El Hierro Volcano eruption (Canary Islands) : Part 36 – March 19 until March 23

This is Part 36 of the El Hierro Volcano eruption report


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With the collaboration of Joke Volta, an El Hierro resident and Julio del Castillo Vivero, photographer.
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Useful links : @VolcanoReport - El Hierro Picasa Photo Album
Our Webcam pages : (3) 2 in 1 pageLa Restinga villageEruption webcam

Appeal for a donation : Joke Volta and Earthquake-report.com are putting all their efforts in following up the ongoing activity at El Hierro. The last couple of days we have a couple of donations by our readers and we truly thank them for their support. Joke never asks for something, but @ earthquake-report.com we are aware of the costs she is paying herself to do all this work are considerable. Taking the bus, sending pictures in a bar where they have WIFI, sending us text messages, etc, all this is cash out !. Also earthquake-report.com ran into higher server costs. To make a long story short, we would love to have your support once again. Donations will be split 60/40 in between Joke Volta and ER. Donations via credit card and Paypal can be send via this link. You can also send some money to the ER bank account : IBAN BE52731013166309 EUR - BIC KREDBEBB for SOS Earthquakes VZW, Cederstraat 21, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium. Thank you for your support on behalf of Joke and ourselves.

Update 23/03 - 13:20 UTC
- Joke Volta has made some very good zoom images from the (light) jacuzzi area.

Jacuzzi zoom images Joke Volta

Update 23/03 - 12:20 UTC
- Jacuzzi can be seen on the webcam since at least an hour ago.
- Joke Volta confirms the jacuzzi can be clearly seen.
- In the image, the jacuzzi and a boat, that got close to have a look.

Update 23/03 - 10:42 UTC

- No earthquakes so far today
- Continuing microseismicity

Update 22/03 - 20:26 UTC
- 1 earthquake so far today. A Magnitude 1.5 earthquake at a depth of 30 km. Epicenter to the West of El Hierro
- continuing microseismicity

Update 22/03 - 11:26 UTC
- Joke has send a series of images this morning showing a stain in the Las Calmas sea. Click here to watch them.

Update 22/03 - 08:59 UTC
- NO earthquakes since midnight

Update 21/03 - 23:57 UTC
- A total of 3 earthquakes today. Resp. magnitudes of 1.5, 0.2 and 0.8. Depths in between 10 and 11 km.
- Joke made a walk to Tacoron today (a strenuous walk she said). The are is truly very beautiful. At the height of the eruption crisis, Tacoron was closed to the public as high concentrations of toxic gases ware recorded in this part of the island. Even today, the epicenters of the remaining earthquakes are sometimes nearby Tacoron.

Update 21/03 - 21:57 UTC
- Very interesting ROV video with a lot of information made by the scientists of the ULPGC in cooperation with QSTAR-Atlantic Explorer and SOS Oceanos.

Update 21/03 - 11:13 UTC
- The eruption webcam shows again a stain at the right side of the image. It was a while ago since we have seen such a stain. Update 1 : Joke, who is looking at the Las Calmas Sea live, and not through a webcam, like we do, has just written that the coloring is probably the "on the island" very well known Fata Morgana. The phenomenon was described earlier on in these articles and happens mainly when a calm see. Update 2 : Joke just told me another scenario which she heard from the Captain of the Salvamar Adhara. The captain has heard from divers that an oily stain was perceived on the sea (not only the color but also the smell). What we see now (14:52) is coloring of the ground sea (fata morgana).

Update 21/03 - 10:13 UTC
Alpidio Armas, the president of the El Hierro Cabildo has criticized the decisions taken by Manuel Santana, the vice-president of the Security and Emergency delegation (or rather the influence as decisions were taken in a board and not by a single person) to call Red alert over the island.
Comment ER : after the events it is always easy to comment, but we do applaud the behavior of Mr. Santana as at first the earthquakes became on the edge of being damaging and secondly nobody could predict if the rift eruption would lead to an outbreak on land. The many cinder cones close to La Restinga are reminders that an eruption was not necessarily going to happen in the Las Calmas Sea. We truly understand that 7 months of this misery are irritating the local people, but one could see it as a plus that El Hierro became part of the world map since the eruption happened. From now on, the volcano will also generate tourism.

