Friday, January 27, 2012

El Hierro Update

El Hierro tremor picked up this morning as a large stain and jacuzzi area reappeared after the lull in activity yesterday. This morning a ship could be seen cruising the stain area, presumably a scientific ship collecting data. Vent collapse yesterday built up pressure and caused nearly 10 small earthquakes, followed by a resumption of harmonic tremor and eruptive activity today. This is becoming a pattern.

Plenty of smoking lava stones could be seen live on the camera, with the ship swooping around to try and scoop them up before they burst and fall back to the ocean floor in a fiery pop. The presence of these smoking stones rules out a simple hydrothermal surface eruption, and confirms lava is still being emitted at the vent. It also appears that multiple smaller vents have opened aside from the main vent, as there are two smaller jacuzzis present in webcam images. there is a second large vent, and a much smaller one as of now. The larger new vent is to the East of the original one, and the smaller vent is N of the original vent. This totals nearly three vents active from what I can see on cam.

Smoking lava stone right of ship this afternoon at El Hierro.

El Hierro will likely continue to erupt for some time. You can see today's current tremor graph below.

Tremor this morning, Image copyright IGN.

As is the case with many "hotspot" volcanic systems, they are hard to predict, and often will have long term effusive eruptions like Kilauea in Hawaii. The eruption at Kilauea has entered its 25th straight year of activity with no end in sight. El Hierro could end up being this type of long term eruption, or simply cease at any time, however given the size of the magma chamber, and the characteristics of this eruption, I'll say that El Hierro has plenty still to give. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. See the comment policy for details.