Monday, October 10, 2011

Possible Subsea Volcanic Eruption Underway Near El Hierro (Canary Islands)

Irish Weather Online is always johnny on the spot when it comes to weather and other natural events. They had reported this weekend that there were several rare, subsea earthquakes near Iceland, home to Eyja, Katla and Hekla volcanoes.

There has been an uptick in the subsea quakes in the region near Iceland. "The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) has recorded at least eight subsea earthquakes about 850 kilometres southwest of the Icelandic capital of SW Reykjavík (pop 113,906).The strongest of the quakes, a magnitude 5.7, was located 892 km southwest of the Icelandic capital Reykjavík. It hit at 00:39 GMT and was measured at a depth of just 10km, according to the EMSC. Meanwhile, the Icelandic Meteorological Office noted that an earthquake swarm occurred underneath the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in south Iceland on Wednesday and Thursday."

And IWO had also reported that there was a rare subsea quake near Bermuda too.

"Rare Subsea Earthquakes Rattle Bermuda Region"
"The western Atlantic Ocean island of Bermuda, which was hit by its first earthquake in over a decade in April, has been rattled by two moderate quakes.The earthquakes, both measuring 4.5 magnitude on the Richter Scale, struck at 10:18 PM and 10:36 PM local time on Monday.The subsea quakes, the strongest to be recorded in the region in more than 20 years, were centred about 80 miles (130 km) south of Hamilton, the capital of the British overseas territory."

Now they report a subsea possible eruption at the extremely seismically active volcano El Hierro in the Canary Islands. This weekend, "The Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN) has reported an increase in the intensity of earthquakes recorded on El Hierro, the smallest of The Canary Islands, during the last 24 to 36 hours. The number of earthquakes recorded since July 17 , 2011 on El Hierro has now reached 10,000, figures from the IGN confirm." Seismologists and volcanologists have been watching El Hierro for a long while now and had just recently raised the alert level.

Now the underwater eruption: "A submarine volcanic eruption has been reported approximately 7 kilometres off the southern coast of El Hierro, the smallest of The Canary Islands. A meeting of PEVOLCA – Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias, comprising representatives of Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN) and The Canary Islands Government, is presently taking place on the Spanish Island. Initial reports of the eruption were received from crews on board four separate ships. On Monday afternoon, Terra Noticias/Agencia EFE reported that an eruption occurred 2000 metres below sea level in the Las Calmas sea at 10.43 local time (05:43 EDT). Spanish newspaper El Mundo placed the depth of the eruption at 1300 metres."

Assistant professor of geosciences at Denison University Erik Klemetti posted a quick blurb about it too along with a seismograph.


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