Update 21/03 - 08:41 UTC
- 1 earthquake occurred since midnight. At 07:07 a M 1.5 quake was recorded at a depth of 11 km here
- The picture below was send to Joke by SOS Oceanos and is part of a video recorded by the Atlantic Explorer, Q-Star and SOS Oceanos. It shows the depth of the navigating ROV.

image courtesy SOS Oceanos


Update 20/03 - 23:55 UTC
- A second earthquake occurred at 22:29 UTC. Magnitude : 1.1 at a depth of 11 km. Epicenter here.
- The earthquake at 18:15 UTC on the CHIE HT graph was the Mexican M 7.4 earthquake. Such a signal is picked up by every seismograph in the world.

Update 20/03 - 17:25 UTC
- 1 earthquake with a Magnitude of 2.0 at a depth of 11 km happened here

Update 20/03 - 09:55 UTC
- A heavy surf in the Las Calmas sea is keeping most ships in the port. Joke estimates the wind speed as a 7 Beaufort (she owned a sailing boat before).
- Images Joke Volta of today March 20

Update 20/03 - 09:51 UTC
- All political parties of the Cabildo of El Hierro have unanimously approved a motion to ask the government of the Canary Islands for a return to the pre-July 2011 situation (green status). The motion refers to the report of PEVOLCA, published on March 5, the the eruption was over.
- NO earthquakes since midnight
- The government of El Hierro has made an agreement with Promotur Turismo de Canarias to promote tourism to El Hierro. The value of the contract is 75,000 €.
- The current eruption type at El Hierro is called "Serretyan", as this kind of submarine volcano behavior was first noticed at the Serreta Oceanic Volcano. All elements of what we have seen during the current eruptive process have also been noticed at Serreta (Terceira, Azores). The process has also been called Forjaz activity, as the scientist made a huge contribution in describing the phenomenon. The image below shows the names of the different lava types recognized during this eruption and which will probably be found also at the El Hierro submarine volcano at different depths not yet researched.

Image Serretyan erupttion - courtesy Forjaz, 1999

VERY IMPORTANT Update 19/03 - 17:02 UTC
- ER reader Roland (see comments) has given us the lead to a report of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria showing the still erupting submarine El Hierro volcano with glowing lava seen floating at a depth of 70 meter.
What nobody could accomplish so far, has been done by the ROV E-Wally on board of the SOS-Oceanos, Q-Star, Atlantic Explorer ship by the scientists of the Universidad de Las Palmas the Gran Canaria.
- The images have been captured on March 14 as the date on the images reveal. The images are of course foggy as a lot of suspended material is polluting the water.
- No doubt that Q-Star and the University has also some video footage that they will probably release later on (the pictures are probably screen captures of the video).
We are however VERY PLEASED that all those who cooperated on this mission have proved that the eruptive process is not yet entirely finished (at least it was not after the date that Pevolca said that the eruption stopped).

Original images courtesy Q-Star and Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

ER manipulation of the color saturation and contrast from the original picture above, a lot more details are appearing


Image Courtesy Q-Star and Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Update 19/03 - 16:00 UTC
- Images of Joke Volta of today March 19

Update 19/03 - 11:17 UTC
- Nothing unusual this morning.
- Since midnight NO listed earthquakes since Saturday
- Sunday afternoon we noticed increased microseismicity. The variation in HT signal is often caused by changes in tide, wind, waves etc, external factors which have nothing linked to the eruption. However, a minimal HT is still present.
- Joke continues taking her daily pictures, with of course more focus to the island itself these days. She does not want to give up right now as the eruption might get stronger again.

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.