El Hierro Volcano eruption (Canary Islands) : Part 33 – February 24 until February 29

This is Part 33 of the 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 : (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) – Part 33 (24/02 –29/02) – Part 34 (1/03 – 10/03) – Part 35 (11/03 – 18/03)
Useful links : @VolcanoReport - El Hierro Picasa Photo Album
Our Webcam pages : 3 in 1 pageLas Calmas UstreamLa Restinga villageEruption webcam


Update 29/02 - 23:55 UTC
- The day ended with only 4 earthquakes
- almost no HT
- No stain or jacuzzi
- we are very curious for the next couple of days. If the present situation continues for another week, Pevolca might decrease the alert levels

Update 29/02 - 15:46 UTC
- 4 earthquakes so far today
- In the many mails we received from Joke yesterday and after midnight today (yes, she often works until after midnight), something escaped our attention. An earthquake at 05:02 yesterday morning with an epicenter to the east of the La Restinga reef (in between El Hierro and Tenerife).
In a message later yesterday and before Joke had seen this earthquake location, she told us about a stain in that same area. When climbing montaña La Restinga, she usually looks both sides of the La Restinga. She found it strange to see a stain in that part of the sea (especially as we had no more stains above the main vent for many days). She indicated the stain spot in her image series from yesterday afternoon, adding a map with the location. There are no signs that this is a viable reason for a new emission vent as the quake was reported at a depth of 20 km, but the least we can say is that this event is rather unusual and not immediately explainable, unless the stain drifted away from the main vent.

Update 29/02 - 09:23 UTC
- 2 great videos for Volcano Lovers : with special thanks to AVCAN, who gave us the lead for them. We have embedded them in our Volcano News updates.

Update 29/02 - 07:55 UTC
- 3 earthquakes so far today. Magnitudes : 1.1, 0.8 and 1.3. Depths in between 7 and 12 km.
- unchanged harmonic tremor
- continuing micro-seismicity
- no visible stain or jacuzzi on the eruption webcam

Update 28/02 - 23:55 UTC
- 8 earthquakes today
- no revival of HT but as seen in the Las Calmas sea, degassing is still continuing
- the new depth data shows that a Surtseyan eruption is imminent IF some stronger activity would start. This may still happen during the current eruption process.
- Joke has been following a 3 night INVOLCAN information course. Tomorrow more about this course.

Update 28/02 - 19:20 UTC
- The depth of the cone is now 100 meters according to twitter from Cabildo de El Hierro, @PrensaElHierro. They also comment that there is a decrease in seismicity, deformation and gases release.

Update 28/02 - 16:00 UTC
- A lot of new pictures from Joke Volta, all photographed today

Update 28/02 - 14:22 UTC
- We have learned that webcams are now working with dedicated power generators as there is a power cut in La Restinga! In the image below we can see one of the generators, top left, and the position of the webcam.

Update 28/02 - 13:28 UTC
- Eruption webcam is back online after operators visited the site and fixed the issue.
- No jacuzzi can be seen at this moment and no further earthquakes have been recorded since this morning.

Update 28/02 - 10:28 UTC
- We have cut 2 parts of the main article as it was getting far too long. The E Hierro volcano is already an eruption in 33 parts (including this latest one). The link to part 31 and part 32 can be found at the bottom of this page.
- As written earlier in this article, the Ramon Margalef will disappear from the scene after the current bathymetry session. Spanish authorities have now published a calender of the instances who will replace Ramon Margalef. New ships from various departments will scan the bottom of the Las Calmas sea at least already during the months of March, April and May. The volcano cone will certainly be included in the various sessions.

Update 28/02 - 08:28 UTC
- This is probably the first morning since many months that both webcams are out of order. Blind again ! Let us hope that the problems are only temporary
- 6 earthquakes so far today. magnitudes : 0.6,0.6,0.7,1.0,0.7,1.0. Depths in between 11 and 20 km.
- unchanged harmonic tremor
- continuing micro-seismicity
Now that the eruption goes on smoothly but far from spectacular, Joke is showing also some other views of the island. Since many months Joke has been far better than any expensive advertising campaign of the Cabildo showing the beauty of El Hierro. They simply are not aware enough of the value of Joke's images. Not even a Thank You from the authorities who are spending a lot of money on advertisements in glossy magazines, trade fairs etc. Of course we encourage these campaigns, but being a little more "enjoyed" about Jokes work should certainly not be exaggerated !

Cinder cone at montaña La Restinga - proof of an historic eruption very close to La Restinga (before the village even existed)

Update 27/02 - 23:55 UTC
- 14 earthquakes in total today. The strongest one was a 2.1 magnitude earthquake to the South-West of Frontera. This earthquake was also felt by humans.
- unchanged HT

Update 27/02 - 18:10 UTC
- A boat was seen on the webcams navigating above the vent, a forbidden navigating area, coming from the West and on its way to La Restinga port. Julio del Castillo Vivero made a short time lapse of the boat's adventure.

