The Making of La Palma

After Iceland, there was La Palma. It could have been the Azores, of course. There are more than just two volcanic archipelagos and islands in our youngest ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. But it was La Palma. Could we have seen it coming? Eruptions at La Palma are about ten times less frequent than at Iceland, perhaps two or three times per century. Still, it would happen eventually. And to put it into perspective, the chances of an eruption in La Palma were much higher than one in Reykjanes.

Image source : Twitter @jonni_walker

The eruption began on Sunday 19 Sept, at 3:12pm, with a small bang. As is common in La Palma eruptions, the dike which had reached close to the surface was contained by the older lava flows above. Eventually the pressure reached breaking point, an explosion occurred which blew out the old lava (the brown clouds), and an opening was made for the new lava to come out. It happened on the west facing slope of the Cumbre Vieja volcano where two fissures formed, each about 200 meters long. At peak there were 11 vents in action but one vent became dominant. (Steam is apparently still rising from other vents though.) A common aspect of La Palma eruptions is that the vents form near the cones of previous eruptions, possibly because the ground there is easier to break through. This eruption too came from an area riddled with previous eruption cones, and the current vent is next to an old cone (now presumably buried). Disastrously, the erupting vent was on a slope above and close to a populated area. The lava is relatively cool and slow flowing, but as of this morning, 390 homes have been lost. A thousand people may now be homeless. A few houses may have been second homes (still a terrible loss – in spite of some comments made, most owners of holiday homes are not rich) but for the large majority the house will be everything those people possessed. We live at the mercy of the earth.

The location of the dominant vent

The ESA emergency satellite mapping service sprang into action. Images of the flows show the location and expansion better than the ground based press ever could. This is not a tourist eruption and we do not have the wealth of images and videos that Iceland has produced. Those are for ‘nice’ volcanoes, not for human disasters.

Copernicus radar images of the lava flows

Eruptions here are not highly explosive. Still, it seems to be evolving towards a bigger bangs. The eruption rate is not too high (perhaps 50 m3/s) and that also is helpful.

How will it continue? Previous eruptions have jumped between different vents at different times and that could happen this time as well. And previous eruptions have lasted between 24 and 84 days – we still have a way to go.

La Palma

The Canary Islands are a group of larger and smaller islands, are volcanic, and are located off the coast of southern Morocco. We know one of them very well from previous activity: the submarine eruption of El Hierro, south of La Palma. Tenerife has the largest volcano and Lanzarote had the longest lasting historical eruption. The entire region remains active. This differs from a conventional hot spot where one may see extinct volcanoes further from the current location of the spot. Here the heat is distributed over a larger area. There is however a bit of a gradient, in that La Palma is still in the shield building phase while islands to the east did that a long time ago. The heat may be slowly migrating west.

Canary Islands. Source: wikipedia

The fifth largest of the Canary Islands, La Palma is mountainous. The roads make for interesting driving as they wind up the sides of the mountains. Seeing upside down cars is not uncommon (on one drive I saw two). One main road goes underneath an active volcano by means of a tunnel: this may be a unicum, but do drive carefully especially when exiting the volcano (where I saw one of those two overturned cars).

From the Digital Terrain Model of the National Geographical Institute of Spain (reduced resolution). Sourced from

The mountains form an impressive volcano. The peak is 2430 meters above the sea level but this underestimates the true size of the beast. The base of the volcano is 4 kilometers below sea, making it over 6 kilometers tall. Submarine volcanoes have an advantage as they can grow much steeper and the water helps carry the weight. They grow faster and taller than their aerially exposed counterparts. Still, this is a large one.

La Palma is a complex island with multiple volcanic features. It has history. A history of five volcanoes, in fact, all of which can still be seen on La Palma.

The map above shows that there are two obvious volcanoes. The northern, large one with a hole in its side is called Taburiente, and it is extinct enough that an astronomical observatory has been build on its peak. (Mind you, another one is build on Mauna Loa.) The big hole is called the Caldera de Taburiente. Standing on the top, the Caldera is very steep (I know from experience). The smaller ridge volcano to the south is Cumbre Vieja, and it is clearly not extinct as it is currently erupting. There is a saddle between the two volcanoes called Cumbre Nueva. Cumbre Vieja, in spite of its name, is the younger of the two: the names ‘Vieja’ and ‘Nueva’ refer not to the ages of these ridges but to the forests on them.

