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.


  1. The stain may be the effect of what they call a "mar de fondo" in the Canary Islands. This is the result of currents or big waves dragging up sediment and seaweed from the bottom of the ocean. It causes lines of foam and murky water. I think the best English translation would be a "bottom tide".

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Thanks Alex, from now on we will use "Bottom tide" - btw they are not that sure, otherwise GES would not have taken divers in the heli to check it out.

  2. Daniel says:


    If you are looking for water depths take this IGN online-atlas:

    The colours in the helicopter-pics remind me of algae bloom....!
    And something is wrong with the coordinates, actually in the latitude-part.

    For beeing informed on the air-quality (measured in La Restinga) try this:
    upper left: Datos ---> Tiempo real ---> select station or gas


    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Thanks Daniel, interesting information

    • Daniel says:

      Something weird happened to the coordinates... N and W at wrong places, seconds instead of minutes and a "1" misses.
      This are the correct coordinates: N27 41.573' W18 03.761'

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      We know, thats why we wrote this morning :
      - Was the erroneous location data given by the Gobierno in their press report deliberately wrong or just a simple human error?. In 2012 these kind of tricks are no longer holding. Never underestimate a couple of hundred dedicated people who will start searching for secrets :) with todays internet tools. Congratulations to some Avcan detectives who apparently found the spot even earlier than we (what a disappointment to see that :) )
      Why all these maps below ? : we tried to use the coordinates as given in all the media, but we could not trace the location which coincides with the picture. Finally we decided to scan the southern coast and we tried to detect the trails along the coast. Once that being done, the google maps matched with the picture.

    • Daniel says:

      Oops, there it is! You are right! I am, too. But much too late. 😉 Didn't update the updates.

      Have a nice day!

  3. Colin Logan says:

    Hello Armand,

    I imagine the people of La Restinga will be relieved if an eruption develops at the apparently remote location of the newly observed jacuzzi. It should allow them to keep the harbour open.

    Although I notice that there does seem to be a road and some buildings on the beach close by.

    I should imagine the water there is quite shallow, so something Surtseyen could develop quickly.

    Best Regards


  4. Jack E. Lee says:

    It appears that Daniel did not factor in the depth of the activity exerting the pressure causing the deformation. If you can mentally move the point of intersection 20KM down without stretching the lines, you can correlate the verticle deformation. In my opinion, this places the magma concentration under the island, not out to sea.

    • Daniel says:

      Hi Jack!
      Thanks for your comment on the map I've created.

      I can't agree with you.
      In my map, it doesn't matter, in which depth the center of the deformation is. It is just a 2-D-illustration. If we take the z-axis-data (also free available), it would be possible to determine the origin of inflation.

      When we follow your opinion, the center of the deformation is under the island, we have to alter the IGN-data! Than all vectors (green arrows which are measured data and their products (red arrows)) were wrong. But the green arrows can't be wrong.


      But the N-E-horizontal deformation data show a center under the sea, not under the island.

    • Jack E. Lee says:

      Hi Daniel,
      The data you are using is from surface measuing devices that are reacting to forces at least 18KM deep. What generated my interest was the strong U/D readings in relation to your 2D plot. The source of the force generating the E/W and N/S vectors cannot really be plotted without the Z (U/D) reference (because the angle of deformation is always 3D). In addition, the true elevation of the E/W and N/S devices has to be considered to find the source of the forcing mechanism. I have 3D modeling tools to handle this and should have some time tomorrow to generate a 3D plot. I am pretty sure that the current northern boundery of the earthquakes forms the southern boundary of the magma pool generating the force (I believe that the magma is looking for a way to go towards the south, having started from a hotspot in the north). I maybe wrong (my formal education is mathematics and physics, not geology) and I certainly respect the effort you have put into this.

    • Jack E. Lee says:

      I ran out a 3D plot this morning and I stand corrected. Your analysis provides an accurate depiction of the forcing mechanisms. My 3D plot centered the force at 10.2KM South of Sabinosa and 11.4KM West of La Restinga.

  5. Anders Ekman says:

    Since Joke is such a good photographer couldnt she. Compile a photobook

    Anders Ekman

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      I told her to do so + she can combine it with her artwork. I certainly will tell her. Thanks for the idea

  6. Roland SEMEESE says:

    Hello Armand,

    In een Duitstalige site lees ik dat het GPS station HI10 een afwijking van +10cm aangeeft. Kan je dit bevestigen.

    Blijkbaar vindt het magma de weg naar boven niet. Ik vrees dat, als dit gebeurt, gepaard zal gaan met zeer sterke aardbevingen, een stuk sterker dan deze die al werden opgetekend. Mijn inziens een gevaarlijke situatie voor de inwoners aldaar.

    In elk geval mijn grote dank voor het niet aflatende werk die je hier verricht om ons te blijven inlichten over deze vulkaan.

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Klopt Roland, en ook je tweede stelling is juist. Met Richard Wilson heeft ER nu een geologist aan boord die gespecialiseerd is in vulkanische seismologie. Richard heeft mij gisteren nog bevestigd dat niet elke deformatie tot een eruptie lijdt, somtijds, als ze er niet doorheen geraken stopt het gewoon.

  7. Ben Hur Kadil says:

    What are the chances of these Canary Islands landslide triggering a mega tsunami in the near future in the Atlantic coasts? At what magnitude will that big part of the island will break apart?

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Statistically it is possible in within 1 second and 1 million years. The chance that an outer space meteor will crash on the earth is more predictable than a landslide on a volcano! It doesn't even need an earthquake. Massive landslides are sometimes just happening by gravity. At ER we think that we do not have to downplay these chances but they are exaggerated in relation with El Hierro. It will happen again, for sure, nobody knows when and when it will be triggered. Where , when , how high, damaging or not, no scientist in the world can give you a fair estimate within xhundred years. We will have to live with that uncertainty.

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