Friday, December 3

The magma begins to show signs of exhaustion in the volcano of La Palma


Scientists who closely follow the evolution of the volcanic eruption on La Palma appreciate “signs of exhaustion of the magma contributions at greater depth” and that the lava that is emerging at the moment has a more superficial origin.

The air is once again “extremely unfavorable” in five municipalities of La Palma

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The spokeswoman for the scientific committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), Carmen López, explained that all the observable data (chemical composition of the plume, seismicity and deformation of the ground) indicate that the feedback system “is loosening” and reservoirs “are getting smaller.” He pointed out that “all the observables agree that the deepest part” of that system that feeds the volcano “is being less active and has less capacity to nourish magma, to feed the eruption for a longer time.”

One of these signs is the downward trend in the carbon / sulfur ratio of the plume, the last measurement of which shows a sulfur dioxide (SO2) rate of between 16,600 and 23,100 tons per day.

The others are a “low” seismicity and volcanic tremor signal, as well as a downward trend in ground deformation.

In spite of everything, Carmen López has indicated that “we have to wait a while” for these stability parameters to become a trend and suggest that the end of the eruption is closer.

He recalled that a few days ago there was a deformation of the ground near the eruptive foci, as well as intense earthquakes that invite you to “be cautious.”

Air quality

Francisco Prieto, support technician of the Pevolca Directorate, stressed that the main problem that has occurred in recent days has been with PM10 particles, especially in the Los Llanos area, where “extremely unfavorable” levels were reached yesterday. Hence, it has been decided to maintain the suspension of face-to-face classes in the municipalities of El Paso, Los Llanos, Tijarafe and Puntagorda.

He stressed that there has also been an increase in sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels this morning, which has forced the Pevolca management to issue a statement as the situation of the quality of the gas rises to “very unfavorable” levels. air in the municipal term of Puntagorda.

On the other hand, the number of people housed in hotel centers remains at 467. Of these, 400 are staying at the Fuencaliente hotel and 67 in Los Llanos de Aridane. In addition, there are 43 dependent people treated in insular health centers and there is no one in the Fort.

The area affected by the eruption has slightly increased by 1.41 hectares and is estimated to affect a total of 984.85 hectares. The maximum width between the end points of the castings is maintained at 3,100 meters. The buildings destroyed or damaged, according to the data provided by the Cadastre, are estimated at 1,452 buildings, of which 1,177 are for residential use, 147 for agriculture, 67 for industrial use, 33 for leisure and hospitality, 13 for public use and 15 for other uses.

Regarding the lava flows, they continue to pass through the central sector and go west over previous flows without invading a new surface. Virtually all the flow is flowing to the original run and a little to run 5. The rest of the runs remain stable.

The height of the ash scattering cloud today reaches 2,500 meters and is heading towards the southwest. In relation to the meteorological forecasts, on the surface the northeast wind will continue to blow with strong gusts that can reach 60-70 km / h, mainly in areas of the summit and midlands.

Airport operability

The sulfur dioxide (SO2) plume is disposed to the west-southwest and is expected to continue in its current position. This provision represents a favorable scenario for aeronautical operations and no significant changes in weather conditions are expected in the coming days, Pevolca explained this Monday.

The seismicity remains low compared to the previous weeks and the earthquakes continue to be located in the same areas, at depths between 10 and 15 kilometers and at depths greater than 20. The maximum magnitude has been that of a 4.6 earthquake that occurred this Sunday at 17.07 hours, at a depth of 37 kilometers, which has been felt with a maximum intensity of IV. The tremor in the last 24 hours has remained at low levels.

The station closest to the eruptive center continues to show deformations that reflect the dynamics of the eruptive process and the rest of the stations show a trend towards regional deflation.

Regarding the emissions of SO2 associated with the volcanic plume, during Sunday they continued to be high, registering a value that ranges between 16,600 and 23,100 tons per day; the temporal evolution reflects a downward trend measured by satellite methods since last September 23. The temporal evolution of the chemical composition of the volcanic plume also reflects a downward trend in the carbon-sulfur ratio, indicating that the magmatic contribution has a more superficial origin. In the case of the diffuse emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with the volcanic building of Cumbre Vieja, it reflects an upward trend since last October 22, explains Pevolca.

Regarding air quality, levels are between “reasonably good” and “fair” at the Puntagorda station, with average levels exceeding the daily limit. Also in Puntagorda, this exceedance has exceeded the hourly alert threshold between 06.00 and 10.00 and the values ​​currently remain above this threshold.

PM10 particles are “extremely unfavorable” in Los Llanos and the 24-hour moving average is at “extremely unfavorable” levels, reflecting the daily incidence of eruptive dynamics and winds. In the rest of the stations, the air quality levels are “good” or “reasonably good”.



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