Tuesday, January 31, 2012

El Hierro Activity Strong Today, Volcanic Tremor Vigorous

The El Hierro Volcano has picked up activity this morning and into the afternoon with strong harmonic tremor, multiple recorded underwater explosions, and lots of steaming lava rocks floating to the surface. The tremor began to pick up before dawn at El Hierro, and continued throughout the day with one of the most vigorous displays of activity yet. This volcano is far from done erupting.

Below is today's tremor graph from IGN.

The obvious increase in volcanic tremor this time did coincide with surface activity. Even though the tremor is currently a bit lower than earlier, smoking lava stones and a very strong and colorful stain on the ocean surface can easily be seen on the live webcam.

If El Hierro can sustain this eruption for a couple more months, it is highly likely it will breach the surface and enter into a Surtsetyan, or island building phase. This would be characterized by a large increase in emissions and explosive activity, eventually (probably) resulting in a more Strombolian type eruption from the cone (at least this is what I gather will happen when the cone can get free of the water, given the type of ejecta making its way to the surface). With gassy lava like this, it will probably end up being quite a show.

It is time for those of you who gaze at the volcano to remain vigilant. I for one would be overjoyed to see the birth of this new island live on camera (of course I'd rather be there, but that costs lots of money!). Keep your eyes peeled!

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