La Palma is quite a rainy island (tourists beware: the beauty of the greenery gives a hint), and erosion has carved deep valleys in the sides of the volcanoes. These are locally known as ‘barrancos’. The barrancos on Taburiente are deep and steep (causing difficult and bendy driving here), whilst they are much less prominent on Cumbre Vieja. Cumbra Vieja is young whilst Taburiente is old and weathered, as lined as the faces of the people I once saw going to work in the cold of Novosibirsk.

But there have been volcanoes here before. The steep sides of the Caldera de Taburiente have cut through the layers that make up the volcano. Not all those layers are from Taburiente: some are much older than the current volcano. Even the old can be young, when seen in comparison to those who came before. We so easily forget that no one feels as old as others think they are: we perceive our own age from our memories. But we all are old at heart: our memories give life to people who may have long since passed away. They haven’t really passed on, until all living memory of them has ended. La Palma has kept those memories of the departed, and has brought them to the open. Let’s dive in.

Submarine volcano (unnamed)

The oldest lavas that are exposed in the Caldera formed under water: pillow lavas are seen, interspersed with tuff and sediment. There are also intrusive rocks that formed from magma injection underground, with many dikes running through them. Although all this formed under water, nowadays they are on dry land: the layers were uplifted later to above sea level. In the Caldera they are seen as high as 400 meters above sea level. Some of the lava flows formed in deep water, other in shallow water: the uplift continued while the subsea volcano was active. We normally think of uplift (also called inflation) as coming from growing magma chambers in the crust. That is part of it, but uplift on this scale has a deeper origin. The mantle and lithosphere below are heating up as a hot spot moves underneath. Hotter rock has a lower density and therefore floats higher, like a cork in the bath. Everything above rises too as the heat increases. This is the main process that causes large scale uplift in volcanic regions, and it is also the reason that when the hot spot moves on, the island it created begins to sink. If you live on a volcanic island, a volcano that stops erupting can be as dangerous to your future as one that is actively burying your land.

Exactly when the submarine volcano first began to grow is not well known. The oldest accurately dated lava (using radio isotope dating) formed 1.7 million years ago. But micro fossils embedded in the sediments are older: 3 to 4 million years. This sounds old for a volcano that hasn’t moved much, but it is young for the Canary Islands. Tenerife is at least 7 million years old, and Gran Canarias may be twice that. Unlike Hawai’i, the volcanic activity here does not migrate, but there has been a slow shift in peak activity from east to west. Interestingly, this westward shift (2-3 cm/yr) is similar to the spreading rate of the Atlantic ocean at this location. The area has kept its distance to the mid-ocean rift and perhaps that is where it gets its heat from. The alternative model of a mantle plume has also not been ruled out though.

The submarine volcano began to grow 4 million years and by 1.7 million years ago may have become an island. The orientation of the dikes changed over this time. Originally they ran southwest to northeast, but as the volcano developed a feeder conduit the dikes rotated to a north-northwest to south-southeast orientation, similar to the north-south elongation that we still see in La Palma.

Garafia volcano

The island volcano that now formed is known as the Garafia volcano, and it is considered the second volcano of La Palma. It is named after a village on the north coast of the island. This volcano grew over a period of half a million years, between 1.8 and 1.2million years ago. It reached an impressive size: Garafia reached 23 kilometers across and was at least 2.5 kilometers tall: this was the first shield volcano. It’s lava flows are exposed not only in the Caldera, but also at the bottom of the deepest barrancos all around the current volcano. They are thin pahoehoe flows, with some explosive layers (lapilli). It was a basaltic volcano, typical for a volcanic island.

Around 1.2 million years Garafia came to an end when a large collapse occurred. In a way this was a typical event. Slope failures are common on the western Canary Islands. The most recent one was on El Hierro, 15,000 years ago: it left a scarp 1 kilometer tall. Garafia produced several such land slides which are seen on the ocean floor. It is not clear whether they are all part of the same event or (perhaps more likely) the collapse happened in several different events. One debris flow lies off the east coast and came from somewhere above Santa Cruz. Three debris flows are seen to the southwest. The four events happened between 0.8 an 1.2 million years ago, and together deposited some 650 km3 of debris on the ocean floor.


