This website is no longer updated

This website has been closed and is now depending deletion in next few months. Due to lack of traffic and geological activity in Canary Islands when this website was created.

For those interested in geology I have other website that covers activity in Iceland and it can be found here.

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Magnitude 3,3 earthquake off the coast of El Hierro volcano

Today (17-April-2014) at 02:28 UTC an earthquake with the magnitude of 3,3 took place off the coast of El Hierro volcano. Only two minor aftershocks have followed this earthquake.

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Regional view of the earthquake off the coast of El Hierro volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to EMSC.

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Local view of the earthquake off the coast of El Hierro volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to EMSC.

More details about this earthquake can be found on EMSC website and on IGN website. It is impossible to know if more earthquakes are going to take place following this magnitude 3,3 earthquake.

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Magnitude 3,5 earthquake off the coast of La Palma

Today (10-Feburary-2014) at 05:56 UTC a magnitude 3,5 earthquake (automatic magnitude, EMSC link) took place off the coast of La Palma. The depth of this earthquake was registered at 40 km. That might be a false depth since this is based on automatic data. No aftershocks have taken place so far following this earthquake. The ocean crust in this area is just around 10 km thick, the crust on the islands is around 10 to 30 km thick I think.

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Regional view of the earthquake in Canary Islands. Copyright of this image belongs to EMSC.

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Local view of this earthquake in Canary Islands. Copyright of this image belongs to EMSC.

This does not look appear to be magma related earthquake at this point. This appears to be normal tectonic earthquake that take place in Canary Islands regularly due to tension changes in the ocean crust over long period of time.

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Moderate earthquake in El Hierro volcano

Today (27-December-2013) at 17:46 UTC an magnitude 5,1 to 5,5 earthquake took place in El Hierro volcano. The earthquake appears to have taken place out in the ocean. But it did anyway create minor land slides in El Hierro island and move other loose rocks in hills on the island and in rock belts on the island. I don’t know of any damage at the moment.

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The earthquake in El Hierro volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to IGN.

Aftershock activity has taken place, with the largest aftershock having the magnitude of 2,7 (automatic results). I am not sure about any more aftershock activity at the moment. There is no sign of any volcano activity at the moment, but that might change in next few hours if this earthquake is a sign of volcano activity. At the moment however that does not seems to be the case. If any eruption is to take place, it would take place deep out in the ocean and not create any harm to anyone (maybe fish). This earthquake seems to have taken place due to stress changes in the area following magma injection into El Hierro volcano.

There is a risk of more earthquakes in the magnitude range of 3,0 to 5,5 in the next few hours to days in El Hierro volcano following this earthquake as stress is adjusted in the crust following this earthquake.

It is important that there are at current time no signs of any volcano activity in El Hierro volcano. That might change (this is a volcano), but for now there is no eruption taking place.

I am going to post more information in a new blog post about the activity in El Hierro volcano as I learn more.

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Earthquake swarm in El Hierro volcano

Yesterday (22-Desember-2013) an earthquake swarm started in El Hierro volcano. This swarm started at 10:51 UTC with a magnitude 2,8 earthquake (EMSC information) at 17 km depth. It was followed by magnitude 3,2 earthquake at 16 km depth (EMSC information).

This earthquake activity is now at new location on the El Hierro Island. The location is on the south-east part of it where little to none earthquake activity has taken place in the past. What has changed is impossible to know at this point. The area in question does not have many old crates as other parts of the El Hierro Island. A town is on the edge of current activity, the risk is that it is the earthquake activity moves beneath the town. There is also a chance that this earthquake activity might move away from it, at current time there is no good way to know what is going to happen. Isolated farms are now directly above the main earthquake swarm or close to it.

View of the area in question on Google Maps.


Vis stort kort

There is a current risk of rock slides in this area due to the earthquake activity. This applies specially if the earthquakes starts to get over magnitude of 3,5 and larger.

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The earthquake activity in El Hierro volcano for the past hours. Copyright of this image belongs to IGN.

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The earthquake activity in El Hierro volcano for the past 15 days. Copyright of this image belongs to IGN.

It is impossible to know for sure what happens. But for long as the activity remains deep in the ground (10+ km) the risk of eruption is minimal. If the magma however finds a pathway to the surface such event might happen without much warning, but there is a chance of some earthquake activity before it would happen I hope.

