La Palma eruption update 16th october 2021: Advance of lava flows slows

La Palma eruption update 16th october 2021: Advance of lava flows slows

Daily summary

Although the effusive phase of the eruption continues to be more powerful currently than the more explosive strombolian phase, the active lava flow fronts are currently barely advancing. This is because of the existence of lava tubes, although the flows continue to widen and grow in height. Ashfall has been concentrated on the eastern side of the island to include the airport, and consequently airport operations have been affected and are expected to continue to be affected by the ash in the coming days. The lava flows currently cover 724 hectares, and at its widest the flow field is now 2,350 m wide. Regarding the 5 cm inflation seen at the Jedey LP03 station on the 14th October, that signal has now completely reversed, and the rest of the stations do not show significant deformation.

Volcanic tremor remains at an elevated level of amplitude, with pulses of higher intensity also being seen. Earthquake activity remained similar to previous days and contained both intermediate (10-15 km) and deep (>20 km) earthquakes. 88 events were recorded, peaking at 4.6 mbLg. The ash and gas plume reached 4500 m, and the SO2 emissions from the volcano increased relative to the 15th, at 8,278 tons per day, although this is an underestimate. HCl emissions data made available on this day from the 14th indicated a flux of 2,360 tons per day in the plume. SO2 concentrations remained below threshold levels throughout the day, although the stations in Fuencaliente and Puntagorda came close to exceeding the hourly threshold (350 μg/m3). PM10 concentrations remained elevated in all stations due to the arrival of a Saharan air mass, with the daily threshold (50 μg/m3) being exceeded in Los Llanos, El Pilar (Santa Cruz de La Palma), and La Grama (Breña Alta).

(Above) A video of the eruption on the 16th taken from the north, showing the active vents are strong ash emission. Video credit: INVOLCAN

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

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News articles

  • The Times – When will Cumbre Vieja stop erupting? – here
  • Space – Lava shows no sign of stopping – 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

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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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