On the remnant of Garafia a new volcano now began to grow. It was in pretty much the same location but extended a bit further south where the land slides had removed half of the old volcano. Eventually it fully covered both the remnants of Garafia and the older submarine (uplifted) volcano.

The walls of the Caldera the Taburiente showing the older layers. Source: The Geology of La Palma

Taburiente grew for over half a million years, between 1 million and 500,000 years ago. It reached a height of 3 km, and was 25 km in diameter. Like Garafia, it was basaltic in nature. however, during its later years the eruptions became more explosive (never devastating) and the magma became more evolved. At the same time, the eruptions began to move to the south, away from the ancient location. This formed the Cumbre Nueva ridge. By 400,000 years ago the peak was extinct but this ridge continued to be active.

History now repeated itself, as it always does. The peak of Taburiente and the side of the Cumbre Nueva collapsed into the ocean around 500,000 years ago. Compared to Garafia, this was a smaller event. The debris on the ocean floor has a volume of around 100 km3. And whereas Garafia collapsed in what may have been 3 or 4 separate events, a long time apart, Taburiente only had one. The gap it created was not yet the current Caldera de Taburiente. Erosion has deepened and widened the hole since, and also formed an erosion channel at the bottom: the Barrancos de Las Angustias. And there was new growth on the far side.

Bejenado volcano.

The collapse removed a lot of weight from the southwestern part of the edifice. This allowed new volcanic activity, from decompression and from easy access to the surface. A new volcano began to grow. This one is called Bejenado, and it forms the southern wall of the Caldera. (It is interesting and perhaps confusing that the two sides of the Caldera are from different volcanoes and have different ages.) The current Caldera looks nothing like it did after the collapse: it became enclosed only because of this new growth.

Cumbre Vieja

The new volcano filled in part of the newly formed basin. The activity did not last too long. By 150,000 years ago, all eruptions were from a new volcano, Cumbre Vieja. Unlike the previous volcanoes it formed a curved ridge. It may have formed along a radial rift zone of Taburiente, activated by the southward migration of the heat. The ridge continues into the sea, with a range of sea mounts which are equally active as the part on-land. Although Cumbre Vieja is no longer young (it has reached a height of almost 2 km), it never developed an eruptive centre. The eruptions are along the entire ridge, and are monogenetic which each one forming its own rift (normally on the flanks, at a slight angle to the ridge) and cones. Eruptions are strombolian. The lava is basaltic but more evolved lavas (phonolitic, which contain a much higher fraction of silicate) are common. (The current eruption was reported to produce tephrite, a slightly evolved version of basalt.) This volcano is very different from any of the previous four. Why that is is not clear.

On the west side the ridge has a steep edge, with a coastal platform where much of the banana plantations are. The cliff is caused by sea erosion; the platform has build up from later eruptions.

Historical eruptions occurred in 1585 (84 days), 1646 (80 days), 1677 (66 days), 1712 (56 days), 1949 (38 days) and 1971 (25 days). There is no pattern to the either the frequency or location: this volcano is all over the place. There is however a pattern of decreasing length, as if it lived of a previously formed magma reservoir – we will see whether this hold his time (in which case the eruption will be over by mid October) or not (in which case it could last until December)! There was also an eruption in the late 1400’s, around or just before the time of the Spanish settlement in 1493, but we have no historical record of this.

Events high up tend to be explosive and vents lower on the flanks tend to be effusive – this seems to hold for the current eruption as well. Eruptions often occur near older phonolitic cones. For instance, the 1677 eruption was in San Antonio volcano (a tall cone) but this cone already existed before that time.

