Monday, February 13, 2012

El Hierro Tremor Increases, Activity Resumes


After a two day break from anything major at El Hierro, the volcano is gradually picking up steam again. Tremor for today shows a very slowly increasing amplitude, and webcam images show a very prominent stain with jacuzzi area once more. Some smoking stones could be seen on the water's surface.

Seismograph from IGN for today which shows slowly increasing harmonic tremor.
The activity at El Hierro is hard to predict, and even harder to forecast. At this point, the eruption is clearly a much longer term eruption than scientists could have expected, and it appears to have no real end in sight. Earthquakes and tremor are persistent, and the cone shows no signs of stopping its growth any time soon. I am awaiting the results of the latest survey of the cone to see whether or not it is getting much closer to the surface. At last glance, it was approximately 35M below the sea surface, but the cone has suffered several collapses so this is probably no longer accurate (could be higher, or lower).

There have been a couple rumors (but they are ONLY rumors) of thermal areas being detected on the terrestrial island, but this has NEVER been confirmed. A good NASA snapshot could easily kill that rumor, and one will probably come along eventually. 

*****UPDATE 2/9/2012-2/10/2012*****

The tremor is still increasing, while surface activity remains unchanged. What this means at this time is unknown, but could indicate further magma injection into the El Hierro magma chamber. This has been steadily increasing since early yesterday until now, with tremor showing no signs yet of abating or decreasing. This probably means further underwater explosive activity will occur within the next day or so. The reinvigorated tremor readings from IGN can be seen below.

*****UPDATE 2/11/2012*****

The tremor at El Hierro is decreasing again, after three days of moderate and sustained tremor. A stain is still visible on the water surface, and a jacuzzi area comes and goes.

Decreasing tremor at El Hierro today.

*****UPDATE 2/13/2012*****
The harmonic tremor readings at El Hierro volcano in the Canary Islands have been erratic the last couple of days. Frequent fluctuations between medium-strong, to barely readable have been the pattern the last couple of days. This most likely indicates an unstable cone/fissure vent, and consistent magma pressure on the vent. Currently, tremor is low, but picking up, suggesting that the volcano is slowly clearing whatever obstruction may be in the vent.

Below is the current tremor readings for today.



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