El Hierro Volcano eruption (Canary Islands) : Part 28 – January 26 until January 30

This is Part 28 of the El Hierro Volcano eruption report


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With the collaboration of Joke Volta, an El Hierro resident.
Read also: (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) - part 28  (26/01 - 30/01)
Useful links : @VolcanoReport - El Hierro Picasa Photo Album
Our Webcam pages : 3 in 1 pageLas Calmas UstreamLa Restinga villageEruption webcam

Update 30/01 - 23:00 UTC
- Joke Voltas amazing pictures series of the day - before the Princess and Prince visit, the visit itself, SLS and Sunset.

Images from January 30 by Joke Volta

Update 30/01 - 21:45 UTC
- Harmonic tremor
has decreased in the past hours to medium levels compared to the rest of the day.
- Julio del Castillo Vivero time lapse from 13:00 until 19:25 UTC of today's strong activity. The Salvamar Adhara can be seen from minute 2:55 navigating around the SLS.

Update 30/01 - 20:04 UTC
- Another 2 earthquakes:
30/01/2012 18:23 Depth 17 km M 1.7 SW FRONTERA
30/01/2012 19:09 Depth 13 km M 1.1 SW FRONTERA

Update 30/01 - 17:50 UTC
- A M 1.5 earthquake has been recorded at 16:42 with a depth of 12 km SW FRONTERA. This makes a total of 11 earthquakes since midnight.

Update 30/01 - 16:53 UTC
- There are many SLS coming out since this morning. There have been no further earthquakes recorded since this change of activity.

Update 30/01 - 16:27 UTC

- Satellite image taken today at 14:15 UTC by NASA-MODIS shows a highly concentrated green stain around the eruption site.

Update 30/01 - 15:32 UTC
- The activity continues and can be seen on the eruption webcam even with direct sunlight reflecting on the water. The Salvamar Adhara boat is navigating around the stain, probably collecting more lava stones.
- Harmonic tremor shows a small but constant increase since 12:30 UTC
- Today was a very special day for El Hierro and La Restinga. Doña Leticia and Don Felipe, the Princess and Prince of Spain visited the island. The purpose of their visit was to know first hand how the volcano is affecting the island and its population while showing their solidarity with them. Today is the Prince's birthday which added even more excitement. Children from primary school at La Restinga sang happy birthday and gave them a story written by them of their experiences through this volcanic eruption.
Joke told us how everybody was very excited about it since many days. More than 70 media agencies were registered to cover the event. They visited different parts of the island, and took a quick look at the volcano from a helicopter which landed at La Restinga Port at 11:45 UTC.
Minutes after, the volcano welcomed their presence by putting on a big show of smoking lava stones. The images of the Royal Family with the volcano in the background have been shown on many Spanish news programmes, remembering those how had almost forgotten, of the ongoing eruption.
- Here is a short video of their visit: Antena 3 Noticias [In Spanish]

Update 30/01 - 13:40 UTC
- Strong activity at the eruption site now, with many SLS coming out to the surface, while harmonic tremor remains at low levels.
- 7 more earthquakes since our last update today
30/01/2012 03:14 Depth 13 km M 1.0 W EL PINAR
30/01/2012 03:34 Depth 12 km M 1.3 W EL PINAR
30/01/2012 06:02 Depth 12 km M 0.8 SW EL PINAR
30/01/2012 06:33 Depth 14 km M 1.2 W EL PINAR
30/01/2012 08:09 Depth 14 km M 0.7 NW FRONTERA
30/01/2012 08:27 Depth 13 km M 1.0 SW FRONTERA
30/01/2012 11:00 Depth 12 km M 0.9 W EL PINAR

Update 30/01 - 12:00 UTC
- While sending her first set of pictures, Joke reported only a faint jacuzzi

Joke Volta morning pictures, before the visit of the Princeroyals and the SLS

Update 30/01 - 02:48 UTC
- Harmonic tremor is holding well since it got stronger at 21/03 yesterday.
- Already 3 earthquakes today
30/01/2012 00:01 Depth 13 km M 1.0 SW EL PINAR
30/01/2012 00:31 Depth 13 km M 1.0 SW FRONTERA
30/01/2012 00:32 Depth 11 km M 1.3 W FRONTERA

Update 29/01 - 23:35 UTC
- The number of earthquakes is rising day after day which is not good news for El Hierro and the scientists. Even with magma still flowing out of the main vent, the pressure is building below the island. 16 earthquakes is the highest number since many weeks.
Julio del Castillo Vivero has created a Google earth file showing the location and the magnitude of the earthquakes.
Earthquakes El Hierro 29th January.kml

Earthquake epicenters as they happened on January 29 2012

- Harmonic tremor was low all day but started to increase a little at 21:03
- The latest CO² statistic from Involcan are showing a slight increase.

