La Palma, one of the volcanic Canary Islands

La Palma LANDSAT-Canary Islands from NASA's World Wind software (images provided by NASA) ( A program we also use in the Deep Space in the museum)

La Palma LANDSAT-Canary Islands from NASA’s World Wind software (images provided by NASA) ( A program we also use in the Deep Space in the museum)

La Palma, complete name would be “La Isla de San Miguel de La Palma”. is one of the youngest islands of the Canary Islands along with El Hierro. The most recent volcanic eruption on land happened there when Teneguia erupted in 1971.

Schteve had a brilliant post on VC Edge driven convection – Bobs back story and Malcolm in the middle. I would suggest to reread it since he describes the development of the Canary Island. The island group does not lie in the center of a moving plate like the Hawaiian Islands. The mechanism which created them is much more complicated than a model of a group of islands slowly developing and crumbling away on a hotspot on top of a mantle plume. Whoever wants to dig deeper into the subject could get information in http://www.atan.org/geologia/articulos/Carracedo1998.pdf a paper Schteve also used in his go on Bob.

Image by NASA. Canary Islands in the Passat winds.

Image by NASA. Canary Islands in the Passat winds.

Quote Wikipedia: “Like all of the Canary Islands, La Palma originally formed as a seamount through submarine volcanic activity. La Palma is currently the most volcanically active of the Canary Islands and was formed three to four million years ago. Its base lies almost 4,000 m (13,123 ft) below sea level and reaches a height of 2,426 m (7,959 ft) above sea level. About a half a million years ago, the volcano, Taburiente, collapsed with a giant landslide, forming the Caldera de Taburiente. Since the Spanish occupation, there have been seven eruptions:

  • 1470-1492 Montaña Quemada
  • 1585 Tajuya near El Paso
  • 1646 Volcán San Martin
  • 1677 Volcán San Antonio
  • 1712 El Charco
  • 1949 Volcán Nambroque or San Juan: Duraznero, Hoyo Negro and Llano del Banco
  • 1971 Volcán Teneguía  “
Image Wikimedia Commons

Image Wikimedia Commons

The most prominent volcanic feature, easily visible from air is Caldera de Taburiente in the northern part of the island. An erosion crater with a diameter of 9 km. At the northern rim the highest point of La Palma is situated, Roque de los Muchachos. Aligning towards the south is a mountain chain named Cumbre Nueva and Cumbre Vieja. Though the names suggest differently Cumbre Nueva is geologically older than Cumbre Vieja. The souther tip of the island is were the most recent volcanic activity occurred. At the moment the volcanoes are dormant but they are far from being extinct. In 2000 a BBC documentary suggested that parts of Cumbre Vieja might slip into the ocean in a giant landslide caused by the next volcanic eruption and so create a monster tsunami which would greatly affect the american east coast. Serious geologists think it is unlikely that this event will happen within the coming 10000 years. But it keeps popping up in the media creating hypes.

Teneguia:

Teneguia. Image Wikimedia commons

Teneguia. Image Wikimedia commons

After continuous seismic activity in the south of the island an eruption started on October 26th 1971. The eruption ended 3 weeks later at 18th of November. Over the next days 5 vents opened and started emitting lava which covered a field of 4km2. In the end the eruptive material was estimated up to 12 million km2. The lava flew into the sea at various different spots creating around 29 hectare of new land and a peak which is 439 meters high. Not really Mount Everest but it took only 3 weeks to build it.

Diary of a volcano in Spanish

The eruption of Teneguia was a social event on La Palma, Islanders gather for picnics while watching the forces of nature.

