El Hierro 5 – Resurgence?

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of my updates on the eruption offshore of El Hierro, and for those of you who aren’t regularly up on your volcano news, you may have been lulled into the belief that everything there had stopped.

Far from it.

The Jacuzzi has been quietly bubbling away all this while, although it’s worth noting that the magnitude of the seismic tremor has been much reduced in recent weeks.  The plot below is the seismogram from the 1st of January.  Compare that to the magnitudes seen during October, and it’s clear that things are quieter.

So if it’s been so quiet why am I posting about it now?

Well, a few reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, to just raise awareness of the fact that despite the major news outlets getting bored with it, we’re still seeing activity. Secondly,  because yesterday morning at about 3.30 am the harmonic tremor (seismicity that indicates magma movement) at El Hierro picked up significantly…

…leading to a day of relatively high activity yesterday…

…and the seismogram now looks like this:

These upticks represent a peak in activity bigger than those experienced over the last couple of months, during which the activity has been variable but generally low. The two notable exceptions were several days of pulsing activity starting on Dec 10th, and a short peak in activity on Dec 28th.   The webcams aren’t showing anything conclusive at the moment – there’s obviously a sediment plume in  the water, but the jacuzzi is not as obvious as it has been in the past.  That said, Ron Schott has reported seeing steam clouds on those cameras in the last 30 minutes.

It’ll be interesting to see how this develops over the coming days.  It may settle back down, it may represent the start of a higher activity episode. I’ll update accordingly.

As always, all seismic plots are courtesy of IGN.

About Pete Rowley

Earth Scientist with a background in volcanology and sedimentology. Enjoys a good rant, beer, and games. Dislikes reality TV, crowds, and unreasonable people.
This entry was posted in General, Geology, Hazard Assessment, News, Science, Volcanism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to El Hierro 5 – Resurgence?

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