4.4 and 4.3 magnitude earthquakes strikes north of El Hierro

November 2, 2011CANARY ISLANDSAn earthquake of 4.3 magnitude on the Richter scale occurred at 07:54 hours (local time) on the Spanish island of El Hierro in the Canaries archipelago, according to the National Geographic Institute (IGN). This earthquake, one of about 50 registered today by IGN was felt by residents of the island, and took place about twenty feet deep northwest of the town of Frontera, in the north of El Hierro. Most earthquakes in recent days have been recorded in the north of the island, while some are produced in the area of ​​the municipality of El Pinar, in the south, where there has been an underwater volcanic eruption. Scientists do not rule out the possibility that a new eruption could be imminent. The Emergency Military Unit (UME) has moved shelters to El Hierro which can accommodate 2,000 people at the request of Civil Protection Plan for Volcanic Risk Islands (Pevolca), in case there is need of a new evacuation. The first evacuation took place in the fishing village of La Restinga in the south of El Hierro, where neighbors have returned after the threat passed from a potential eruption. –Radioondaazul translated
The earthquake was followed mere hours later by a much stronger 4.4 magnitude earthquake which struck at a depth of 23 km. Seismicity link
contribution Luisport
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Lithosphere collapse & fisssure, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Volcanic Eruption, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to 4.4 and 4.3 magnitude earthquakes strikes north of El Hierro

  1. c/o Luisport

    Current volcanic Canary Islands (AVCAN)
    For a while, the tremor has become more unstable and has fewer earthquakes and is having freatomagmaticas explosions, indicating activity at lower depth and which is very possible that we have explosions in the water. This morning discussed the possible opening of a new mouth and now explosions… do no by la Restinga to see if they see something weird or that can confirm that they see something different.? (Henry)


  2. c/o Luisport

    Increased eruption activity in El Hierro volcano

    Posted on November 2, 2011 by Jón Frímann

    The eruption in El Hierro volcano continues as it has been doing for past few weeks with little change. The first eruption vent that did open south of El Hierro Island has continued to erupt. But so far no Island has formed and it is unclear if it is going to form, as the depth is great in this area. Since yesterday around 06:00 UTC the harmonic tremor has been increasing. But this suggests that new vents have opened up in the south eruption area. I got some pictures of that yesterday in the email. But they did not show anything new in my view. Thanks to the readers how did send me those pictures.

    The current fluctuation in the harmonic tremor from El Hierro suggests that magma is on the move in the north part of El Hierro Island. Both off the coast and maybe inland on the Island where earthquakes have been taking place. It is impossible to know how this is going to develop during the next few hours to days. As that depends on the rock structure of El Hierro Island and earlier eruptions.

    Earthquake activity

    During the past two weeks the earthquake activity have been growing in the North-west part of El Hierro Island. The reason why this is happening is that a new fissure is about to open in this area. As I have mentioned before in earlier blog posts. When and where is impossible to know for sure. The largest earthquake so far took place this morning, it size was ML4.0 with the depth of 20 km. But this is the automatic data from IGN. This pattern of earthquake activity is most likely going to continue during this eruption process in El Hierro volcano. Since the eruption type here is a fissure eruption.

    It is worth noting that earthquakes in once place does not mean that the eruption is going to happen in that place. As the magma can travel in dikes all over the El Hierro Island and show it self anywhere on the Island it self. So the general risk is high in my opinion. The only action that can be taken is to be prepared for sudden eruption of new vents on El Hierro Island. Since there is a good amount of magma on the move inside El Hierro volcano.

    The harmonic tremor in El Hierro at 08:54 UTC (when picture is saved). The spikes are earthquakes, and harmonic tremor spikes are the “waves” in the harmonic tremor pattern. Copyright of this picture belongs to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

    Update 1:

    * When I wrote this blog post. This two earthquakes took place.

    1109584 02/11/2011 08:37:11 27.9267 -18.1084 3 1.7 mbLg NW FRONTERA.IHI
    1109582 02/11/2011 08:36:00 27.5986 -17.9594 1 1.9 mbLg S EL PINAR.IHI

    This are the most shallow earthquakes that I have seen so far. From the depth it is possible a magma has found a clean path to surface in this two areas. Sadly there is no map. So I am not sure where this earthquakes took place in El Hierro volcano.