Update 27/02 - 17:05 UTC
- 5 more earthquakes since las update, 7 since midnight, with the strongest one of the day: M 2.1 at 15:38
Date Time Depth Magn Epicenter
27/02/2012 15:38 14 2.1 SW FRONTERA
27/02/2012 15:40 12 1.2 SW FRONTERA
27/02/2012 15:48 12 1.3 SW FRONTERA
27/02/2012 16:01 12 0.8 SW FRONTERA
27/02/2012 16:19 12 0.6 W El PINAR

Update 27/02 - 14:02 UTC
- 1 additional earthquake
- little to no change in harmonic tremor
- the eruption goes on at a minimal pace
- everybody following this eruption is very curious for the new bathymetry results of the Ramon Margalef oceanographic ship
- Joke Volta February 27 morning images

Update 27/02 - 08:58 UTC
- Only 1 listed earthquake this morning. Magnitude 1.0, depth : 9 km. Epicenter in front of Tacoron in the Las Calmas sea
- still a lot of micro-seismicity
- No visible stain or jacuzzi on the webcam this morning

Update 26/02 - 23:55 UTC
- 12 earthquakes today

Update 26/02 - 17:53 UTC
- Strong degassing is currently going on
- 6 more earthquakes and 10 in total. Depth in between 10 and 12 km
- minimal harmonic tremor even with this strong degassing

Update 26/02 - 13:57 UTC
- 2 more earthquakes, all very weak today (1.4, 0.3, 0.3 and 0.8)
- HT : no change
- The jacuzzi spot is very noticeable at this moment
- Cabildo de El Hierro has created an application which has some nice information on El Hierro. The application is for iPhones and Android smartphones and can be downloaded free of charge. Click here for more information.
- Morning images of Joke Volta

Update 26/02 - 09:46 UTC
- We have been busy since many hours in reporting earthquakes in Taiwan (M6.1) and Siberia (M6.8), both very dangerous but for various reasons without major damage or casualties. Links to these extensive in-depth articles can be found on the frontpage
- 2 earthquakes since midnight
- no visible stain or jacuzzi this morning but continuing micro-seismicity (very weak earthquakes)

Update 25/02 - 23:35 UTC
- We have ended the day with 14 listed earthquakes. The latest 7 at depths varying in between 10 and 12 km.
- Involcan / Guardia Civil helicopteres video from yesterday February 24

Update 25/02 - 16:20 UTC
- 7 earthquakes so far today
- we have the feeling that the activity is increasing slowly. The faint jacuzzi is still visible on the webcam
- we have just added 4 pictures from Joke. Click on the thumbnails below to watch them.

Update 25/02 - 13:20 UTC
- 5 earthquakes so far today. Rather new is that 2 of these earthquakes has been located at a depth of 33 and 34 km. Epicenter of both are below the island itself
- the jacuzzi is back alive, faint indeed, but just like yesterday it can well be seen on the eruption webcam, even with the sun glare of the afternoon
- ER reader Sissel could not sleep well last night and recorded the webcam. Spooky lights are traveling the Las Calmas sea. The webcam operator, who is doing a great job, was focusing on the ship later in the night and created another eruption-like image. We are fearing now that when the real eruption starts, we might think it is the Ramon Margalef !

Update 25/02 - 08:53 UTC
- 3 earthquakes so far today. Magnitudes : 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3. All epicenters below land, but the locations are more and more to the Orcilla area (the lighthouse west of Tacoron).
- no change in harmonic tremor
- continuing micro-seismicity
- no (webcam) visible stain this morning, although the haze over the vent area is still present
- after the more intensive (and very detailed) geology course at La Restinga where Joke was informed about all geology aspects of the island, INVOLCAN will give an evening course at El Pinar on February 28, 29 and March 1. It looks a little silly to us that 2 different organizations are organizing a course almost at the same time. A "light" version of the geology course which Joke followed should have been a great way of honoring the preparation work of Mr. Ramon Casillas Ruiz.
- Each time some action is tgoing on near or above the vent(s), Involcan / Guardia Civil Helicopteres is present to make a detailed image / video / measurement report of what is going on. Below the (less spectacular) images of yesterday's helicopter flight/ Click on the thumbnails to see the series in our Picasaweb.

All images courtesy Involcan / Guardia Civil Helicopteres

Update 24/02 - 23:15 UTC
- 6 earthquakes today
- Harmonic tremor to minimum values
- The population of El Hierro has currently 1403 foreign residents. Most of them (725) are residing in Frontera, 447 in Valverde and 231 in El Pinar. Joke told me before that a lot of the foreign residents are from Venezuela. Apart from Chavez also the link with migrating family members leaving Europe (or Africa) towards South America plays an important role. Most of these immigrants, some of them escaping from the Franco rule, sailed from El Hierro. They could hide very well for the military or the police before starting their dangerous trip.

Update 24/02 - 14:48 UTC
- We have a clear reactivation of the volcanic activity
- a faint jacuzzi is present all day long
- HT seems to pick up a little bit
- 5 earthquakes today
-Ramon Margalef is still cruising not only in front pf the coast, but also near the main vent

Ramon Margalef with faint jacuzzi in the background

Update 24/02 - 11:36 UTC
- an additional earthquake occurred at 09:16 and brings the total to 4 today.
- The image below is quiet spectacular. We have some faint jacuzzi since this morning, but the distorted image above the vent shows that the total wide of the picture (wide angle at the moment) has a higher temperature than the rest of the sea. We haven't seen this since a while ! The image is showed as captured from the webcam.

evaporation curtain starting at the vent waters

Update 24/02 - 07:56 UTC
- 3 earthquakes so far today. Magnitudes 1.2, 1.5 and 1.3. 2 quakes occurred below the island, 1 in the Las Calmas sea
- Continued microseismicity
- minimal harmonic tremor (like the last couple of days)
- the webcam shows a faint jacuzzi this morning (not permanent, but often enough to see it)
- Benthos Buceos, one of the diving companies at El Hierro, made a dive along the southern coast recently. They were happy that the sea recovered partly from the total marine life destruction from last October

Fish is swimming again in the Las Calmas sea - image copyright and courtesy Benthos Buceo - click on this picture to see the series

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.