CO2 level statistics - courtsey Involcan

Update 29/01 - 14:20 UTC
- Joke (see image) has been to the CAP this morning and got some surprising news. Scientists were alerted by a an earthquake which occurred very close to the vent. They have been around all night to discuss the phenomenon.
We expect it to be the earthquake of M 2.4 at 00:24 with epicenter here. The earthquake can also well be seen on the IGN HT graph.
Joke also got to know that one of the 2 jellyfish has survived and has been given the name "Pepi" by the scientists. Pepi if you click on the image below.
She hasn't seen any emission activity from the shore, although HT still shows lava flowing.

Click on this image to see all the morning images

Update 29/01 - 14:00 UTC
- 8 new earthquakes since our last update. Even with an open vent, not only the number of earthquakes is increasing but also the magnitudes. This creates of course a situation which can change suddenly.
29/01/2012 00:24 Depth 14 km M 2.4 SW EL PINAR.IHI
29/01/2012 01:10 Depth 14 km M 1.0 SW FRONTERA.IHI
29/01/2012 01:10 Depth 12 km M 1.3 SW FRONTERA.IHI
29/01/2012 02:08 Depth 12 km M 1.2 SW EL PINAR.IHI
29/01/2012 06:50 Depth 13 km M 0.7 W FRONTERA.IHI
29/01/2012 07:31 Depth 14 km M 0.9 SW FRONTERA.IHI
29/01/2012 07:52 Depth 19 km M 1.1 W FRONTERA.IHI
29/01/2012 08:25 Depth 16 km M 1.1 SW FRONTERA.IHI
- Harmonic tremor remains minimal, but magma is still flowing.

Update 29/01 - 06:03 UTC
- 1 earthquake since midnight UTC. A magnitude 2.4 at a depth of 14 km to the SW of EL PINAR
- HT continued at the same levels than yesterday afternoon and evening.

Update 28/01 - 23:59 UTC
- 9 earthquakes today - 3 of them with a magnitude of more than 1.5 (thank you Volcanomen to correct us)
28/01/2012 21:29 Depth 11 km M 1.6 SW EL PINAR.IHI
28/01/2012 17:40 Depth 11 km M 1.7 SW EL PINAR.IHI
28/01/2012 16:44 Depth 12 km M 1.6 SW FRONTERA.IHI
- Harmonic tremor beck to minimam at 11:03, rest of the day remains minimal but still active.
- Joke made some great pictures from today's action. People who like to see details of the stones fishing must certainly see them. Click here for her January 28 album

Update 28/01 - 14:59 UTC
- Julio del Castillo Vivero Time lapse from the volcano activity from 07:20 until 13:00 today, including the Salvamar Adhara lava balloon fishing.

Update 28/01 - 12:36 UTC
- Joke was very busy taking pictures this morning. This is a selection from the many she has taken. These images are so big that a simple cutout can give the detail as can be seen below. Click on one of the 2 images to see the full series.

Update 28/01 - 11:32 UTC
- A lot of SLS this morning
- NO earthquakes since midnight UTC
- Harmonic tremor had a hard time surviving at 02:00 but picked up at 07:01 and remains minimally active until now.
- Salvamar Adhara is out fishing lava balloons. Some stones seem to be really big today. Look at the size of the black stones in the water in relation to the size of the Salvamar Adhara.
- Joke just reported that in 2 hours time (from 08:00 until 10:00) she has seen more than 300 SLS. She also pointed out that the lava baloons are surfacing further to Tenerife (to the left) than ever before. We think this is normal as it was described in the lava balloon document we have published a few weeks ago. Some SLS are only starting to float during the rolling down process from the vent to the base of the volcano. The reason was not explained, but it might be the breaking apart during the rolling process of a heavier part enabling gas inside to start the floating process.