Caldera de Taburiente:

Image Wikimedia Commons

Image Wikimedia Commons

This feature was not formed by an explosive event but by erosion, starting at the original crater and flowing down the Barranco de las Angustias into the sea. The remains of the debris avalanche now reside in a depth of 2500 to 4000 m below sea level. It´s age is hard to determine, could be between 12500 to 500000 years. Later volcanic activity filled parts of the crater, time and weather eroded the caldera ( which is not really a caldera as we think about calderas here on VC) again. The original volcano is extinct. The highest remains are called  Roque de Los Muchachos (2.426 m) Pico de La Cruz (2.351 m) and Pico de La Nieve (2.232 m) In between lie romantic wells and waterfalls bizarre canyon and pine forests in which rare plants keep growing. This makes the national park an ideal place for hikers. Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente was founded in 1954.

Image Wikimedia Commons

Image Wikimedia Commons

Geological maps and graphics explaining the formation along with many beautiful images can be found at http://www.rainer-olzem.de/caldera.html ( a german site)

Cumbre Vieja

Craters cover the surface of Cumbre Vieja. Image by NASA

Craters cover the surface of Cumbre Vieja. Image by NASA

The recent volcanic activities ( recent meaning in the last 150000 years) all took place in Cumbre Vieja. A chain of mountains with north-south direction is around 20 km long and up to 1950 meter high. The oldest volcanoes are situated in the north, the youngest ones lie in the south. A rather detailed description can be found at http://www.rainer-olzem.de/cumbre.html ( again in german).

Geological map of La Palma

Carracedo et al., 2001 Explantion to be found on http://www.rainer-olzem.de/berblick.html ( in german)

Carracedo et al., 2001 Explantion to be found on http://www.rainer-olzem.de/berblick.html ( in german)

So this is my first take on La Palma, this years holiday destination where we will be enjoying the countryside, the beaches and the food within 2 weeks time.
Spica

 

This week the answers to Matt´s riddles are three volcanoes and two volcanic features. 2 points are awarded for each correct answer, 1 point after a clue was given. Good luck! 

1) Image

– Devil’s Tower (Sissel, 2pt). Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a classic movie, has people going here to meet aliens. Various Native American legends describe children on a rock hiding from a bear, while the bear scrapes the sides with his claws, creating the columns. No one knows whether this was a volcanic pipe or an intrusion.

3) The gods had settled their battles long ago, but the explosive eruption of this volcano changed the tides of a late 18th century war – Kilauea (Dorkviking, 2pt), Pele and Namaka supposedly battled over the islands, ending in a draw that divided them into a dry side and a wet side. A phreatomagmatic explosion killed a war party that was trying to stop the group that would eventually make Hawaii their kingdom. Notably, there is clear evidence for at least six eruptions of this style in the volcano’s history!

4) The entrance to hell; where the blind talk to the dead – Mount Osore (Osorezan) in Japan. (dinojura44, 2pt) Japanese mythology says it’s the entrance to hell. There is an annual festival there where blind mediums supposedly speak to the souls of the dead.

5) The devil is just letting off some steam at the bridge – Devil Mountain Maar or Devil Mountain Lakes (Dorkviking, 2pt). A maar is a steam explosion caused by magma. This is one of the biggest ever on earth. It’s in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

 

clue2Score board:

22 Sissel
8 Inannamoon667
5 KarenZ
5 Bobbi
3 Dinojura44
1 RenatoRio
1 Talla

 

 

MATT

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223 thoughts on “La Palma, one of the volcanic Canary Islands

  1. 1 The Santa Margarida Volcano (Catalan: Volcà de Santa Margarida), a volcano in the comarca of Garrotxa, Catalonia, Spain. The hermitage of Santa Margarida, after which the volcano was named, is inside the crater of the volcano. The building was destroyed in 1428 during the 1428 Catalonia earthquake and rebuilt in 1865. From wikipedia!

  2. Nice post ! I had forgotten that there were so many eruptions since spain arrival there.
    The island has the highest profile on earth I think I remember.

  3. And for those who believe that Yellowstone is about to erupt, here is more fun: Todays video of a big UFO falling into Etna and exploding violently! 😀
    [video src="http://archive.volcanodiscovery.com/webcam/videos/456/video.mp4" /]

  4. OT just cruising You Tube and found this by Larry Aragon-whom I have met.
    Great overview of American aerial fire fighting techniques. Good shots of the
    OWL country north of La Grande, too.
    part1:

    part2:

        • I guess going single engine would be a bit scary…
          But seriously, you should give our crisis management authority a call, they do need someone to help them pick out planes in a month or two. Seems like we will get our own fleet after all.

