La Palma eruption update 15th december 2021: Tremor continues at background levels

La Palma eruption update 15th december 2021: Tremor continues at background levels

Daily summary

Throughout the 15th, volcanic tremor continued to be at background levels and there was no eruptive activity on the surface, apart from slight degassing from the main craters. However, PEVOLCA was keen to remind people that a high risk still exists, and that civil protection measures, exclusion zones and evacuation zones are being fully maintained. To start thinking about the end of the eruption, the current state of the volcano must be maintained for at least 10 days.

Because of the lack of activity, SO2 emissions from the plume register extremely low (<5 tons per day) for the first time. Air quality with respect to SO2 and PM10 concentrations was good or reasonably good in all stations, aside from Los Llanos de Aridane, where the 24-hour moving average for PM10 concentrations reached unfavourable levels.

Deformation remains stable across the network, and 44 earthquakes were recorded yesterday, peaking at M3.4, concentrated at intermediate depths (<20 km). As in previous days, the number of events is inflated due to a number of small earthquakes (<M2.0) being detected and located, that would not be possible without the background tremor values seen over the last couple of days.

Top left: A map of La Palma indicating the location, depth, time and magnitude of recent earthquakes, that remain concentrated in the south of the island. Top right: dots showing relative movement of the land north-south, east-west, and up-down, measured every day. Bottom: a line graph showing the volcanic tremor values measured throughout the eruption

An overview of the eruption on the 15th December showing the earthquakes in the last 3 days (top left), the deformation since the start of the eruption at the GPS station closest to the eruption (top right) and the volcanic tremor since the start of the eruption (bottom). Note the lack of a tremor signal since late on the 13th (the spike on the 14th was confirmed by IGN to be due to personnel near the sensor. The green dots represent when an earthquake was recorded. Image credit: IGN Spain

Sources: Government of the Canary Islands, PEVOLCA, Involcan, IGN, DSN, Cabildo La Palma, 112 Canarias, Tolouse VAAC, Copernicus EMS

Lava flows


Exclusion zone map

Exclusion zones shown here have been approximated from press releases from the Cabildo de La Palma and will not be exact, nor claim to be official maps of the exclusion zones. For official information, please contact the Cabildo de La Palma.

Official social media

To see our full social media archive, visit our open data section or click here.

News articles

  • Reuters – Inside La Palma’s volcano: lull in activity allows look into crater – here
  • The Guardian – ‘Tremor is zero’: La Palma volcano may be calming down – here
  • Daily Mirror – Tui cancels flights until February 2022 – here
  • The Sun – Brits ‘STUCK’ in Tenerife after ‘flights AXED’ over toxic fumes from La Palma volcano – here

To see our full news archive, visit our open data section or click here.

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Eruption footage

News and Interviews

Witness Testimonies

Interactive Lava Flow Map

Notes: Use the button in the top right to open the map into full screen mode. Use the legend icon in the top left to see the legend and further information about the map. Click on individual days to see an outline of the lava flows on that day.

Interactive Earthquake Map

click here to enlarge

Notes: The size of the points represents the size of the earthquake, and the colour represents the depth. The map will also only show a certain number of points at once. For ease of use, we recommend you uncheck all dates and the satellite basemap from the legend in the top right, and inspect the earthquakes one day at a time.

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