Salvamar Adhara and smoking Lava stones - fishing stones close to the action - Image captured by ER reader Penny

Update 27/01 - 13:59 UTC
- 12 earthquakes today, even more than in the beginning of January.
- as so many among you reported, a few strong smoking spectacular lava balloons today.
- Harmonic tremor strated to be more active again from 14:27, so any link with the sudden strong LB episode is hard to find.
- Joke and some friends made some great shots of what was going on today. Click here to see them in our Picaweb
- A lot of you must have seen the Salvamar Adhara out in the sea. Joke waited for them when they arrived in the port and has some pictures of the (meager) catch. One Lava Balloon and 2 jellyfish!
- Another regular contributor to Earthquake-Report.com is Julio del Castillo Vivero. Julio is recording a lot during the day and starts to look at his recordings if he reads some emotional comments. Here are Julios images captured during the 16:00 action
- I do apolize for not being able to instantly report on events as i am on a holiday with limited time at the PC. Sometimes i am on new developments and sometimes i try to catch up a little later.

Lava Balloon surfacing with a lot of smoke - image captured by Julio del Castillo Vivero

Update 27/01 - 13:59 UTC
The first set of pictures made by Joke this morning. Click here

Update 27/01 - 13:00 UTC
Dr. Elena González Cárdenas, has written an article showing fault lines, different vents and building up a theory as what probably is happening at the seafloor. What wonders us most is all these new pictures which are shown in this document, pictures which are probably only circulating in a narrow scientific circle. This document reveals much more from what is going on, than weeks of Pevolca communication. Congratulations to Dr. Cardenas and Avcan (the people who have probably asked Dr. Cardenas to write the document). Click here to read the Spanish document and use Google translate to pick up most of the content. We are sure that people following this eruption a long time will perfectly understand the scenario as written by Dr. Cardenas. Thanks to a number of ER readers + Joke who attracted our attention to this document.

Image courtesy AVCAN and Guardia Civil helicopteres / Involcan

Update 27/01 - 12:22 UTC
- 4 more earthquakes stressing the pressure of the magma beneath the island and creating a new phase of the eruption. Will the current vent remain the only vent, and if not, where will the magma try to find his way up.
27/01/2012 06:57 15 0.7 4 W FRONTERA.IHI
27/01/2012 07:39 9 0.4 4 SW EL PINAR.IHI
27/01/2012 07:55 15 0.5 4 W FRONTERA.IHI
27/01/2012 09:18 12 0.9 4 W EL PINAR.IHI
- The 04:24 earthquake as mentioned by ER reader Ann-Kristin has probably a tectonic origin (based on the graph and as the form is totally different from volcanic earthquakes). It can be triggered though through deformation of the island.
- As for deformation (lateral deformation), no big changes. Values are a little higher yesterday. We are very curious if the many earthquakes from today will not chnage this pattern, as it did in early January.
- The jacuzzi and stain are still surviving. No surprise as a minimal HT is still present on the graph.

Update 27/01 - 07:09 UTC
- 5 earthquakes since midnight
27/01/2012 01:02 12 0.9 SW EL PINAR.IHI
27/01/2012 02:13 13 0.9 SW EL PINAR.IHI
27/01/2012 04:24 13 2.0 W EL PINAR.IHI
27/01/2012 06:27 11 0.4 EL PINAR.IHI
27/01/2012 06:27 11 0.4 W EL PINAR.IHI
- continuing minor harmonic tremor

Update 26/01 - 23:52 UTC
- Joke went to the Restingolita info center today. People were busy to make it cleaner and more informative than it was. She photographed a few leaflets about the Marine Life National Park. These pictures can be seen here.
- Joke saw a beautiful sunset tonight
- 6 earthquakes today
- minor harmonic tremor all day long
- The reason for lesser updates today was my absence during a long travel day.

January 26 sunset at El Hierro - image courtesy Joke Volta

Update 26/01 - 09:52 UTC
- Joke reports that the stain and jacuzzi is ver weak this morning.
Click here for Joke's early morning pictures.
- ER reader New saw some incandescent lava balloons at dawn. As can be expected with the high temperatures in the lava balloons (measured Saturday at more than 400 °C) eventual gas at the inside can ignite automatically when in contact with oxygen.
- a second earthquake occurred today at 07:18 at a depth of 12 km. Magnitude : 1.0

Update 26/01 - 08:04 UTC
- after an almost flat HT, the tremor started suddenly to wake up at 05:20, but is decreasing gradually again.
- 1 M 1.0 earthquake occurred at 01:33 at a depth of 13 km her

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, this panel is a great place to look at. Give it a chance.