    I am going to post more information when I know more on what is taking place in El Hierro.


  3. c/o Luisport

    El Hierro
    Location of earthquake

    Magnitude ML 4.3
    Date time 2011-11-02 07:54:53.0 UTC
    Location 28.04 N ; 17.93 W
    Depth 10 km
    Distances 165 km W San cristóbal de la laguna (pop 139,928 ; local time 07:54:53.9 2011-11-02)
    68 km S Los llanos de aridane (pop 19,635 ; local time 07:54:53.9 2011-11-02)
    50 km S Fuencaliente de la palma (pop 1,894 ; local time 07:54:53.9 2011-11-02)


  4. luisport says:

    AFTER ANALYSIS BY THE UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA The analysis of the pyroclastic”clear indications”brings a greater explosive potential A report by Professor of Petrology and Geochemistry, University of Barcelona, ​​Sunday Gimeno Torrente, who has had access DAILY IRON concludes that the material analyzed,”does not present the characteristics of a surtseyao like rash, which is the stage repeatedly proposed by the scientific monitoring committee.” Sergio Gutierrez, DiarioElHierro.es (2 / 11 / 2011) The pyroclastic found in waters of La Restinga provide “clear evidence” of a more explosive potential, “so far not mentioned publicly by anyone.” This is to a report, which has had access DAILY IRON, prepared by Professor of Petrology and Geochemistry, University of Barcelona, ​​Sunday Gimeno Torrente. The professor adds, furthermore, that this material “does not exhibit the characteristics of a surtseyano like rash, which is the stage repeatedly proposed by the scientific monitoring committee. ” The study of the pyroclastic found during the submarine eruption of La Restinga, conducted by Dr. Gimeno at the request of the City of El Pinar, states that “inhomogeneous mixing of different magma compositions (‘mingling’) is a phenomenon widely reported in the literature as increasing the explosiveness of magma, and on many occasions, such as triggering an explosion.” In his report, Gimeno pyroclastic Torrente argues that, “it can (and should) look in a matter of hours,” and wonders why so many days later still not knowing what they are. “If they know they have not said, and have no evidence that anyone involved in his study rather have avoided, told DAILY IRON. According to this professor at the University of Barcelona, ​​”it has underestimated the potential explosive” . “They have drawn all the time surtseyano volcanism hypothesis (all 4 phases), trivializing its potential explosiveness (10 hours of beautiful white column before anything happens), and before that an effusive volcanism hypothesis (lava, not explosive) deeper, and indeed since the surface began to appear in the pyroclastic should have understood that it was explosive submarine eruption and a different type, and if, moreover, implied magma mixing was potentially much more dangerous rhyolitic magma involved and if further, Gimeno said. pyroclastic ANALYSIS The report by Professor of Petrology and Geochemistry, University of Barcelona, ​​Sunday Gimeno Torrente, that is collected, the sample is “that have shown Over the last few days in the media, which consists of two parts, a dark green or black preferably located in the outermost part of the body falls, massive-looking glass (sideromelana) but with macroscopic areas with vesicular texture and different fragments all white, very hard microvesicles, thus being very porous and very dense. ” According Gimeno, “phenocrysts are not observed with the naked eye. The lines of contact between the two products are net and the first impression is that a product is black basalt and pumice differentiated product. ” chemical analysis by Dr. Gimeno notes that, once classified by the IUGS ​​TAS diagram , which is to use internationally accepted “that the product is black costata is a basic rock (basanite) and white a differentiated product (alkaline rhyolite),” he says. According to this professor, “collated with the internationally published databases The first product was already known in other samples from the island of El Hierro from previous eruptions, while the second is comparable but not identical, to what is known in other eruptions are less frequent in El Hierro (slightly richer in silica) “, contains the report seen by this newspaper. MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERIZATION The study allows to conclude that this pyroclastic magmatic fluid consists of two very different compositions and viscosities, coexisting as such without chemical mixture feasible at the time of the eruption. The basanite liquid appears as a porphyritic microvesicles with a low percentage of phenocrysts of mafic minerals, whereas the rhyolite is very hard microvesicles, with very thin walls of glass between the casts of gas bubbles are essentially constitute this portion rock and probably give global buoyancy. According to Dr. Gimeno, “to conclude this characterization must be added that it would be advisable to sample and systematic characterization of the pyroclastics that are being expelled by the volcano, as the compositional characteristics and the degree of crystallinity can vary during the eruption and the evolution of this condition, so this task is useful in the face of crisis management, “he advises. In addition, Professor Sunday Gimeno holds in his report that the chemism and determination of the degree of crystallinity of the rocks formed during an eruption, “as soon as possible should be done in the course of this, as both factors definitely affect the explosive and therefore the associated volcanic hazard. This truism, he adds, is widely recognized internationally, both for the expert scientific community by agencies such as the IAVCEI “he says. According Gimeno, many of the Spanish public universities and the CSIC have different equipment and technical staff qualified perfectly capable of doing the same work we’ve done in the UB in times comparable (within 24 h of receipt of the sample) and, frankly, can not understand how this characterization was not carried out since the first moment part or behalf of the commission of scientific monitoring of the eruption, “says the professor.