          • Well I have my own opinions Q-400 ,Convair 580, RJ86, Cl415 amphibian,
            SEATS-Airtractor and Dromadare (PZL) Helos-UH-1s lots of parts Sikorskys
            of any ilk- the Skycrane is amazing. Vertol-Chinook in particular. Yep I have opinions. For lighter jobs Eurocopter…
            (Of course a DC-7 with PW-100 turbines- I’d be there in a heartbeat…)

            • It is in on the big tanker plane side we don’t know shit… We have Helicopters in ambudance from Vertols to Black Hawks… But it is the big ones we lack and need.

  5. Don’t blame me on #1….I was hoping they’d post a picture of the hermitage! Of course, that might have made it too easy.

  6. @Carl ref the redacted statement in the dungeon.

    It’s not really fair of me to yank a statement with no explanation. It concerned an event illustrating what PoS I was in my youth. Many a port call was spent with Jim Beam to comes to grip with it.

    On a plus side, I cut ties and let everyone get on with their lives… and have beat myself up over it ever since. It was my bad, and my ghosts to deal with. Its my penance.

    • At this time I would direct everyone to the papus centroid theorum. Using it, you can calculate the energy density of an expanding wavefront as it grows larger from its point of origin. The idea being the the amount of water lofted In a tsunami will be distributed over the face of the outgoing wave. Once you leave the Fresnal zone, you are into planar wave propagation and are dealing with a lower energy loss rate. This is handy if you wish to predict doom on the east coast from an Island flank collapse. The integral of a unit wave is a bit over 12 x the unit wave height. I.e. a one meter section of a 10 meter wave holds about 120 cubic meters of water on that half that is above the “0 meter” elevation.

      I’m about 2 full shots and two beers into this, so it’s time for bed.

    • For you women, realize that some of us men know how horrible we’ve been, and quietly mull that over as we sip our beer. Don’t push for details, you don’t really want to know. Trust me.

  7. I just saw an earthquake that took me down into memory lane…

    Sunday 10.08.2014 05:36:18 63.633 -19.441 19.0 km 0.8 99.0 5.3 km SSE of Básar

    It is at the same spot that we had the peekaboo earthquakes right before the final earthquake swarm happened that lead to Fimmvörduhals. And no, I do not think this has to do with a new eruption coming soon, just reminiscing on what fun we had back then.

  8. Tyler Mannison posted this over at the VC FB… Seems like USGS YVO has had it with the tinfoiler. 🙂

    A Short Statement Regarding Recent Rumors
    August 08, 2014

    Though we love doing research at YVO, we prefer it when the research is on topics geological rather than the origin of false rumors. Nevertheless, we have received enough concerned emails and phone calls that we’ve spent some time tracking down a few of the statements made on various “alternative Internet news sources.”

    1) First, everyone should know that geological activity, including earthquakes and ground uplift/subsidence is well within historical norms and seismicity is actually a bit low at present.

    2) Concern over road closures is much overblown. There’s been one road closure of a small side road – just over three miles long – that was closed for two days. As one can imagine, it is not easy to maintain roads that pass over thermal areas where ground temperatures can approach those of boiling water. Roads at Yellowstone often need repair because of damage by thermal features as well as extreme cold winter conditions.

    3) The park has not been evacuated. This one is pretty easy to verify by everyone. If the Old Faithful webcam shows people, or if news articles are coming out about a hobbyist’s remote control helicopter crashing into a hot spring, Yellowstone is certainly open for business.

    4) No volcanologists have stated that Yellowstone is likely to erupt this week, this month or this year. In one recent article, a name was attributed to a “senior volcanologist”, but that person does not appear to exist, and a geologist with that name assures us that he did not supply any quotes regarding Yellowstone.