As it looks now it does appear that new magma injection has started in El Hierro volcano at present time. It is impossible to know for how long and how large this magma injection is going to be. The best thing that can be done at present time is to monitor the current situation for changes and watch the earthquake activity that is currently taking place. The IGN Geological office has a website dedicated to this earthquake activity in El Hierro, it can be viewed here.

I am going to post updates on this when I can. With Christmas coming it might not be so easy. There is also a bad storm going to take place in Iceland over the Christmas and I might loose my internet connection for that reason.

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Update on El Hierro volcano activity

This is a update on the activity in El Hierro volcano in Canary Islands. Activity continues in El Hierro volcano as it has been doing for a while now. But at lower levels, the largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 3,3 and depth of 11 km. There is no sign of magma movement as is or that an eruption is imminent on the island. But that might change without notice.

Currently the activity in El Hierro volcano is based on magma that has been collecting into sills since the year 2011 when it started. Only one minor eruption have taken place in El Hierro volcano since then. The magma however remains inside the volcano, but has so far not yet erupted. It appears, based on the deep earthquake that are currently taking place in El Hierro volcano that magma continues to flow into the volcano, but at a lot slower or reduced rate.

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Earthquake activity in El Hierro volcano for the past two weeks. Copyright of this image belongs to IGN.

While it is impossible to know when an eruption is going to take place in El Hierro volcano, I am convinced it is going to do so from the past magma injections (since the year 2011) into the volcano. But the wait for an eruption might be a long one, even several decades at the most. I am going to continue to monitor the activity in El Hierro volcano, at the moment however it remains low and there is not a lot of other interesting activity taking place in other Canary Islands. So it might be a while between new post here with new information on what is happening.

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Coverage of Canary Islands moved back to this blog

I have moved coverage of Canary Islands back to this blog from my Europe geology blog. This allows me to provide better coverage of events in Canary Islands. Updates on this blog are going to be posted on Europe geology blog [Facebook.com] Facebook page. Since I do not want to create special Facebook page just for this blog, doing so is not productive in my view.

Canary Islands only have minor to middle range activity in both earthquakes and eruptions with long period of quiet. So I do not expect a lot of blog post to be written here. I am however going to provide updates when anything of interest happens in Canary Islands.

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Coverage has been moved

Please note that all future events are going to be covered here on Europe geology blog. I have closed down this blog and its coverage has been merged with Europe geology blog.

Please update your bookmarks. Thanks!

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Canary Island geology blog to be merged with Europe geology blog

As can be seen on this blog. Not a lot happens in Canary Islands volcanoes for a long period of time. For this reason I am going to merge my coverage of Canary Islands with Europe geology blog. I do not think that I can carry the blog posts over to the Europe geology blog. That is mostly technical reasons for that. But I hold all the data on earlier activity in Canary Islands so I can always use that data again if I need to.

The merger is going to take place on March 15th. After that this blog is not going to be updated any more. A static web page is going to be setup for this blog on 22nd March.

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New years earthquake swarm in El Hierro volcano

During the new year an earthquake swarm did take place in El Hierro volcano. This earthquake swarm is directly connected to the magma that has been collecting under El Hierro volcano for the past few months. No other activity was reported following this earthquake swarm. This earthquake swarm was small. Only around 50 or so earthquakes in total where recorded. None was above magnitude 3.0 (best to my knowledge).


The earthquake swarm in El Hierro volcano. This shows the earthquake activity for the past 15 days so some of earthquakes appear on this image (to the north-east). Copyright of this image belongs to IGN.


Earthquake activity in El Hierro volcano since the year 2011 to 2013 (16. January 2013). The earthquake swarm appears clearly on this image (to the north-east part of the El Hierro volcano). Older earthquakes clearly show magma activity in El Hierro volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to IGN.

Currently it does not look like there is going to be a new eruption any time soon in El Hierro volcano. But that might change without warning at any time. There seems to be good amount of magma now in El Hierro volcano. If that is going to erupt all, or in part is impossible to say at this moment. It might also not erupt at all. As it sometimes happens that volcanoes have magma injections that don’t erupt at all. That is all normal for volcanoes to do so on regular basics over its active period of several million years.

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