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» »Unlabelled » El Hierro Volcano (Canary Islands) : Red alert – Impressive Pictures and Video of the eruptive locations

El Hierro Volcano (Canary Islands) : Red alert – Impressive Pictures and Video of the eruptive locations

Last update: November 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm by By

Read also : Scientific paper reveals massive historic Tenerife volcano flank collapse

This is Part 7 of the El Hierro Volcano eruption report

Update 04/11 – 15:56 UTC :

The volcano remains very active. Harmonic tremor is still very strong with regular bursts of activity.

Graph of harmonic tremor as registered on November 4 - image courtesy IGN

Update 04/11 – 15:23 UTC :

Another important detail from the picture series published by the government this morning. Hot eruptive material.

Image courtesy IGN - Presidencia del Gobierno de Canarias - CSIC - Minesterio de Fomento España

Very important update 04/11 – 14:32 UTC :

New images and video published by the Canary Islands Government are showing a long range of Jacuzzi’s, by far the strongest eruptions so far. These images are showing why Joke Volta was excited to report on it.

Clicking on the image will link to the Flickr webpage of the Presidencia del Gobierno de Canarias. The set of pictures shows a lot of eruptive details.

YouTube Direkt

Image courtesy Presidencia del Gobierno de Canarias - Click on the picture to see all the other pictures taken today

Update 04/11 – 13:55 UTC :

Scientists of IGN who could overfly the area this morning are now convinced that they have lined up the different eruptive submarine vents. It looks more and more that Las Calmas sea eruptions are fissure like vents opening up at different places.

Very Important Update 04/11 – 13:37 UTC :

Joke Volta reports from La Restinga :

– we just went from El Pinar to La Restinga

– a very sulfurous ‘rotten egg’ odor was noticed on parts of the road

– the viewpoint towards the Las Calmas sea is showing multiple Jacuzzi spots close to the island

– Joke took some pictures, but she is not sure whether it can be see on the pictures (she works with a cheap camera)

she is now heading back to El Pinar and will send the images shortly

- she also told us that she believes the jacuzzi to be closer to La Restinga than last week

Update 04/11 – 12:24 UTC :

Joke Volta webcam report :

- Good webcam news from El Golfo. Mr. Atilano living in Frontera will direct his webcam to El Golfo this afternoon. Mr. Atilano is a geologist and has also a seat in the El Hierro council. He is monitoring closely the deformation and gases of the Taganasoga mountain / hill, as many are seeing this area as a weak point on the island.

- The Human Webcam of La Restinga is having a chat at El Pinar and did not left the island. Yesterday afternoon she packed her belongings and wanted to fly to the mainland.

- The Tourist service of El Pinar wants to help with the installment of such a a webcam with a view to Las Calmas. They have already a spot with internet connection who would suit the purpose. Only they have no money themselves to buy the equipment. Such a decision takes time (and not only in Spain)

Update 04/11 – 11:19 UTC :

Pevolca will call a meeting in La Restinga at 18:00 local time to inform the villagers about all current activity.

Update 04/11 – 11:09 UTC :

This El Hierro page has just broken the “shares” record of Van, Turkey had the former record at 41,900 shares (sadly enough). El Hierro has now been shared 42,000 times (see above). The volunteers behind are thanking our many readers for their interest in our planet earth.

Update 04/11 – 10:51 UTC :

An helicopter is currently flying above La Restinga and the Las Calmas Sea. Let us hope that he is shooting images and video.

Update 04/11 – 10:45 UTC :

We have assembled both the image of October 26 and October 29 to highlight the differences.

Images courtesy and copyright

New October 31 RapidEye satellite picture

What do we see new on this partly too cloudy image.

- the light green stains are far bigger than seen previously as dark green stains on the Guardia Civil pictures (the dark green stains on the RapidEye pictures are shadows of the clouds).

- the grey muddy eruption vent activity was not seen anymore on October 31 (Raymond looks to be wrong here as he stated that the venting continued all the way) OR the grey muddy stain is still present but is hided by the clouds to the south of La Restinga.

- It looks like there is a second eruptive vent at the lower end of the picture (very light concentrated stain). If one carefully looks at the second spot, one can see a light greyish muddy color OR this is the swirl current along an existing seamount as others said it.

- that the current to the right of La Restinga blocks the stain from being spreading to La Estaca

- a big mystery is the coloring in the El Golfo bay. was this coloring created by the sea currents or by new activity

- the dark green patches can also be seen in the El Golfo area (see comment about colors above)! Some people believe that the October 31 coloring at El Golfo are the remainders of the interconnected stain seen on the October 26 RapidEye images, which have been separated by the sea current thereafter.

- why not asking IGN or CSIC scientists to explain what we see on the images, which we repeat, are far better than anything else we have seen so far.

