Surface inflation reported at El Hierro volcano in the Canary Islands- we may be moving towards an event

The density of earthquakes has increased to such a degree that magmatic pressures have deformed the ground creating a surface inflation or uplift. An eruption of the volcano could be imminent.

August 24, 2011Canary Islands – 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). –Big Think

The total number of tremors recorded during the past five weeks has now exceeded 4200, according to the Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN).
contribution Luisport
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Landslide & geological deformation, Lithosphere collapse & fisssure, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Strange high tides & freak waves, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Surface inflation reported at El Hierro volcano in the Canary Islands- we may be moving towards an event

  1. dingdong says:

    seismic turmoil is coming!


    • kim says:

      will Hierro cause a break off of the western flank of El Cumbre, or can Hierro cause a tsunami as well on the east coast of U.S. I live in Cape May New Jersey. It really lokks like she is getting ready to blow.


      • El Hierro already has an escarpment which means about a third of the rockly island already crashed off into the sea during a eruption early in the island’s history.

        See picture:

        That said; a good portion of the island has already fallen off. La Palma represents the greatest threat from a land-slip. El Hierro has hundreds of crates, so it’s hard to say what an eruption will do at this point. We know it sits over a large magma plume, similar to Yellowstone, but the degree of an eruption is still a guess at this point. Seismic activity has also seen an uptick at the Azores, another plume so which makes anything erupting now an unknown since so many volcanic systems appear to be stirring in concert. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over a tsuami worry at this juncture.


  2. This isn’t good. This isn’t good at all. I’m thinking about La Palma and the possible mega-tsunami. Thank you for this info Alvin. Yep, time for some serious prayer.

    Be blessed and Maranatha


  3. observer says:

    isnt this where the earthquake swarm was last month with something like 720 quakes between 20th and 27th july


  4. observer says:

    also are the volcanos connected in the canary islands im curious?


    • No, they are not and actually and that’s a good question. The Canary volcanoes all have different stages of geological formation, with El Hierro being one of the oldest…


      • truth_seeker says:

        I was wondering exactly that thanks for the info.


      • Joe says:

        Actually, it’s the youngest – the one currently over the hot spot. The other islands formed earlier, over the same spot. The spot doesn’t move, the plate does – thus creating new islands from the sea bed.

        Ages, in millions of years, of the volcanic rocks in the Canary Islands. El Hierro is furthest west and youngest.


      • “The Canary volcanoes all have different stages of geological formation, with El Hierro being one of the oldest…”

        meaning dated subaerial Quaternary volcanism.

        “The Canary archipelago developed at a passive continental margin, on Jurassic oceanic lithosphere and a slow-moving tectonic plate. There are several genetic hypotheses for the Canary Islands, including a propagating fracture, a local extensional ridge, uplifted tectonic blocks and an unifying model but it is generally assumed that the archipelago originated from residual old plume material in the upper mantle. The first alkaline magmatic manifestations of this hot spot occurred at Fuerteventura during the Upper Cretaceous (~ 70 Ma), submarine volcanism started in the Eocene-Oligocene (~ 39 Ma) and subaerial volcanism in the Miocene (~ 20.6 Ma). There is a general progression of the oldest volcanism, thought to be induced by westward motion of the African plate and thus El Hierro island has the oldest dated subaerial Quaternary (~ 1.1 Ma) volcanism. The chain has been active along its entire length during the last million years, however.Canary Island volcanism involves submarine stages, followed by shield-building, declining, erosive and rejuvenation stages. Three groups of islands are currently in the rejuvenation stage – Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife. La Gomera is in the erosional stage, and La Palma and El Hierro are in the declining stage.” – Canary Island Hotspot
        by José Mangas Viñuela,
        Departamento de Física-Geología,
        Edificio de Ciencias Básicas, Campus Universitario de Tafira,
        Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.


  5. Niall says:

    Is this the island with the large underwater prominence that will, if it lets go will cause a tidal wave of epic proportions?


    • La Palma has the monsterous sloping rocky ledges and would create the largest displacement of water. I think a massive landslide from El Hierro would be smaller but still have similar catastrophic tidal wave effect.


      • observer says:

        there was supposedly one that happened 50.000 years ago generating a 100m tsunami that reached the coast of america from el hierro


      • truth_seeker says:

        I’ve had a feeling for a while that the Atlantic is somewhere to watch. Also there’s the fault line from Portugal/Gibralter to the Azores that if there was a large quake could cause so much damage. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.