La Palma is a fascinating place. It showcases its history well. But it is not a ‘nice’ volcano. Eruptions occur over a long area, and any one location sees lava only rarely. This encourages settlement of regions that are never safe. La Palma’s eruptions are slow and they give people time to leave. This is no Taal. But they are also destructive, as we see now. In a few months time the eruption will be over and the volcano will go to sleep for decades or centuries. But it will take people affected by the eruption a long time to recover. Those memories will not go away

Albert, September 2021

This post is almost entirely based on ‘The Geology of La Palma’ by Valentin Troll and Juan Carlos Carracedo, published as a chapter in the book The Geology of the Canary Islands’ (2001).

To end this post, I am reproducing a very useful overview made on Dec 21 by VC commenter Oliver:

To keep the overview, here is a summary of the previous events and facts of the eruption on La Palma:

– The eruption began on 09/19/2021 at 3:12 pm (local time) on the lower western flank of the “Cumbre Vieja” in the area of ​​the “Cabeza de Vaca” and just above the first houses of the village “El Paraiso”.

– Two eruptive fissures developed, each approx. 200 m long and running in a north-north/westerly direction. On the evening of September 19th, up to 11 vents were active at the same time. This released lava fountains that were several hundred meters high. The VAAC detected volcanic ash at an altitude of 3000 m. There were also some lightning.

– The released lava was relatively viscous and cold (approx. 1075 ° C) and steep cinder cones quickly developed around the active chimneys. An Aa lava flow was formed, the front of which was initially up to 15 m high, but later mostly reached a thickness of up to 6 m.

– The lava flow crossed the LP-212 road, moved at about 700 m per hour in a westerly direction into the area just north of “Monte Rajada” and grazed the center of the village of “El Paraiso”, but already destroyed numerous houses.

– On September 20, the lava flow moved further west along the “Camino el Pastelero” street and destroyed other buildings in the process. However, the flow was getting slower and slower. Since there are numerous cisterns and small canals in the area (for the the banana plantations on the coast), there were also some phreatic explosions and the generation of steam fountains, which also led to false reports about the opening of new vents in this area.

– The seismic activity decreased significantly after the eruption started.

– On 09/20/20201, eruptive activity was concentrated in a vent that had developed at the northern end of the eruptive fissure. The largest cinder cone had developed there as a result of ongoing Strombolian activity.

– On the evening of September 20, new vents opened about 900 m below (northwest) of the main cone (below the LP-212 road) at around 9:30 p.m. At the same time there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.8. At least three effusive vents were active. They showed wild spattering and released less viscous lava than before. This led to the evacuation of parts of the village “Tacande”.

– The new vents produced a second lava flow. This moved in a west to south-west direction and was observed on September 21 south of the industrial area “Punto Limpio”, where it came relatively close to the main lava flow or even united with it.

– On the morning of 09/21/2021, the front of the main lava flow was just north of the center of the village “Todoque” and moved very slow. There were 183 houses destroyed and 106 acres of land covered with lava. 6000 people were evacuated.

– The sulfur dioxide emissions were determined on September 21, 2021 at 10,000 tons per day and had increased compared to the previous day (approx. 7,000 tons).

– On the afternoon of 09/21/2021, the tremor, which had decreased slightly after the onset of the eruption, increased significantly and remained high in the evening.

– The GPS stations in the west / southwest of the island recorded a further uplift of the area on September 21, 2021 despite the ongoing eruption. Overall, a maximum lift of 25 centimeters was determined.

– On the evening of September 21, the main vent produced sustained strombolian explosions or generated a lava fountain. The height of the fountain was roughly estimated by observers at 400 – 500 m.

– On the evening of 09/21/2021 at around 8:00 p.m. (local time), a new vent that had developed on the western flank of the main cone was visible. There were individual strombolian explosions there, as well as the release of a viscous lava flow. The front of this flow was moving in a westerly direction.

– On the evening of 09/21/2021, the main stream came closer and closer to the center of “Todoque” and threatened to block the important LP 213 road. This leads down to the coast to the towns of “Puerto Naos” and “La Bombilla”, which have already been evacuated, as well as the Hotel “Sol” near the beach of Puerto Naos, where 500 tourists were.

I have compiled this information from various websites and this blog. Main sources:

This summary is certainly not complete and is not free from errors. But I hope it helps to keep track of the events.


1,323 thoughts on “The Making of La Palma

    • Right, these photos do not show the current situation. The lava went left around the mountain and crossed even the street along the coast. We are maybe <800m from the cliffs.

