The volcanic vent affectionately known as Bob, a part of the Tanganasoga Volcano, south of El Hierro has resumed its eruption. Many people have declared it dead, Pevolca, IGN and Nemesio Perez has together declared the volcano dead more than 20 times. Declaring an active volcano to be dead seems like a rather futile endeavor. Something the learned gentle-persons should have learned by now.
Yesterday reports started to come in that there was a visible disturbance in the waters south of La Restinga (El Hierro). About the same time there was a marked uptick in earthquake strength and number. The Earthquakes are deep, mainly between 15 and 25 kilometers in depth. The distribution of the earthquakes is well spread, this points towards it being a non-localized event, probably a shock-result as new magma arriving from the depth hits the underside of the crust.
This is probably confirmed by the return of the 0.59Hz harmonic tremor visible at the CCAN and EOSO (Gran Canaria) SIL-station.
Today there have been reports at various sites (AVCAN among them) that there is now a visible stain, something that requires an ongoing eruptive process. Also, there is a photograph published at Earthquake Report showing a side scan SONAR image of the ongoing eruption.
The image is very well defined, a sign of a large amount of coarser ashes and solids being suspended, and ejected upwards in the water. Light ashes and gases are less well defined than shown on the image. To the right one can see a spot where material is falling back onto the sea-floor. This is where the heavier aggregate looses buoyancy and gets separated from the lighter material.
I have written many times that as long as the eruption continues at Bob there is not any great risk for the island and its inhabitants. This is due to Bob functioning as a pressure release valve stopping pressure to build up enough for a catastrophic failure in the volcano proper’s overburden (the volcanic edifice of Tanganasoga).
The current spot of eruption is the original cone that started the eruption, not the later vent up on the ridge (a bit further to the right than the image shows). Last figure set the vent at 120 meters depth. The reason for it being lower now is that it is constructed mainly out of loose material (pillow-lava and tephra) that has both compacted due to its own weight, and been reduced in volume by the local currents in the water.
There is currently no indication that this new eruptive phase will stop any time soon since the earthquake activity is continuing to increase in frequency and strength.
Sadly due to the supression of GPS data by Involcan and its managing director Nemesio Perez there is no GPS data whatsoever that can be published. Due to this censorship we can not say anything about how and if the volcano is inflating. I find this behaviour despicable and dangerous for the residents of El Hierro. I would also state that it is sad that the webcams are now gone as a result of Alpidio Armas machinations.