  5. luisport says:

    Magnitude ML 3.3
    Date time 2011-11-02 12:44:14.8 UTC
    Location 27.81 N ; 18.06 W
    Depth 21 km
    Distances 186 km SW San cristóbal de la laguna (pop 139,928 ; local time 12:44:14.8 2011-11-02)
    95 km S Los llanos de aridane (pop 19,635 ; local time 12:44:14.8 2011-11-02)
    78 km S Fuencaliente de la palma (pop 1,894 ; local time 12:44:14.8 2011-11-02)


  6. luisport says:

    Pieter says:
    November 2, 2011 at 13:55
    Rhyolite is indeed a reason for concern. But what I don’t understand is how a volcano which is known to erupt basalt to trachybasalt suddenly is capable of erupting rhyolite. Is it geochemical evolution within a volcanic system we are seeing here?

    I YES!!!


  7. Ian says:

    Many of the local residents are still living on this island, they have not evacuated (yet). Clearly the only certainty we have is uncertainty as to the exact path ahead.
    Whilst not wanting to cause panic. it seems now is a good time to leave for a place of certain safety; yes is going to be difficult to move from ‘home’ but better be safe elsewhere than worried at home. If the situation calms there will be the option of returning home, and if the worse happens, well at least family and loved ones are safe to share the new life together.


  8. luisport says:

    Jón Frímann says:
    November 2, 2011 at 14:36
    If there is magma mixing taking place in El Hierro it is because of old magma from earlier eruptions that is getting mixed with a new hotter magma. It is the same thing that did happen in Eyjafjallajökull volcano last year, and in other volcanoes that do the same. This is always a risk with volcanoes that only have eruptions every several thousands of years or more.

    Since it takes the magma no less then that to cool down and crystallize like that to become rrhyolite. But the changes happen when the magma melts rock from its surroundings bedrock.

    If this is the case with El Hierro this eruption got a lot more complex and dangerous to the people who live on the El Hierro Island.

    Currently there is a second magma sill forming off the NW part of El Hierro volcano. So far the activity suggests that this is new magma, not re-mobilized magma from earlier eruptions. But there might be older magma in there that is not making any earthquakes at the moment, for that reason it is impossible to know where and how big the amount might be there for the moment.


  9. luisport says:

    Armand Vervaeck says:
    November 2, 2011 at 16:32
    Can someone explain the big bump on 15:15 – not recorded on EMSC and the IGN charts are not clear neither
    Vince says:
    November 2, 2011 at 17:01
    Enrique from AVCAN thinks this are not eartquakes, but explosions, increasingly strong explosions, from interaction with water, in the south of Restinga vent or in a new one in the north/ El Golfo area.


  10. Larz says:

    Let me put this info together so I can understand the situation better. More explosive eruption possible split of El Hierro can be from vents housing water. Flank volcano with parts of solid rock in huge sections. None of this is being reported by the local media, why? I sense that a massive disturbance is in the works. Am I wrong here?