      Btw: If we assume that the lava is intelligent enough to find the local minimum of the cliff height, that will be ~80m. That's something.

  1. It looks like the lava will enter the ocean after razing the Apartamentos de Azacorte – El Risco, located in a low spot at the top of the sea cliffs.

    • He was talking about the lava flow reaching todoqu mountain and bifurcating, one south one north of it, saying that it would most likely take the southern route.
      Then he just described the reactivation of the eruption after the short hold.

  2. Another two deep quakes
    2.8 mbLg

    2021/09/28 19:57:30

    2.6 mbLg

    2021/09/28 19:43:21

    • last 11 quakes all clustered close together at about 11 km depth, but three are 12 km, 14 km and 15 km.

      • seems more a pattern of pressurisation than readjustment, no?
        As they were speaking it could both things

    • Does anybody know where this is? That’s not at the coast, is it? (That would be great though.)

      • Or even sooner if you are right and there is a small bulge in the coastline obscuring the entry point.

      • It might be in the sea already. You were right, the cliff in the foreground is obscuring the entry point. 15 mins ago the shine of the lava changed, that might have been the entry time.

      • You are right. But this run to the sea is of course also fascinating …

        There is one hope now: If a lava channel is established the lava might always go this way down the slope to the sea and spare the remaining houses an properties.

      • I just hope the cone doesn’t collapse or it could get worse. If the flows just continues along the same path, at least there are very few properties left to be destroyed.

  3. By Involca

    The ternary diagram of the chemical composition of the volcanic gas linked to the current eruptive process in Cumbre Vieja shows that the measured composition corresponds to a magmatic gas in equilibrium with an alkaline magma rich in carbon.

    These results are born as a result of a scientific collaboration work of INVOLCAN with the University of Palermo (Italy), University College London and Bristol University (United Kingdom). The measurements were made with a MultiGAS unit in an area mobile position thanks to the mounting of the instrumentation on a drone.

  4. The cone appears to have developed a leak. Yet again, it has that curious “burning oil” look to the gases coming out.

    • Most of these “oil burnings” were the plastic/polyethylene banana greenhouses that got burned. Some of the fires were also fertilizer etc.

    • Couldn’t that be just ash that is still incandescent yet incombustible otherwise, much like soot particulates in a hydrocarbon fire that are incombustible too?

      Right now I couldn’t explain to myself what volcanic gases would be able to chemically burn, and then burn in such a visible manner!
      CO2? That has burned already. SO2? Same goes with this. H2S? Ok but would be emitted enough to make for such a serious “flame”?
      *Real* hydrocarbons? Never heard of it as a by-product in a volcano eruption…

      • I meant soot particulates being kinda incombustible at the temperatures that a common hydrocarbon fire, such as oil spill problem etc., has in its upper regions.
        Of course soot would burn easily to CO2 given more oxygen or higher temperatures such as maybe 2000 °C.

  5. watching the new ‘vent’ and thinking there must be a lot of particulate in that… it doesn’t rise much and just seems to roll sideways and down the mountain. Wonder what will happen next?

  6. Here is a view from the sea onto the lava running/falling down the cliff:

    Hope we can agree that while this is spectacular, but should we keep in mind the people that suffered from this eruption. If visitors find this fixation on the phenomenal aspects of the eruption inappropriate please say so.

    • (Well, three identical posts. I’m going to stop now.)

    2021/09/28 22:19:00

  8. With the lava going over the cliff it can no longer destroy property which is good, just hope the sides scale back from doing further damage (a hope I know).

    • Lava does not flow like water, and even water channels can evolve over time. Though a part of the lava flow has reached the sea, the rest of the lava flow remains active, can still spread and fan out in other directions where possible, and it can and likely will continue destroying man-made structures.

      Also, the fact that lava is entering the ocean now, also brings a new danger: When liquid lava interacts with bodies of water, it produces a deadly acidic and abrasive fume called laze, which can be lethal if humans breathe any of it into their lungs. It contains both strong acids and particles of volcanic glass. That means humans will have to stay not just away from the flow, but avoid ever being unsafely downwind of an ocean lava entry. So even a lot of areas that the lava may never touch, may have to remain evacuated during the eruption because of lethal laze blowing in the wind.