The images have not been ordered by the Spanish state or anybody else, but are an initiative of RapidEye themselves. The least Spanish scientists can do, is sending a “thank You” message to the RapidEye management.

Click on the picture to see the full image

HD-RapidEye satellite image taken on October 31 2011 - courtesy and copyright

Overview Update 04/11 – 08:31 UTC :

- 16 + M1.5 earthquakes since midnight, 15 were greater than 2 and 10 were greater than 2.5.

- based on the data above, it looks that the seismic activity will further increase today. We expect that we will have multiple +3 quakes during the rest of the day.

- we are not sure at all, but it looks that the new Jacuzzi location is different from the October 10 one. If this would be true then the place of the current eruption will have another depth. We hope that the scientists will publish a report with the exact location parameters and/or depth of the new vent (if new) – so far we haven’t seen them

- Joke barometer says “all quiet” in the village – if someting new did happen, she sees it immediately as people behave more nervous and start discussing the subject

Update 03/11 – 23:45 UTC :

Earthquakes are getting stronger again. Just recently at 23:06 a quake at 22 km depth measuring M 3.2 occurred NW of Frontera (the first one today above 3).

Update 03/11 – 22:53 UTC :

The pictures below are courtesy of the Presidencia del Gobierno de Canarias

These pictures have been taken out of a helicopter and are showing the November 3 jacuzzi (burbuja in Spanish). No green stain today but the grey muddy color is present. It looks to us that the new spot is at a bigger distance from the coast.

Click on the pictures to see them at full size – images courtesy Presidencia del Gobierno de Canarias

Update 03/11 – 22:50 UTC :

We have been telling our readers a couple of times about a very interesting volcano discussion forum at One of the people commenting on what is happening is Peter Cobbold. As nobody knows exactly what is going on below the volcano or in the Las Calmas sea, we are all searching for the probable truth. Let’s give Peter a chance to unfold his jacuzzi theory.

Scientists are doing a difficult job and have not had the best equipment. At the start of the jacuzzi they only had one site recording tremor ( CHIE) so could not locate its source. Now with the additional stations – the ones where we are denied access- thay have an ability to locate the tremor source approximately, even in depth. From the brief view we had of the data from those other stations it was clear that the tremor was strongest in the south, and is probably not associated with the deep earthquakes under el Golfo.

The frequencies that dominate the tremor on CHIE are around 1 to 5Hz as we can see from the yellow and red bands on the plot:

These frequencies are typical of hydrothermal tremor

( Review on tremor here: – section 4.3.)

So I see the jacuzzi being a conduit of km scale that that fills with sea water which then boils and erupts periodically under steam pressure to cause the bursts of amplitude on the CHIE plot. The photos of the grey stain show a well defined periphery as if a jet of water has been pushed up in a geyser-like fashion, whereas a jet of gas would I think have a more diffuse, and bubbling, appearance. A few weeks back the jacuzzi was described as pulsing every 15 minutes. It would be useful to know if the gray stain expands periodically now, perhaps in time with the CHIE pulses.

I offer these thoughts as an amateur.


Southern El Hierro coast and the El Julan range - image courtesy

Update 03/11 – 20:44 UTC :

Pevolca has decided not to change their opinion. No evacuation will be organized and they stress that there is NO risk for the population at the moment (source Diario El Hierro).

Update 03/11 – 19:30 UTC :

Raymond Matabosch, the French volcano follower (see separate article) told us that he will spend the night in a tent at the El Julan heights, which have a great view on the Las Calmas sea. Raymond is convinced that, if the current harmonic tremor /seismic activity continues, a Surtseyan eruption will occur within the next few hours or days, and he does not want to miss such an event.

- 96 species of fish have been affected by the eruption. There are no signs of any marine life within a radius of 1.5 km from the eruptive mouth. In an extended radius of 3 miles, there is almost no marine life perceivable until a depth of 200 meter. Below 700 meter depth and further than 1.5 mile from the eruption vent, marine life is not affected anymore. The results have been reported by Marine professor Alberto Brito from the University of La Laguna, Canary Islands.

- The people responsible for the webcam at El Golfo ( (the one directed to the mountains) have reacted on our request to change direction in El Golfo and to install another one towards the Las Calmas sea. The owner of the webcams is a Canary Island professor of geography and history who was born in La Frontera. He wrote :

* In two days will have a camera to the sea of El Golfo.

* I will try to put camera in Las Calmas but is very difficult.

- 30 earthquakes today were greater than M 1.5, a lot less than yesterday

Data update 03/11 – 19:20

- Harmonic tremor continues to be very strong and indicates that the eruptive process increases again.

- The quakes became weaker when the harmonic tremor strengthened. This also happened with the first Jacuzzi or burbuja episode.

- Pevolca is still together discussing the present situation

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