    5) Finally, we note that those who’ve kept track of Yellowstone over the past decade or so, have seen a constant stream of “predictions” regarding imminent eruptions at Yellowstone. Many have had specific dates in mind, none had a scientific basis, and none have come true.

    We will continue to provide updates on geological activity at Yellowstone, and educational materials to help understand the science around Yellowstone monitoring.

    Virtually everything known about Yellowstone’s spectacular volcanic past comes from the scientists who work at this observatory, at all our eight member agencies. We’re the ones who mapped the deposits, figured out the ages of the eruptions, measured the gases, located the earthquakes, and tracked the ground movement. A few of us have been doing it for over forty years. We will continue to help you understand what’s happening at Yellowstone now, and what’s likely to happen in the future.

    • This is how “creative TV producers” can get ones into thinking err-ea-usly (right spelling?)
      Yellowstone is going nowhere and I doup I will live to see more than phraeac event there.
      Bsides there are a thousand and one places I like see before.

  9. Sometimes I miss northern Sweden. Last night a friend of mine was sitting out in his yard having a beer when he snapped this image. Distance about 10 meters. He was pretty pissed off that he could not get the full moon in the right spot.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

      • I do not miss the mosquitos… and to the varègues I do not have a clue what that might be…
        After a quick google translate it turned out to be the Varangians. This was the infamous guards that first guarded the Caliph at the caliphate and later the East Roman emperor in Constantinopel. For some reason for 500 years it was “the shit” to be guarded by homocidal bearded infidel Swedes. They earned a gold coin per day for their services and tended to do rather gruesome things to anyone and anything that was not well liked by the Caliph or Emperor. They also invented graphiti…
        This is the explanation to why there are more East Roman and Caliphate gold coins in Sweden than the rest of the world. Safety was not cheap back then. And you do not barter with a homocidal maniac…

        As such I guess I would be a Varangian. I am not good on graphiti, but I did my service as a Varangian guard in various places. So I guess you are trying to warn myself of myself. 😉

  10. Hi Spica,
    Just re-read yr article and realised you were off on holiday to La Palma, I am very jealous indeed 😀
    Here are a few indispensible tips:
    Los Tilos is a must do walk, and is very difficult to get to and from, even if you have a hire car you will need a four wheel drive taxi… It’s best done with an organised tour, Lizzie and I didn’t manage to do it last time, so we will have to return…
    Ruta de los Volcanes is also a must, again difficult to do even with a hire car, we did it by taking a taxi to El Refugio and returning to Santa Cruz by bus… you could use taxies both ways, they are very used to tourists and will be glad to pick you up at specified time.
    When you visit Teneguia, which you can drive to, but the roads would probably invalidate your insurance… It’s well worth knowing that a bus runs from the faro (lighthouse) beyond Teneguia back to Fuencaliente.
    Bear in mind also that towns in La Palma generally have 2 interchangeable names, Fuencaliente is also known as Los Canarios…
    Please feel free to email me if I can help with anything in particular 🙂

  11. I thought the landslide theory was something to do with water in the faults along the Cumbre Vieja. And because of this, volcanic activity was not necessarily needed to cause a landslide.

    • One idea put forward by the alarmist TV program was that the heating of the water would rupture the dikes that provide lateral support.

      Personally, I think that’s a bit of overdoing it… seeking a way to instigate failure that makes for good simple TV. The fact is island volcanic edifices can collapse of their own accord. Just look at El Hierro (a related island to the south) or Hawaii. Over steepening can push a flank into a mass wasting event by exceeding the angle of repose. The issue with that is that predicting when a specific system will give way takes quite a bit more explaining and produces a much more ephemeral prediction of doom. It’s pretty difficult to point at it and jump up and down screaming “See! See!”