      • Yes, this is correct. The ocean entry is pretty but dangerous and does not change the expansion upstream. And remember that at Leilani, one of the more serious injuries happened when a boar came too close to the ocean entry and was hit by an explosion. Hope I remember that correctly

        • Thanks guy to put so much effort to a simple comment-My comment was a hope-I didn’t start the eruption!

          • Apologies, I responded to the previous comment and had not seen it was a response to your comment. We all hope for minimal damage.

  9. I presume the nearby extinct cone also (right next to the cliff) also had overflows of lava- but to date failed to see any signs of it- I guess the ocean washed it away.

  10. Here it is, going into the sea (thanks for the TV station above)

  11. Not gonna lie, bushcraft bear is giving gutentog a run for his money as far as amateur volcano news outlet goes. His stories and journalistic style make up for the lack of shakey wild zooming shots and spastic drone panning.

    • yeah i like both coverages. Esp like Bushcraft Bear’s comments on putting down the panic sayers.

  12. The work many on VC and elsewhere have done to map the lava flows on La Palma is superb. However, I’m left wondering why there apparently aren’t official maps of it.

    For the locals, IMHO such data is highly needful, and needs to be easy for them to find. Just knowing whether or not their homes have succumbed or not would be helpful, as there is little worse than not knowing.

    If information regarding the extent of the lave field (or the status of their homes) is available to the locals, my point is moot. However, if the authorities are mapping the lava flows and not sharing that data with the locals, that is unconscionable.

  13. I’ve been watching the cone jetting fountains and gushing lava just now. And I can’t help but wonder why the edifice does not collapse down the hill. With the forces of the eruption at work, the slanting structure seems very precarious.

    A few days ago, I saw the video where a large centre mass of the cone slumped downhill. I feel that the current structure is also precarious and could slump any time.

    • Judging from the upper fountain the pressure in the vent is pretty high. If the cone split with half going downhill would we get a lateral blast?

    • Doubtful. I expect it to resume at/near the Nar vent. I think something has gotten into the conduit. Think of a funnel with a marble in the bottom, only scaled up (the “marble” will be a boulder or something). When there’s enough pressure lava holds the “marble” up and rises past it to erupt. Escaping gas allows the pressure to drop until eventually it’s insufficient to hold the “marble” up and we get a hiatus. But fresh gas from depth starts raising the pressure again. So we get the ~15 minute cycles, until some intermediate depth reservoir is degassed. Then it sleeps until more gas arrives from the deep source in the mantle. The pressure gradually rises and as the deeper system, including the March dike, pressurizes, it creaks and groans — hence the quakes near Keilir. But when it erupts again the path of least resistance will be to lift up the “marble” at Nar again, not to break through 1+ km of virgin rock to surface from someplace else along the dike. Nar will give way before anything else reaches its breaking point. Indeed, it already has once before …

  14. All sorts of weirdness on faf, popcorn quakes and elevated tremor, but not a speck of red glow on the Langihryggur cam. OTOH, if the cam happens to be pointed at Nátthagi instead of at the cone right now, the cone could be lit up like the Fourth for all I know …

    Does anyone here have any current information from the Iceland eruption site that I’m lacking? Another cam, or boots on the ground reporting?

    • I think it’s probably due to a combination of the wind and quakes towards Keilir (although the wind doesn’t look to be that bad today according to the forecast). I see there was one at 3.0 today, the first start for quite some time in that area.
      Askja also seems to have woken up again.

  15. Latest batch of Keilir quakes are not verified yet, but if the locations are correct it looks like the dike is expanding north and the quakes are soon directly under Keilir.

    • Or maybe the dike is starting to cool and these are actually contraction quakes.

