Keeping a close eye on El Hierro and NtV Riddle

The situation in El Hierro is interesting but it is unlikely an eruption is already taking place because there are no reports of stains so far. We here on Volcanocafe have a soft spot for this island because the action there in autumn/winter 2011 was one big reason why this blog came into existence at all. So here is the newest information I could assemble today.



Map of the stations at El Hierro

Map of the stations at El Hierro

Sites were you can get information:

Earthqake Report has a nice summary of the 2011 eruption. Reading this might bring back some memories.

Early february 2013 Involcano reported that there had been more vents to the west of the island. M Betzwieser reported.

Involcan admitted 5 more vents.

Involcan admitted 5 more vents.

I personally do not think an eruption is imminent because it took month of earthquakes till “Bob” became visible and watchable on the cams last year. But something is definitely going on and the information is by far not as good as in other countries like Iceland. Last year, while we all watched the spot of the shore of La Restina there was also an eruption of the west point of the island and if you watch the pattern of earthquakes it seems likely to me that something could go into action there again. But this is only a personal speculation.


Islander noticed the graphs have been downscaled! ( Just like it happened last year)

Renato Rio noted:
“Here is an image of possible emissions of gas Radonium from present activity in El Hierro.
I suspect we have a vent, and this time I really mean it.”

Manfred Betzwieser reported that the latest earthquakes happened in a depth of 13km and that the ship “Roman Margaleff” is on its way to the western tip of the island. ( Site is in german.)

A page had been created here last year called Wonder what Bob is up to. It contains a huge ammount of links and papers. Maybe some links are out of date (the cam links are for sure) but i do not have the time to check them all again. So maybe you people here could help me check and update them. Please leave a comment directly at “Wonder what Bob is up to” and i ll try to work in the “news” in a.s.a.p.

Here is what is stored there so far:
Wonder what Bob is up to?

Some links to monitor our Bob & his mysterious-though-as-yet-hidden friends at El Hierro:

Info about Canary islands:

  1. Detailed map of Canary Islands – use Busquedas to find a particular place or check the 3D lidar model
  2. IGN variation of Google maps – Iberpix
  3. Geological map of El Hierro
  4. Volcanic history of Canary islands
  5. El Hierro – videos from the air
  6. Aerial photos of Canary islands
  7. Beautiful photos of El Hierro


Tanganasoga related info:

  1. Location on map and Google Earth picture (by Sissel)
  2. Longpre et al. 2009, Ankaramitic Lavas and Clinopyroxene Megacrysts From the Tanganasoga Volcano, El Hierro Island (Canary Archipelago), AGU 2009

Chemical composition

Floating stones off El Hierro, Canary Islands: xenoliths of pre-island sedimentary origin in the early products of the October 2011 eruption. Published on solid earth net.

An eclectic collection of scientific papers related to El Hierro, as suggested by readers . Please, suggest some more:


Name those Volcanoes Riddle

Note – this weeks riddle is a little different …. In order to identify each volcano you have to establish a link (some are more tenuous than others) between the volcano and various classifications, dates, places, events, people etc …. each clue has three genuine links and one ‘red herring’ included!

1 point for each correct volcano and 1 point for each ‘red herring’ (which must be identified with an explanation) guesses wont count ….. good luck!

No 1 – Lord Byron; November 5th 2013; Lethal mud slides; Pacific Ring of Fire;

No 2 – Stratovolcano; Canada; Formula 1; Angels;

No 3 – Stromatolites; 40,000; Rain forest; UNESCO; SOLVED

No 4 – UK; Dormant; Summer Rain; Vintage Car Museum;

IGN Graph showing latest ‘action’ 23.3.2013Imagenes sismicas para ese dia

582 thoughts on “Keeping a close eye on El Hierro and NtV Riddle

    • It really wants to get out.. I think there is quite some pressure down there already. The raise of most part of the Island, the increasing strength of EQ suggests more influx is still going on. Ergo, the influx needs to stop or it will find a path.

      • BTW, the upward trend is broken, it tended to go more shallow, the latest 100 or so EQ being more deep on average. In contrast, the trend in EQ intensity is still going towards more significant. This tells me that the stuff down there is blocked quite heavily and finding a way out. It could go quick after some major EQs… Maybe right now.. looks ugly.

  1. Take a look at

    It is getting noisy (that one at 14:41 is a 4.1:
    200452 25/03/2013 14:41:39 27.7688 -18.2360 16 4.1 mbLg W FRONTERA.IHI

    • You need not be expert to be rightly worried in my opinion. Ever. Not worrying on the El Hierro seismic episodes, is not expert behaviour.
      BTW, it seems the recarge rate has moved from every 3-4 hrs, to about 12 hours, then next “attack” comes at 02:00 ~ 03:00 hrs in the morning tonight.

    • “Currently it is produced a significant rebound of the seismic activity in all sensors of the IGN in El Hierro. Due to this and its apparent magnitude and importance, we recommend people home, that are attentive to any release that authorities could issue well by radio or by television, also remember self-protection measures starting to avoid places that may cause damage by falling objects given current felt seismicity and the increase of the same.

      Please, for your own safety not forget report to IGN the vibrations that are feeling and their duration”


      Translation by Bing.

    • Nice that they have now also a blog with a lot of information.

      They are talking about having checked again first the region around La Restinga and Bob, but they didn’t register any changes there. And because the quakes are wandering from the El Golfo area to the area northwest of the island, they followed track.

      • was it Hekla? I wonder. Not showing on IMO main map are three small quakes, located in dead zone, last night. Maybe both of these transitients today (can be the same, as I don not know if they have instant travelling time or not) and last one at HEK some days ago, may have come from further away. I do not know why these Laki quakes are not shown onmain map, perhaps they were deemed false or not havng enough quality to shown).

    • I saw that – very small – but there was a little one earlier on. Hekla is definitely twitching, but will she go back to sleep or wake up?

        • Not QUITE yet though!
          At least if they did go together we would be able to SEE Hekla erupt. Mind you, if El Hierro actually erupts it will be well under the sea so even web cams wouldn’t show anything. We would have to wait for over flights to see any stain in the sea.

  2. I’ve double checked the small quake at 3km depth quake from yesterday morning and the depth hasn’t been revised. However, I guess with all the quakes since, a path hasn’t found it’s way to the surface and this was just a response to the ongoing pressure.

    Would be interesting to see if more happens in this area, or if this is along the length of a fissure. Here’s the details to save you scrolling through the quake list 🙂

    1199832 24/03/2013 08:52:45 27.8342 -18.2092 3 2.6 mbLg NW FRONTERA.IHI

  3. 171 quakes in the W Frontera and NW Frontera regions already today! That is so far the highest count for this recent episode of activity and 4 more hours to go yet. Quite a day as included in that number there were a total of 41 of 3+ magnitude and 2 quakes of 4.0 and 4.1 respectively.

  4. Pingback: Continued activity at El Hierro | volcanocafe

  5. Some Brittons seem to be p****d off of Winter, and they’re blaming us for it.
    Here is a letter that was sent to Finnish embassy in London:

    “Dear Sir/Madam/Ms,

    According to reports in today’s newspapers, the foul weather that we are experiencing in the UK is coming directly from Finland.

    I respectfully request that you stop this unfriendly behaviour immediately. It is playing havoc with my plans for the garden, not to mention the heating bills.

    I shall expect an improvement very soon, and will not accept any excuses! Thank you.”


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