      As for the gaping crack that runs down the island, “The Great Crack” in Hawaii is much much larger than the one on La Palma. Not only that, but a quake of mag 7+ happened there a few years ago and part of the flank literally dropped by about 3 meters. As for fear, I would be more concerned about Hawaii. That collection of islands tend to collapse in pretty spectacular ways. (The Nuuanu Landslide formed the Tuscaloosa sea-mount when part of Oahu fell off.)

      Hilina Pali is another structure that formed from a partial collapse.

      In the Canaries, you have the San Andreas fault line on El Hierro. It is a failed slide structure from the time period of the volcano at Tiñor. When the western portion collapsed into the sea, the volcano that formed El Golfo came into activity. It later suffered a collapse. Somewhere in all this, the El Julan and La Playa areas also suffered a collapse. A lot of data points to the Canaries collapses to be peicemeal… happening over time. That one in Hawaii though… imagine what it took for an entire chuck of the island to fall off and make it several km out to sea as one contiguous block.

      My thoughts on point source events laying devastation to a distant coast instantly fall into wave propagation theory. The energy is going to drop as the waves radiate out from the slide, while doing so, the energy density along the wavefront is going to drop as a function of the distance. Will there be a disaster locally? Definitely. At a distance? Pretty slim odds of that. The only way a tsunami from a point source can retain destructive energy is if the wavefront is refocused towards a distant point. Seafloor topology will determine that.

      • Considering the fairly well-established and quite strong connection between deglaciation and volcanism, I would be interested to know what the volcanic consequences have been from the removal of the enormous masses in the slides you mention from islands with significant established magmatic systems… that could be… interesting!

      • Kamehamehajökull?

        I don’t think I’ve seen or heard or heard of any evidence of that… I do know that the Hawaii swell is from a change in uplift from the changing lithostatic stress as the hotspot trundles along.

        Glacier on Mona Loa. What a wild idea. 😀

        • I was speaking generally. Iceland would be an example of a province where we’ve seen an upsurge in volcanism consequent to deglaciation; decompression melting due to removal of the ice loading.

          My point and question was, what effect would the even faster removal of an even larger mass of rock in a major flank collapse event have on the magmatic system of an island – such as Hawai’i or the Canaries.

        • I liked the Hawaiian glacier aspect of it myself. But, you do raise a valid point. I don’t know if there was a resurgence in activity following that massive slide event. The Tuscaloosa sea-mount has a mass of about 2.35209 x 1015 kg… to me, that should have a substantial effect on the underlying stresses.

          (That mass is based off of the stated 19mi x 11mi size, one mile high block… and a density of 2700 kg/m³.)

  12. This little piggy didn’t make it.

    Typically, after I get a good char, I move the slab to the top rack and back off on the heat, then let it go for a couple of hours. It’s important to let it cook until you get reliable 165°F in the thickest part of the meat. Done slowly, the meat is pretty tender.

  13. Well, it worked for the Pharaohs…

    “Defining “social status” as the likelihood/chance that “the person in the photograph was to have a high-ranking social position and command respect over other men in the community,” Dixson and Vasey had men and women estimate the men’s social status on a scale of 0 to 5 based on photos of them in neutral expressions. The bearded men regularly received higher scores than the clean-shaven ones. “

    Amazing how little we have changed.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116472/psychologists-bearded-men-look-older-more-aggressive-higher-status

    I sport a goatee (a rather full one at that) because I was forced to keep my hair short while in the Military. Following that, and the realization that I was balding, my reward to myself was to adopt the facial hair. The only problem is that as it greys, you begin to look like some old guy pretty quickly. I still put it to good effect when I use terms like “Yes ‘Mam” to the rather young checkout clerk at the grocery store.

    (This is more a matter of upbringing where everyone was mam and sir if they were older or in an official position)

    I’m not really sure what Alter der Ruine was trying to accomplish with this video, but the clean shaven guy that comes in and winds up in the trunk of the car was pretty weird. Also, at that age, you never would have had four of us hanging out in the bathroom together. Guys just don’t do that.

  14. I just found out that over 3 hours at sea, plus a long drive does throw you off-balance a bit, if you spend all your life on solid ground.
    I’ve finished my boat/ship quota for a while.

