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Author Topic: Eruption at El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands  (Read 2197 times)

Offline zorgon

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Eruption at El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands
« on: October 11, 2011, 01:35:34 AM »
Eruption at El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands



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Volcanoes on the Canary Islands - Active Volcanoes in Spain

The Canary Islands - Canaries in Spain are one of the most interesting active volcanic regions in the world. The study of the volcanoes on the Canary Islands or Canaries in Spain are related to the earliest steps in modern volcanology, reflected in the work of the great scientists of the 19th century. The origin, formation and evolution of the volcanoes are related to the widening and expansion of the South Atlantic and the separation of the American and African continents.

The Canary Islands are the only Spanish islands of volcanic origin and on Tenerife you find one of the very few European volcanoes that still are active: El Teide.

http://www.espana-spain.com/volcanoes_canaries.html

Location of the Islands



El Hierro Earthquake Count Exceeds 4200 The Canary Islands


Lava flows breaking off into the sea

Here is a map of the recent swarm of tremors.



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El Golfo, El Hierro, The Canary Islands (Spain) where the majority of earthquakes have been recordedThe number of daily earthquakes recorded on the smallest of the Canary Islands (Spain), El Hierro, has increased considerably in recent days. The Instituto Volcanologico de Canarias has also reported a 1cm inflation over part of the island’s volcano following on from GPS analysis.

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Earthquake Swarms

Earthquake swarms are events where a local area experiences sequences of many earthquakes striking in a relatively short period of time. The length of time used to define the swarm itself varies, but the United States Geological Survey (USGS) points out that an event may last for days, weeks, or months.

El Hierro’s Volcanic/Seismic Past

El Hierro is situated in the most southwestern extreme of the Canaries. The island was formed after three successive eruptions. Volcanic activity, principally at the convergence of the three ridges, has resulted in the continual expansion of the island.

A mere 50,000 years ago, as a result of seismic tremors which produced massive landslides, a giant piece of the island cracked off, crashed down into the ocean and scattered along the seabed. This landslide of more than 300km3 gave rise to the impressive amphitheatre of the El Golfo valley and at the same time caused a tsunami that most likely rose over 100 metres high and probably reached as far as the American coast.

El Hierro Earthquake Count Exceeds 4200

Volcano threat sparks evacuation in Canaries - The Telegraph

According to this map, the volcano is under water and away from the island. So far not even visible signs on the surface. Looks like a new island in the making.



Special report: Eruption at El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 01:45:40 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Eruption at El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 01:49:37 AM »
Other Volcanos on the Canary Islands

Yetti: Mount Teide (Pico del Teide), Tenerife, Canary Islands


Image Credit: pixdaus.com





Deformation at El Hierro in the Canary Islands
Erik Klemetti on August 24, 2011, 2:53 PM


An undated satellite image of El Hierro. In the larger version, you can clearly see many of the small scoria cones and craters that pockmark the island.

BIG PICTURE

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Well, we've been wondering when we might see more signs of magma rising underneath El Hierro in the Canary Island and now we seem to have got some. Over the last month, the island/volcano has experienced thousands of earthquakes that have waxed and waned in number, but seem to be increasing over time. A GPS survey of the area effected by the earthquakes has now found deformation - namely inflation - over part of the volcano. This inflation is on the order of ~1 cm over the last 20-25 days according to the Instituto Volcanologico de Canarias. There are also slightly increased carbon dioxide and temperature (above background) at the volcano as well. All of these signs add to up new magma rising in the volcano - so the big question becomes  "does this mean an eruption is around the corner?" Well, my answer to that is a resounding "maybe". Sure, these are all signs of magma emplacement, but there is likely as much chance of it all "stalling" in the crust as an eruption occurring. It will be how these factors - earthquakes, deformation, gas emissions, temperature - change over the next weeks to months that will give us a better idea of whether we will see the first documented eruption at El Hierro since 550 B.C. (or 1793 A.D., depends on if you trust the historical reports from the late 18th century).

Deformation at El Hierro in the Canary Islands

« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 02:01:50 AM by zorgon »

 


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