Huge spike in seismic events in El Hierro swarm in Canary Islands

August 4, 2011Canary Islands – “An unprecedented 1050 earthquakes have been recorded on El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, during the past week,” says this article by Mark Dunphy. Described as a “significant increase in seismic activity,” the earthquake swarm has prompted the Canary Islands Government to convene the first ever meeting of the Steering Committee and Volcanic Monitoring. The National Geographic Institute (IGN) and Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands is continuing to record scores of earthquakes, measuring between 1 and 3 on the Richter Scale, each day. The majority of earthquakes are being recorded at a depth of between 5km and 15 km. There is no indication at present that the low magnitude seismic activity is a precursor to any significant volcanic activity or, indeed, stronger earthquake activity.  El Hierro is currently the most volcanically active of the Canary Islands. According to,“El Hierro has the largest number of volcanoes in the Canaries with over 500 open sky cones, another 300 covered by the most recent outflows, and some 70 caves and volcanic galleries. Since the Spanish occupation, there have been seven eruptions. More than 200 years have elapsed since the last eruption. The island of El Hierro emerged from the ocean after three successive volcanic eruptions and consequent accumulations, crowned by a volcano more than 2,000 metres high. During seismic tremors some 50,000 years ago, a giant piece of the island cracked off, crashed into the ocean and caused a giant tsunami that most likely rose more than 330 feet (100 m) high and probably reached as far as the American coast. About a half a million years ago, the volcano, Taburiente, collapsed with a giant landslide. In a BBC Horizon program broadcast on 12 Oct 2000, geologists hypothesised that a during a future eruption a similar landslide could potentially generate a “megatsunami” some 2000-3000 ft (650–900 m) high in the region of the islands. The huge wave would radiate out across the Atlantic and inundate the eastern seaboard of North America including the American, Caribbean and northern coasts of South America a mere six to eight hours later. –Weather Tech  IWO

August 4th massive spike                                            
contribution Luisport/David
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Landslide & geological deformation, Seismic tremors, Strange high tides & freak waves, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Huge spike in seismic events in El Hierro swarm in Canary Islands

  1. luisport says:

    El Hierro, overview of the earthquake activity. It seems increasing and according to the graph at the bottom of the page, earthquakes are spreading both up and down.


  2. Tamara says:

    Wonder IF there was a big tsunami wave from a bad eruption… what would it do to the UK :-/


    • skywalker says:

      it would be bad if you lived on the coastline anywhere in the south of england from cornwall to kent,anywhere in the bristol channel , and all of the welsh coast ,all the way up to the mull in scotland , and all the way up the east coast to hull. i doubt it would get very far inland , maybe 20-40 miles in some places where there is no hills,like up the river seven valley and the somerset levels past weston supermare,or even the norfolk broads area. it would probably flood anywhere in the south that is below 20-30 metres above sea lvl. but of course it would all depend on the severity of the eruption to begin with, as that will determine the height of the tsunami.
      in all truth no-one realy knows cos the computer models are not 100% correct, but i would say that if you live on the coastline you can expect to see wholesale destruction everywhere, especially where we have reclaimed land from the sea in the past.
      even if the wave was like the one that devastated japan(10-15 metres) it wont be very pleasant if you live on the coast.
      i guess worst case cenario is if we get a 50 metre wave or higher .cause that will destroy most of our southern nuclear reactors , aswell as most of southern england……. 😦


  3. Luca says:

    I wonder about possible Tsunami from this? God I hope and pray not. I still have nightmares after seeing the Japanese one happen live on tv.


  4. penny says:

    Thats just what i was thinking , after watching that docmentory last week about La Palma!!


  5. Wiseguy says:

    There should be a 3D graphic of the swarm somewhere on the web, if I had the data (position, time and depth) I could make my own. Like Iceland, would help if we could see a 3D instead of a 2D graphic…


  6. Tamara says:



  7. luisport says:

    According to AVCAN Facebook page, today Hierro had over 200 earthquakes… and the day is not over.



  8. Star1111Seed says:

    Sad to say it’s the beginning of the ultimate and final countdown.


  9. John A says:

    Several nights ago I had a dream about Virginia. I was looking at a map and it stood out in a different color, like white on green. I felt bad for the people living there and remember saying to someone, “oh, you’re from there, that’s too bad”. What it means fully, I don’t know, but the implication was a disaster or attack of some kind would happen.


  10. luisport says:

    Diana Barnes says:
    August 5, 2011 at 05:46
    For those interested in El Hierro or who would like to see what Markus has mentioned here is a link. El Hierro last two charts.
    And here is a web cam too.
    Markus says “I m worried since never been like this since records..and government is still with green alert (like if nothing happening at all, to protect tourist high season? and this yeah d link volcano to economy right? keep moving on!”
    Maybe their Government needs to visit Iceland to see how Volcanic regions can use this to their advantage and attract tourists.


  11. luisport says:

    This is from avcan page:

    “Es impresionante como se mueve esto por la mañana de hoy, y una cosa más, parece que la componente S es más pequeña, es decir, están más cerca del sensor, o lo que es lo mismo, parece que están subiendo, que son a menos profundidad. Sirva de muestra estos nuevos 16 sismos que han puesto hoy, que hacen un total de 33 sismos hoy…”

    Translation: “It’s impressive the way it’s moving this morning, and one more thing, it looks like the S component is getting smaller, I mean, it’s closer to the sensor, it’s like, it’s going up, it sounds less deep. An exemple are this new 16 earthquakes, making it 33 earthquakes today.

    Later in a letter post he ads that those 33 were just until 6.45 a.m.


  12. Ian says:

    re tsunami – just remember nowhere in the UK is far from the sea – I think 66 miles at maximum.


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