  6. radiogirl says:

    LIfe is feeling so very fragile and oh so out of control……………


    • marie says:

      Life may seem fragile and out of control, but the good news is the Lord Almighty is in control and that is what matters. Psalms 46 is extremely comforting.


  7. New Earth 234 says:

    MegaTsunmai from La Palma and El Hierro might in around the corner. Do you think that way?


  8. Ian says:

    The fact that the gound is rising should not be a total surprise, this is a volcanic island and this is how volcanoes behave. IMO the real question relates to the severity of a future eruption, and that is something only time will tell us. (& hopefully sea water will keep away from the magma too).


  9. “However, the destruction in the United Kingdom will be as nothing compared to the devastation reeked on the eastern seaboard of the United States. Dr. Day claims that the Mega Tsunami will generate a wave that will be inconceivably catastrophic. He says: “It will surge across the Atlantic at 500 miles per hour in less than seven hours, engulfing the whole US east coast with a wave almost two hundred feet high ” higher than Nelson,s Column ” sweeping away everything in its path up to 20 miles inland. Boston would be hit first, followed by New York, then all the way down the coast to Miami, the Caribbean and Brazil.” Millions would be killed, and as Dr. Day explains: “It’s not a question of “if” Cumbre Vieja collapses, it’s simply a question of “when”.”


  10. In CA, Mammoth area is experiencing earthquake swarms and sulphur smells in San Diego plus reports of volcanic venting. Just a matter of time before something blows or cracks.


  11. luisport says:

    Lurking on August 24, 2011, 7:51 PM
    Hey looky… a non “viewing limited to a select few” image.

    El Hierro, depth vs time vs magnitude, as of 24 August 2011.

    Anita . on August 24, 2011, 8:59 PM
    From the AVCAN F. B. page:

    In the map we can see that the activity as concentrated like a ball around the golf, but today is more to de west and more dispersed, indicating that it is reaching the end of this cycle.

    21 of August – Yellow – 418
    22 of August – Pink – 428
    23 of August – Blue – 161
    24 of August – Orange – 22


  12. luisport says:

    Volcanic Sunset
    VOLCANIC SUNSETS: Sky watchers in Europe should be alert for volcanic sunsets. “For the past week, we’ve seen unusual twilight rays probably caused by high-attitude aerosols from Nabro, a volcano which erupted in Eritrea on June 13th,” reports Petr Horalek from the Ondřejov Observatory of the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. This is how the sky looked on Aug. 23rd:

    “Around 20 minutes after sunset these significant crepuscular rays appeared like shining fingers in the western sky,” he describes. “The rays were so strong, I could see them almost directly overhead; and in the south, they stretched across the horizon like great red and purple stripes.”

    Purple is one of the telltale colors of a volcanic sunset. Fine volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere scatter blue light which, when mixed with ordinary sunset red.


  13. Dennis E. says:

    The east coast
    A major hurricane is coming
    we just had a earthquake and indications are that it could happen again.
    and now this
    you can sense the stress


  14. luisport says:

    Italy: Over the weekend, Etna did have another paroxysm – and you can check out some of the great images of the eruption on Boris Behncke’s Flickr stream. This looks like the pattern we should expect from Etna for at least the near future, as it produced moderate strombolian eruptions from the rapidly growing southeast crater.

    Chile/Argentina: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle is still going strong, with plumes that reached up to 3.7 km / 12,000 feet over the crater and drifted hundreds of kilometers downwind. The NASA Earth Observatory posted a trio of nice images of the current activity – one showing the plume drift to the northeast, one great closeup of the crater area showing the dark black new lava flows from the volcano and one showing the wide plume spreading easterly (with a lot of ash also billowing to the west).

    Japan: It should be little surprise to many of you that Sakurajima has been active – it is almost always doing something. This week was especially impressive and some Eruptions readers captured some timelapse webcam footage of the activity, so be sure to check that out, along with one of the many Sakurajima webcams.

    …And oddly there were no updates on activity in Indonesia. However, earlier this week the PVMGB in Indonesia warned that Papandayan was still showing signs of an impending eruption. It appears that if Papandayan does erupt, there is the potential to isolate communities on Java, so government officials are watching the volcano closely. Remember, you can check out the status of all Indonesian volcanoes here.


  15. Fillade says:

    Hello TEP, Is there any possiabelity the present activity at El Herrio can generate La Palma to slip?
    Is there any indication the mad sciencetists transmitting HAARP manulipulation are doing so in the Carary Islands,



All comments are moderated. We reserve the right not to post any comment deemed defamatory, inappropriate, or spam.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s