    • Me says:

      all the US domestic media wants to report about is Kim’s divorce and Lindsay’s court appearance. 😦 Thankfully, I keep this site and other world news on bookmark, or i would be clueless like many of the rest.


      • Yes, Kim got divorced after 72 days (what a commitment) and Lindsay will go to jail – after she finishes her Playboy shoot. What other news do we need? (sarc)

        I am also so thankful to have this site, along with other, usually international, sites. And, I have been told that others are also thankful when I share this information. When TSHTF, we may suffer along with everyone else, but at least we won’t be surprised.



  11. luisport says:

    1109738 02/11/2011 18:10:39 27.7891 -18.0602 23 III 4.4 4 NW FRONTERA.IHI Growing Fast!


  12. Amy P. says:

    article talks about possible emergency camps to be set up.


  13. John Smith says:

    Historically there have been Tsunamis created at canary islands from explosive eruptions and submarine landslide. Such an event today would cause about 20 coastal nuclear reactors in USA and Britain to meltdown. Releasing radiation equal to a global nuclear war.


    • Ian says:

      If the tsunami was big enough, but the tsunami might only be a couple of inches by the time it reached the UK or USA …. look to history in Japan when a tsunami is recorded as hitting the coast at the same time as an event off the west coast of USA … I cannot remember the year 1700’s or 1800’s I think … it correlates to a time when the local people are reported to have said ‘the earth danced’

      Nonetheless, I accept this volcano is looking more difficult to predict as the eruption progresses and there is the potential for an explosive phase, albeit still unlikely as far as we know at this time.


    • J Knowles says:

      Let’s keep this rational. The chances of such a major tsunami are extremely remote and there would be ample time to put any coastal reactors into hot shut-down mode. All these reactors could still be serviced by outside grid power and they all have back-up diesel generators. A repeat of the situation with the out-dated Fukushima BWRs is not likely. The entire Fukushima coastline dropped one metre downwards rendering the coastal wave defenses less effective.
      The UK does not have any coastal reactors in a direct line of approach from the Canary
      Isles and a tsunami would lose much of it’s energy by the time it crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached the USA.


  14. luisport says:

    In the curve of evolution of the energies released accumulated is amazing, but only today has released more energy than all that we had from the 10/11/2011 and has been repeated pattern of two straight, now theoretically would play a little half easy for 12-36h and then return to the attack with equal or greater force if nothing changes (deformation, gases, earthquakes or tremor supericiales). We’ll see what happens (Enrique).


  15. luisport says:


    new quake of 2.7 just below the tanganasoga. It may just be coincidence, but it begins to push the ground.


  16. luisport says:

    Via Twitter… More on the CO2:


    The amount of CO2 in the air at El Hierro has never been so high. Fish south of El Hierro disappeared…


  17. Wow, there is a lot of information here to digest. Thank you for providing this since our media has failed to do so.



  18. Luca says:

    Thank you for all the information!


  19. luisport says:

    New message AVCAN Facebook:

    Miguel A. Don’t know if is will open a new mouth at la Restinga, or in the North of the island, we are looking for information to know where does this signal as strong tremor, in principle seems to be that it is in the area of la Restinga, but we have to compare it.

    Now wait to see what it does, if it does as the other time, when we have a sudden decrease of the tremor or opened the mouth it has clogged and we have a very superficial gunshot earthquake, we will see what happens…(Henry) Online


  20. luisport says:

    The emission rate of carbon dioxide atmosphere in El Hierro reaches highest since the eruption began volcanological Institute of the Canaries (non-tip) has confirmed to the Directorate of Civil Protection Plan for Volcanic Risk (Pevolca) that the rate of diffuse emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) in El Hierro has reached the highest value since the beginning of the eruptive phenomena on the island.
    Posted by: ECOticias.com / Red / Agencies, 03/11/2011, 11:47 h | ( 5) times read
    This is the result of the tenth scientific field campaign conducted and evaluated, where we get the results of the parameter of interest for volcanic surveillance, said the regional government said in a statement. Thus, the rate of measured emission has reached 1044 + – 31 tons per day, the highest value observed during the eruptive phenomenon. The non-tip has materialized since last July 21, 2011, more than 6500 measures CO2 diffuse flow through ten campaigns scientific fields, each covering the entire building subaerial volcanic island of El Hierro (278 km2) to contribute to the improvement and optimization of volcano monitoring. To carry out this task works a “significant” group of volunteers based in Canaries. As regards the registration of the diffuse emission of CO2 by the volcano of El Hierro since last July 21 runs from 331 + – 16 to 1044 + – 31 tonnes per day. Thus, following the work of diffuse emission carbon dioxide made ​​by the group El Hierro volcanological ITER since 1997, non-tip has now been established that the average value of the diffuse emission of CO2 by the volcano of El Hierro is 340 tons per day, with a range of normal values ​​ranging from 140 to 885 tons per day. Prior to the submarine eruption occurred southwest of La Restinga diffuse emission rate of carbon dioxide exceeded the range of values ​​considered normal, registering a 990 + – 49 tons per day the Last October 6, 2011. In addition to the permanent network of non-tip instrumental geochemistry for volcanic surveillance of El Hierro, it also does this kind of scientific periodicals in the volcanic system of El Hierro for additional information and may not be complementary through permanent instrumental networks operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This kind of scientific aims to evaluate the diffuse emission rate of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by the volcanic system of El Hierro and their pattern space. As to the reasons for such campaigns to realize the importance of living the CO2 has to volcano monitoring programs since “is the second major component” of volcanic gases after water vapor, as well as its “low solubility” in silicate melts – magma – making this gas to escape with their ease of volcanic systems in depth. The Directorate of Civil Protection Special Plan and Emergency Response to Volcanic Risk in the region of Canary Islands (PEVOLCA) has indicated that the diffuse emission of CO2 “is one of the parameters of a volcanic eruption precursors but has to be assessed jointly with others, such as deformation and seismicity depth.” In this regard, it is recalled the eruptive process underway in the south of the island, gas emissions generated at the surface. Finally, from Pevolca reiterated that the current position of the light red volcanic La Restinga and yellow for the rest of the island, the population of the island should focus on the messages offered by the competent authorities which assists the Scientific Committee of Pevolca. The Plan has set the devices and means to cope with a change in the current situation with the media, at the right time, precise instructions for the population. ECOticias.com – ep


  21. luisport says:

    Picture taken a few minutes ago in the area of eruption, which can be seen bubbling. Photo: Gelmert Finol / http://www.diarioelhierro.es on the evacuation, it is currently voluntary.


  22. luisport says:


    “”As hours passed, it appears that the seismic activity on the island of El Hierro booming again. In this regard, the Directorate General of Civil Defense and Emergencies of the Ministry of Interior has warned the State Committee for Coordination of Volcanic Risk, which follows the evolution of the seismic situation in the island. It seems that a new eruption could be a matter of a short amount of time. Without going any further, a little over 24 hours to two earthquakes of considerable magnitude (4.4 and 4.3 on the Richter scale) have shaken the place. The activity is now concentrated in the north of the island, unlike the first eruption was the south of El Hierro as the main protagonist. According to scientists, a significant amount of magma would be looking for a solution to the surface. “We believe what is happening in northern intrusion of magma, an episode similar to what happened in La Restinga, but with much larger magnitudes,” he told LaVanguardia.com responsible for the scientific dissemination volcanological Institute of the Canaries ( non-tip), David Calvo.
    “By releasing energy that we are seeing could be a rash of more entity. We are seeing a large supply of energy and that can translate into an episode of greater strength. This, however, does not necessarily imply that more explosive . But more entity, simply, “he adds. Interestingly, both situations (which is now living in northern and El Hierro and lived, and still continues in La Restinga) could be connected. “The two earthquakes on Wednesday that they have done is to change the pressure conditions within the system, and that today has come back bubbling in La Restinga and the tremor was again felt in this area. Very likely Both the north and the anomaly in the south have some sort of deep connection. The building would be doing screen island between the two, “says Calvo. “””” end of quote.


  23. luisport says:

    Scientists believe that there could be three eruptive mouths in El Hierro the bubbling in the area of the eruption takes again “show”, according to witnesses dyes
    2 minutes ago · Like · 1 · Original


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