17 Nov La Palma eruption update 17th November 2021: Over 300 earthquakes recorded in one day
La Palma eruption – 17th November 2021
The fissure eruption continues to show a mixed strombolian mechanism with phases of more and less explosive behaviour as well as pulses of phreatomagmatic activity. Currently, there are multiple active strombolian events in the main cone, with a lava emission point on the NE flank of the main cone. Partly due to meteorological conditions, a high rate of ash emissions continues, especially to the S and SW of the volcano, and throughout the day the volcano began to emit larger pyroclasts from the vents in the main cone. Regarding earthquakes, a large increase in the frequency and magnitude has been recorded, especially with respect to intermediate depth events (10-15 km). 319 events were recorded, with similar amounts at both intermediate and deep (30-45 km) depths, with the day’s largest earthquake being a mbLg 4.8 event at 35 km depth.
As well as seismicity, SO2 emissions increased markedly to 16,000-32,000 tons per day, whilst the ash and gas plume exceeded 3,000 m. However, satellite measurements imply current SO2 emissions are lower than the start of the eruption. Tremor increased from low to medium levels throughout the day, although deformation continued as seen since the start of November, with variable deformation at the LP03 GPS station in Jedey closest to the eruption and a small weakening regional deflation signal in the other stations. Air quality remained poor near the volcano; Los Llanos, Puntagorda and Tazacorte all exceeded the hourly alert and limit thresholds (500 and 350 μg/m3) multiple times, as well as the daily limit threshold (125 μg/m3). However, all other stations had good SO2 levels. PM10 values were unfavourable in Los Llanos and exceeded the daily threshold (50 μg/m3), although at all other stations the PM10 particles were good or reasonably good.
Sources: Government of the Canary Islands, PEVOLCA, Involcan, IGN, DSN, Cabildo La Palma, 112 Canarias, Tolouse VAAC, Copernicus EMS
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