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El Hierro Island Experiencing Intense Seismicity, Inflation

Posted by feww on March 31, 2013

El Hierro moving east, experiencing uplift amid intense seismic activity

Intense seismicity and inflation at El Hierro suggest magma is intruding underneath the tiny volcanic island, the smallest of Canary Islands, located  in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa (population ~ 10,000).

  • Sharp increase in seismic activity in and around the tiny island (Area: ~ 278 km2) began on March 18, with the largest quake measuring 4.7 on Richter scale, which occurred on Friday.
  • The majority of tremors are occurring at a depth of between 12 and 15 km.
  • The latest geological activities have caused the island to move east and forced the ground to rise by 11 cm at Punta de Orchilla on the western tip of the island.

Map of El Hierro with recent quake epicenters

Recent quakes at El Hierro
Image Credit: AVCAN. AVCAN.ORG was developed by Victor Tapia. Original idea, administration and all rights by Fernando Raja

Recent Seismicity at El Hierro
Histogram of the recent earthquakes at El Hierro 18 -31 March, 2013. Note sharp increase in seismic activity since March 18, 2013. Image credit: AVCAN.

El Hierro - latest quakes
Latest Earthquake at El Hierro. Image credit: AVCAN.

Global Volcano Watch (Source: AVO; HVO; GVP)

New Activity/Unrest:

  • Fuego, Guatemala (Lava fountains rising to 400 m above the crater reported on 20 March, causing 1.5 km long lava stream in the Ceniza drainage).
  • Hekla, Southern Iceland
  • Tungurahua, Ecuador

Ongoing Activity:

U.S. Volcanoes

  • Kilauea, Hawaii  (Hawaii) – Code ORANGE – WATCH
  • Cleveland Volcano (Alaska) – Code YELLOW – ADVISORY

Kamchatka Peninsula

  • Gorely – Code YELLOW
  • Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) – Code ORANGE
  • Kizimen, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) –  Code ORANGE
  • Tolbachik, Central Kamchatka (Russia)  Code ORANGE
  • Bezymianny – Code YELLOW
  • Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) – Code ORANGE

Indonesia

  • Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia)
  • Lokon-Empung, Sulawesi
  • Paluweh, Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesia)

Kurile Islands

  • Snow – Code YELLOW
  • Ivan Grozny – Code YELLOW

Other Volcanoes

  • Bagana, Bougainville (PNG)
  • Popocatépetl, México
  • Sakura-jima, Kyushu (Japan)
  • Santa María, Guatemala

Total: 21 volcanoes

Recent Volcano News

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