      • Google Translate seems to have changed and I can’t get it to work on my browser, so I can’t get English translations of the RUV reports about the earthquakes. However, Reykjavik Grapevine seems to have reported their reporting:

        “According to a nature conservation specialist at the Iceland Met Office, Elísabet Pálmadóttir, the magma might be making its way into new areas, now that the eruption has been laying low since September 18th. However, no changes in deformation data or signs of turbulence have been seen. The earthquakes are about 6-7 kilometers deep. “If they were more shallow, it could be a sign that magma had come close to the surface”, Elísabet commented, though she reminds that this is comparable to what happened before the eruption at Fagradalsfjall began; the earthquake’s epicenter was located 7 kilometers from the crater.”

  16. I haven’t commented in a while but from my perspective this has transitioned from a rather viscous high fountaining eruption to a less viscous not so high fountaining eruption. With that said, I don’t think the overall volume has decreased much. The fountains are still happening at the main crater to a lesser extent but the volume of less viscous lava spewing from under seems to make up for it.

      • Looking at the latest live video. I’m not so sure now. I wouldn’t want to be downwind of that. I hope nobody is!

  17. Looking at the eruption right now it is crazy to think something pretty much exactly this happened non stop for 6 years on Lanzarote.

    It is very unlikely something like that is going to happen now but this does look to be bigger than anyone expected, in only 10 days it reportedly is already 50 million m3, 1949 was about 50 million m3 in a month, and 1971 was 75 million m3 in about the same time. Even the other day when I was speculating on resumption of activity with a lot of fluid lava eruptions around the cone I never expected anything of this intensity, to get a 150 meter tall lava geyser. This is possibly even a historical first for La Palma unless you count the brief but grand end to 1949, which the current sequence has surpassed several times over in duration by now, the other eruptions had fluid lava leaking out of shallow flank fissures not blasting out of a primary vent, and at least if 1949 is to go by seem to happen after cone building, again not the case today.

    • Lava is now entering the ocean
      I wonder If massive Aa lava forms more stable land than fluid Pahoehoe?

    • Interesting stats thanks Chad-interesting times lie ahead with- can’t think of its official name-

    • RE: “Looking at the eruption right now it is crazy to think something pretty much exactly this happened non stop for 6 years on Lanzarote.”

      Agree!! One must experience Timanfaya National Park to appreciate the scope of your observation. The crude map drawings lend another dimension to it. Dante would have been in awe.

  18. Whatever is going on, it has turned the eruption very ashy at the moment.
    Or perhaps it’s just a lot windier than before and the ash is going horizontal now.

  19. There may have been a partial collapse into the vent.
    Skipping back in the stream, it looks like it has been like this since before dawn.

    • According to TV Canarias, the weathernin La Palma is very windy since this dawn, drifting the ash sideways.

  20. A comment has gone missing again.

    Last time I reloaded there were 757 comments and the most recent was by Randall and dated 05:00 on the 29th. Now it claims there are 772 comments, an increase of 15, but I can only find 14 comments with timestamps after that Randall one. Including on all the earlier pages of comments. There are no new pingbacks either.

    Where is the missing comment?

    If it’s brokenness at the server side, when will it be fixed so this stops happening?

    And if instead my method of catching up is the problem, then what is the better method for catching up here, the one that does not sometimes miss new comments but instead quickly and reliably picks out every single new comment?

  21. Kilauea main page GPS is starting to go to the moon, the last time it was this steep it erupted within a month.

  22. More uplift in la palma station specially i the more southerly lp04 closer to latest quakes, lets see how it evolves…

  23. 📍 At 06:38 hours this Wednesday, an earthquake of magnitude 2.5 and depth of 14 km was detected in #VillaDeMazo, #LaPalma

    📍 #Fuencaliente registered earthquakes of mgn between 3.3 and 3.4

    📍 The tremor # ErupciónLaPalma remains at a similar level to the first days

    • It will keep moving in the water
      Lava is a very good insulator so the water dont chill the massive interior at all.. the Aa mass will probaly continue to move even When its entirely submerged …. Flowing on the seafloor

      • The ocean is very shallow here. It will form a wide lava delta quickly, a lit quicker than one would form in Hawaii. 1949 delta is very big despite the eruption being mild, this will be just like that.

        It is interesting, in the last 500 years Cumbre Vieja has been pretty active but the cliffs along the coast show lava has not sustained the coastal plain for a long time, pretty much all of the plain is actually historical flows, so something has changed somewhere.

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