  15. Bárðarbunga heating up?

    Date Time Latitude Longitude Depth Magnitude Quality Location
    Sunday
    10.08.2014 18:21:25 64.663 -17.357 3.6 km 1.5 90.01 8.5 km ENE of Bárðarbunga
    Sunday
    10.08.2014 11:48:19 64.677 -17.385 8.2 km 1.1 99.0 7.9 km ENE of Bárðarbunga
    Sunday
    10.08.2014 11:17:58 64.670 -17.382 5.3 km 2.6 99.0 7.7 km ENE of Bárðarbunga
    Sunday
    10.08.2014 00:59:43 64.626 -17.436 9.0 km 2.6 99.0 4.7 km ESE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 19:01:29 64.482 -17.751 4.0 km 0.7 90.02 2.9 km E of Hamarinn
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 16:54:53 64.621 -17.435 0.4 km 0.2 62.96 4.9 km ESE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 12:59:32 64.670 -17.384 7.6 km 1.5 99.0 7.6 km ENE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 12:58:00 65.156 -16.377 6.4 km 0.8 99.0 2.4 km SW of Herðubreið
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 11:05:47 65.076 -16.271 6.8 km 0.1 99.0 4.0 km NNW of Upptyppingar
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 06:26:02 64.658 -17.399 5.2 km 0.8 99.0 6.4 km ENE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 03:37:42 64.665 -17.452 7.1 km 2.1 99.0 4.6 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 03:37:28 64.662 -17.454 6.7 km 0.4 99.0 4.3 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday
    09.08.2014 02:48:45 64.659 -17.444 5.2 km 1.4 99.0 4.5 km ENE of Bárðarbunga
    Friday
    08.08.2014 23:02:28 64.202 -17.105 3.2 km 0.5 99.0 21.4 km NNW of Skaftafell
    Friday
    08.08.2014 22:16:23 64.653 -17.387 6.3 km 0.5 99.0 6.8 km ENE of Bárðarbunga

    http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/vatnajokull/#view=table

  16. Good evening all!
    Although the tremor had gone down by half since yesterday, Etna decided to have some more fun with the NSEC joining the party from the top:

  17. Hi everyone, i’m from catalonia and I read every day your lovely blog, it’s awesome, congratulations!! Thanks to Carl, Cypria, Sissel and more for the knowledge! First of all, sorry for my english, is not good.

    I want to ask you some questions about La Garrotza Volcanic Zone. We have more than 40 volcanos in this zone that hat have been developed in the end of the tertiary from now.
    The radiocarbon dates have not indicated acurate dates of the last recorded eruptions and is believed to be the last eruption was less than 6000 years ago. I think it is a rift volcanism and monogenetic volcanoes.
    Is said to have rest periods of a few thousand years.
    Can still existing magmatic chambers at rest?
    ¿How are magma chambers would form if there is no hot spot?
    I think there is no ongoing investigation and no seismic network to determine possible future eruptions in the area.
    What are you think about this subject? There is a world renowned catalan vulcanologist, Joan Marti Molist I think it has a lot to say. I put a link to a document of seismic and volcanic risk in Catalonia. Is in catalan,use translator;) He complains about the lack of information and surveillance there
    An interesting point is a recreation of the eruption “Croscat”.¿ What would happen to Barcelona? Buried under ash…..

    ¡Thanks for your attention! Greetings

  18. … say, what is the current sea state around the UK?

    Monday, 11 August 2014
    STRANGFORD LOUGH DINGHY RACING HIT BY STORMY WEATHER
    The Coastguard is this afternoon coordinating a rescue response after approximately 80 sailing dinghies were hit by stormy weather in Strangford Lough.

    Belfast Coastguard was first contacted just before 2pm reporting that some of the boats had capsized, while others were struggling to cope in the strong winds and squally showers.

    The Bangor and Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Teams, the Portaferry and Newcastle RNLI lifeboats, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter along with the helicopter from RAF Valley have been sent to the scene.

