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La Palma/Cumbre Vieja Volcano in the Canaries (2 Viewers)

bjdeming

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A new vent opened up in the cone overnight.


Also, a few news reports say that the reactivated fissure vent up on the ridge, the one that got everyone excited a few days ago, is now erupting pyroclastics, but not effusive lava.

Neither of these vents seems very productive. The main flow, however, is now rolling over downtown Laguna.


They emptied those gas tanks long ago, reportedly.

Per tweets about PEVOLCA's daily press conference today, island deformation is steady, and more strong quakes can be expected.

I did notice a subtle change in wording: the risk of a new vent opening up outside the eruption zone (the two ones mentioned above are inside) is practically nothing.

That possibility had been firmly discounted up til now.

It could be a tired scientist goofing by just including, out of habit, caution words that are very commonly used in scientific discussions; a reporter's misunderstanding of what was said; or it could be a deliberate change of wording to hedge bets a little more.

Still, "practically nothing" is reassuring, too. But does the volcano know it?
 

bjdeming

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Also, the company that is going to try to rescue the trapped dogs by drone (somehow) tweeted that they did a recon drone flight this morning and couldn't see the animals, which might have found some place to hide. I hope they were able to get out and cross the crusted lava in the Todoque region, and if so, that they made it. Once out of the tanks, though, the dogs can't be drone-lifted water and food any more. :(

Sigh. I'm gonna watch that scene in Dante's Peak again...
 

bjdeming

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More earthquakes reported since midnight, but still looking for news of the PEVOLCA daily conference.

Meanwhile, RTVC reports (via Twitter translation and me):

Anonymous animal lovers have rescued the 4 hounds that were surrounded by lava in #Todoque As it has spread on the networks
@leales
.org would have entered the area at their own risk, leaving a sign that reads "La Palma Force. The dogs are fine. A TEAM"

Was hoping that had happened, but didn't want to mention it since it had to be someone with connections plus the equipment and guts to cross a WIDE crusted-over but fresh lava flow. At night. Twice.

Also someone with the sense to see that it would stress the poor, starving dogs to death if buzzing drones came near and tried to pick them up. And then the flight...no way.

The "A Team" went in the night before that recon drone flight and physically saved the dogs from loving but clearly futile rescue attempts.

I felt yesterday, why draw attention to whoever it was and just referenced the dog rescue scene in Dante's Peak.

But apparently these unsung heroes don't mind a little applause, and they most certainly deserve it. :)

Check out Todoque on a map, the width of that surrounding lava flow, with active, high-volume lava tubes not far underfoot, and consider that they crossed it all twice to rescue four dogs.

The human spirit is wonderful. Sometimes.
 

bjdeming

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Here we go. The volcano "spotters" have gotten a resource/information page together. It's in Spanish, but browsers translate scientific terms well from that language. (Icelandic, not so much.)
 

bjdeming

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The USGS thoroughly discussed the La Palma mega-tsunami thing in this week's Volcano Watch. Cumbre Vieja (not just the active cone) would have to get bigger before collapse became a concern; also, a "worst-case" scenario is likely to affect the East Coast more in the range of storm surge than as something out of The Abyss.
 

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Meanwhile, the volcano burped up well over 18,000 tonnes of SO2, per PEVOLCA today. (me: more than twice as much as usual).

And here is the closest view, via seismicity, of an active volcano's underground plumbing you are ever likely to get (highly praised by IGME, too!):


At the surface, it looks like this:


And this (last measurement I saw in the news was 3 km at its widest point):


Beautiful, until you realize all the memories, homes, and jobs buried under there. Fortunately, this is a relatively small and quiet eruption, but a highly significant one because of its effect on us and our infrastructure.

Yes, this will happen elsewhere. Lessons being learned here will help minimize the damage then, hopefully.
 
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bjdeming

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I've never seen scientists do a live broadcast before, but as I understand it, there's a lot of magma on the way up and it is basically breaking through the cone. They probably expect the upper part to go at any moment:


Red, black, and grey: Eruption.
White: Steam.
Tan: Collapse dust, I think.

10:42 a.m., Pacific: They ended the broadcast after that one subcone overflowed, but it's still an amazing video.
 
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bjdeming

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This, tweeted about 25 minutes ago. Looks like it is going to be a long night for volcanologists and, perhaps for los palmeros, too, on La Palma.


"Corrientes de aire," just what it sounds like: NOT "corrientes piroclásticas." Pyroclastic flows can happen in effusive (basalt) eruptions, but this has been able to keep an open conduit, plus the cone wasn't welded solidly. Count your blessings when you can, I guess.
 
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bjdeming

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Since the last post, these overflows have lessened in volume and the strombolian activity has shown longer quiet spells, followed by pulses of violent activity. I get the general impression that the eruption is sloooowly winding down.

Today there was a cool video tweeted by INVOLCAN.


It looks awful, but given the intensely black color and deposits of elemental sulfur first reported yesterday on the volcano's flank from the plumes, I suspect a sulfur brine lens has reached the conduit. There were a couple of M5 quakes this past week, in addition to all the other seismicity. Correlation isn't causation, but you have to wonder about it.

I looked sulfur brine lenses up when a small one suddenly turned the plume of Popcatépetl black once while I was watching through the webcam.

It's interesting, but not any more dangerous than anything else the volcano on La Palma has been doing. This is the same hydrothermal process that also concentrates gold, copper, and other valuable minerals into ore lodes. At present, for example, it also may be happening at Campi Flegrei, over in Italy, per papers like this (copper porphry): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1871644X06800288

Los palmeros are getting some money out of Cumbre Vieja, not just sulfur and ruin. Per online reports, a thousand or so volcano tourists come daily now.
 
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bjdeming

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Suddenly, a volcano inside city limits!

Remember this before/after image?

Well, look at it now:


New vents have opened up. This has turned into the longest eruption in the last 400 years on La Palma, per El Pais, no sign of an end is in sight. :(


ffuicpdwqaqqgfc.jpeg



Image: Pedro Suárez
 
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