El Heirro Update – Activity is Increasing! Stay Alert!


Activity over the last 48 hours has increased significantly both in frequency and intensity of earthquakes.  The FARO data is also suggesting increased deformation.  Please pay close attention East Coasters. Here is a recap diary of the most recent activity.

el Heirro3_29_13

2013-03-29 16:16 UTC
– A very powerful earthquake has been reported from El Hierro so far.
– People at the island told Julio that this felt as being the strongest so far
– Rockfall has been reported in different places.

2013-03-29 13:11 UTC
Pevolca has met and says in essence what we have been telling all day.
– As seismicity is still at a safe distance from the coast (what is safe ?) no other protective measures should be taken (see earlier Pevolca report for the initial measures below).
– Pevolca also confirms that the seismic activity is moving the the South-West. ER would call it South
– The strong earthquakes are continuing at a high frequency at the time of writing

2013-03-29 11:17 UTC

Impressive seismic activity
– The released energy since the start of this crisis has surpassed the total energy released during the initial eruptive crisis in 2011
– So far today (11 hours) we have counted 51 M3+ earthquakes
– 8 M4+ earthquake – 4 of which have been felt by the people (in fact everything has been felt, but people do not report it anymore). The strongest ones have also been felt at the neighboring islands like La Palma
– Remember the words of local seismologists/volcanologists shortly after the start of this crisis “this crisis will not last long as the feeding source does not have enough energy”. This remark is not meant to be offensive to those scientists, only that we have to be humble when we talk about the unknown aspects of nature.

elheirroseismic3_29

 

2013-03-29 11:00 UTC
– Relatively calm period at this moment
– The seabed depth of the current seismic activity is +2000 meter (+6000 ft) = safe + weakening the shaking impact

2013-03-29 09:42 UTC
– The strong M4.6 earthquake had his epicenter at approx. 6 km out of the coast (thats closer than previous strong earthquakes).
– Hypocenters show a tendency to become shallower again (17 km), with a few shallower ones.
– The seismic active area is still below a relatively flat seabed but the distance to the submarine volcanic hills is gradually decreasing.

2013-03-29 09:07 UTC
– Strong events are following each other up at a high rate today.

elheirroseisgraph3_29

2013-03-29 08:58 UTC
– The volcano does not give up so far. He continues to shake the greater epicenter area and some of these quakes can even be felt at other islands.
– 64 earthquakes listed by IGN so far (they only list the stronger ones now – the real number today must run already into the hundreds)
– Strongest earthquake so far today : M4.3 (initially quoted as M4.6)
– The hypocenters are again in the 20 km layer (like the crisis in mid-2012)
– Deformation is further increasing. The images below are from the Lighthouse GPS station (also western part of the island)
– Epicenters are a little more to the south today, which may explain the deeper hypocenters. Still far enough out of the coast to weaken the earthquake impact on the island. Red bullets are very shallow earthquakes. The red bullet in the Las Calmas sea is erroneous BUT we take special interest in the 2 shallow earthquakes below the South-Western coast of the island. They have been calculated at M2.0 and M2.2, strange … As these quakes are far away from the seismic area it looks to us that these are earthquakes which have been triggered by the deformation of the island. IGN (with a lot more data) will certainly know what is exactly was.
– The strong action is still continuing.

We will update as warranted.

 

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2 thoughts on “El Heirro Update – Activity is Increasing! Stay Alert!”

  1. Meanwhile, it appears that an Iraqi dinar RV is imminent. Really, for sure.
    Tonight, or maybe tomorrow morning. Afternoon at the latest. I think.

    Have there been any earthquakes in the vicinity over 6.5?
    Why all the fuss over magnitude 4, or even 5.
    There’s a number of places in the world currently that have those levels with regularity. Without cataclysmic consequences.

    1. Answering your questions in order. 1. No quakes in the 5 or 6 range. The fuss is about the FARO data which is indicating significant lava movement and deformation on the west face. The real danger of El Heirro is two-fold. First, it has already historically created huge tsunamis which have inundated the east coast of the US and secondly, If a tsunami were generated now from the escarpment collapsing during an event, it would send 100+ foot tsunami directly to east coast within 8 hours. If that event were to occur say midnite NYC time, there would be very little time to react. This is the second “ramp-up” event this year, but now as with the first event things seem to be subsiding and the seismic activity has moved out into ocean away from LaPalma. There is continuing activity and given the recent deformation, this situation requires close scrutiny.

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