Thursday, October 28

The La Palma volcano reactivates after two hours of calm

The La Palma volcano was paralyzed for two hours this Monday, ceasing to emit magma and ash abroad. Likewise, the tremor fell significantly, until it was imperceptible, as can be seen in the graphs of the National Geographic Institute (IGN). Now, the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) has announced that the emissions are reactivated and the expulsion of lava in the main cone is confirmed.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano will have peaks and valleys of intensity difficult to predict “accurately”

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At the same time, seismic activity has been reactivated on Monday morning and has moved south, with 16 earthquakes located in the northern area of ​​Fuencaliente, according to the IGN, episodes that coincide with the apparent stoppage of the volcano, which it has temporarily stopped emitting lava, smoke and ash.

The most intense earthquake was located at 06.05 hours and at a depth of 10 kilometers, and in general, all are above magnitude 2 and at depths ranging between 9 and 13 kilometers.

The volcano enters a new phase

The Geological Mining Institute of Spain (IGME) has confirmed that the new La Palma volcano has entered a resting phase and that the question is to be able to predict whether it will continue or if, on the contrary, it will return to an eruptive phase in the short term.

It was the Geological Response Unit for Emergencies of the IGME which verified this morning that the volcano suddenly released “a kind of rattle”, which between 03.30 and 04.15 hours (Canary time) increasingly spaced its roars, which were less intense , and that around 07.00 hours he barely spit out small streams of ash.

This was also detailed by Raúl Pérez, coordinator of this team who was at the foot of the volcano last night, monitoring its activity. Pérez has assured that the volcano “has not been extinguished”, but has entered “a phase of rest. It is normal.”

Asked about the possibility that it has become clogged, he has indicated that it is “unlikely” that this phase of relative calm ends with a large explosion, because for this there would have to be an interaction with large bodies of water or a “bottle-like effect. of champagne “by the plugging of the crater by a collapse of the cone that they have not observed.

Another thing, he admitted, is that there may be a deep displacement of the magma, either laterally or if it is accumulating in the first chamber of the volcano.

“We are probably in a deep phase” of the eruptive process, he has slipped.

According to Involcan, the volcanic tremor is related to the intensity of the strombolian explosive activity of the volcano. The technical director of the Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende, made this Saturday an appeal to the palmists and public opinion to remain calm with the evolution of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. “We are facing a fissure volcanic event of a strombolian nature, which means that the different emission centers that follow one another do so along a fissure, in this case in a northwest-southeast direction, in which a series of emission centers that can be turned off and new ones appear or even those already turned off reappear, “he said during the press conference after the meeting of the Pevolca Steering Committee.

But why does the explosive intensity change? “If the amount of gases varies, if the characteristics of the magma change, its temperature changes, its viscosity changes, or if any of its parameters change, then inside the chimney the explosions can be more or less violent and what comes out in the air it is more or less amount of ash, “explained María José Huertas, a petrologist from the Department of Petrology and Geochemistry of the Faculty of Geological Sciences of the Complutense University of Madrid.

The expert also insisted that “it is very difficult to know” how long a more explosive phase can last or when volcanic activity will cease. To make a calculation, only the records are useful, which indicate that the volcano could continue expelling lava between 24 and 84 days. “At any moment a new course of cooler magma can come that fills the chamber and that feeds itself and a more explosive cycle takes place again, as if we were going back to the starting box,” added Huertas.

As for the most explosive phases of the volcano, Huertas commented that it may be due to the lava having encountered an obstacle, to contact with gases or to run into water. According to Barrera, the white clouds indicate that the magma came into contact with the water. “It is a very alive process. For an hour everything may be changing continuously. It is a very dynamic thing. That the gases change, that a piece of rock falls or I do not want to tell you anything if it meets water on top [como en Islandia]”, completed Huertas.

The volcano will be inactive when the conduit through which the eruptive column with the ash and the fire sources is currently emerging is clogged. “The conduit at the moment, so to speak, is empty because the lava is coming out, when what remains inside ceases it will end up cooling and consolidating.” Knowing when this will occur is still unknown.