us the answer.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.59.35

2015-11-25 13:14 UTC
Contrary to what we expected during the earthquakes from last week, the western tip deformation station HI05 showed a slight deflation instead of an inflation.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 14.13.33

2015-11-25 10:25 UTC
No more El Hierro earthquakes since Sunday

2015-11-22 23:30 UTC
A second M2.2 at 30 km earthquake today @ 17:18 UTC - Same epicenter area

2015-11-22 14:01 UTC
3 earthquakes so far today in the Canary Islands area however only 1 can be linked to the activity below El Hierro. Magnitude : 3.1 at a depth of 33 km.
The quakes we are describing are happening in the same direct area and all at an approximate same depth. Also they are relatively powerful. Some of them are felt by the islanders.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 14.55.54

2015-11-21 09:08 UTC
New M2.3 @ 35 km depth earthquake to the West of Frontera. Too soon to say for sure that magma is rising again but the least we can say is that the the indications are going in that direction

2015-11-20 20:15 UTC
New slight earthquake but nevertheless in exactly the same area and at the same debt that the November 18 ones.
In 2014 this particular area got very strong earthquakes but the magma underneath was not able to break to a much more shallower depth.

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 21.14.00

2015-11-18 21:45 UTC
4 earthquakes yesterday and nothing so far today. Flat graphics

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 18.33.00 Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 18.33.36

2015-11-18 21:45 UTC
Time to follow up the earthquakes and activity again.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 22.49.31
Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 22.49.59

2014-12-09 10:07 UTC

2014-12-03 17:49 UTC
Seismicity almost completely stopped the second part of November

Images courtesy and copyright IGN Spain

Images courtesy and copyright IGN Spain

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.46.32 Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.46.52 Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.47.10

2014-10-06 14:38 UTC
Seismicity since the last update.

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 16.32.58

2014-09-25 12:54 UTC
El Hierro may be dormant for a while, but the earthquakes (even weak) are continuing below the island. Just waiting for another crisis and/or eruption. Iceland shows today what partly happened on El Hierro in the Las Calmas sea, a short-lived fissure eruption (remember the many whirlpools along the coast at the time of the eruption).

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 14.56.39 Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 14.57.08

2014-09-03 23:01 UTC
This evening people on the island felt an earthquake since long time. A M3.8 off the coast at the western side of the island was responsible for this. NO specific tremor on the graphs. Depth 16 km is still very deep.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 01.00.35 Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 01.01.02

2014-08-26 15:09 UTC
We are sorry not to have posted more information on El Hierro, since late July. A lot of earthquakes in the world and now recently the Iceland Bardarbunga volcano are part of the reason. Here is the list of the El Hierro seismicity over the last 28 days.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 17.12.11

2014-07-28 11:09 UTC
Nothing spectacular the last couple of weeks. If a sudden revival would happen we will jump in with a new information stream of course.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 13.06.47

2014-07-05 13:34 UTC
It's about time to report the earthquakes of the last couple of weeks (Sorry Susanna). Here is the list of the preceding weeks.

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 15.29.15 Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 15.29.32

2014-06-12 22:52 UTC
Very little action to report during the last couple of weeks

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 00.52.36

2014-05-20 16:34 UTC

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 18.32.24

2014-05-17 09:52 UTC

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 11.50.59

2014-05-12 08:44 UTC
No important changes in the seismicity pattern

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 10.43.42

2014-05-03 14:29 UTC
Only 2 El Hierro earthquakes since our last update, but that does not mean anything of course :)

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 16.28.31

 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)- Part 62 (01/01 - 30/04)

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.


    • 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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

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

    • 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 !

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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    • 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,

  6. 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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