    It is not clear at this time how many people are involved and if there are any injuries. A search and rescue operation is ongoing.

    http://hmcoastguard.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/strangford-lough-dinghy-racing-hit-by.html?spref=tw

  19. El volcán de Cumbre Vieja (La Palma) emite más de 900 toneladas diarias de CO2
    16.08.14 | 12:31h. EUROPA PRESS | SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE
    El volcán Cumbre Vieja (La Palma) emite 911 toneladas diarias de dióxido de carbono (CO2) a la atmósfera, resultados que, según el Involcan, se encuentran dentro de la normalidad pero confirman el registro de fluctuaciones significativas en el proceso de desgasificación del volcán durante los últimos cuatro años.
    Estos datos han sido obtenidos por el Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (Involcan) durante la campaña científica de 2014, donde se han realizado centenares de medidas de flujo difuso de CO2 distribuidas en los 220 kilómetros cuadrados de superficie del volcán Cumbre Vieja siguiendo criterios volcano-estructurales y de accesibilidad.

    Según el Involcan, el registro obtenido es inferior a los registrados en 2011 y 2013, aproximadamente 1.500 toneladas diarias, pero superior al registrado en 2012, confirmándose el registro de fluctuaciones significativas en la emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono en Cumbre Vieja durante los últimos cuatro años.

    Los datos obtenidos reflejan que estas fluctuaciones se han visto acompañadas por cambios significativos sobre la emisión de helio-3 registrado en La Palma, y demuestran que los registros diarios de CO2 se encuentran dentro del rango de valores normales para el Cumbre Vieja: de 176 a 1.271 toneladas diarias de emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono.

    El Involcan aclara que estas emanaciones de CO2 no son perceptibles a las personas, dado que son muy débiles. En comparación con las que se registran en otros sistemas volcánicos activos, éstas se diluyen rápidamente en el aire y no son visibles al ojo humano, por lo que no representan un peligro para las personas, añade.

    GRAN UTILIDAD

    Para el Instituto, el estudio de estas emanaciones naturales son de una gran utilidad para el fortalecimiento del sistema de alerta temprana ante posibles erupciones volcánicas y crisis sismo-volcánicas.

    De hecho, recuerda que en el caso de la reciente erupción submarina de El Hierro, investigaciones realizadas por el grupo volcanológico del ITER registraban tasas de emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono anómalas previas a la erupción submarina.

    De igual forma, durante la reciente crisis sismovolcánica de Tenerife, ocurrida en Tenerife de 2004 a 2005, se llegaron a registrar tasas de emisión difusa de CO2 en la Dorsal Noroeste que alcanzaron las 867 toneladas diarias.

    MAYOR NÚMERO DE ERUPCIONES

    El edificio volcánico Cumbre Vieja se ha construido durante los últimos 200.000 años y ha registrado el mayor número de erupciones históricas del archipiélago con siete de un total de 16 (1430-1440 Tacande; 1585 Tehuya; 1646 San Martín o de Tigalate; 1667/1678 San Antonio; 1712 Charco; 1949 San Juan, y 1971 Teneguía) y se localiza en la isla que registra los más altos niveles de emisión de helio-3 en Canarias.

    Por lo tanto, según el Involcan, se trata del sistema volcánico insular de Canarias con una mayor número de papeletas para acoger a la próxima erupción que tuviera lugar en el archipiélago.

    Cumbre Vieja registra la mayor tasa de emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono por kilómetro cuadrado, con 4,14 toneladas diarias, casi el doble que el que se ha registrado para los sistemas volcánicos insulares de la Dorsal Noroeste de Tenerife (con 2,6 toneladas diarias) y El Hierro (con 2,5 toneladas diarias).

    • Thank you for your comment. I mentioned it to our dim who is especially interested in volcanic activity of the Canary Islands. And for me it is funny because i am in La Palma, sitting on the slopes of the volcano right now. Thanks.

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