La Palma eruption update 18th december 2021: 5 full days without tremor or eruptive activity

La Palma eruption update 18th december 2021: 5 full days without tremor or eruptive activity

Daily summary

Volcanic tremor continues at background levels, with no eruptive activity seen, for the 5th full day in a row, with each passing day of no activity increasing the likelihood that the eruption is finished for good, although a reactivation cannot be ruled out. PEVOLCA is keen to stress there is still large dangers from the temperatures of the lava flows and the associated gases. Small remnants of lava flows breaking out from lava tubes have still been observed in the south, associated with flow number 11. Furthermore, it is anticipated that gas levels may lead to entry into the southern parts of the evacuated zones being halted sporadically in the next days.

The SO2 emissions from the plume have decreased, registering a low (50-99 tonnes per day) value. However, PEVOLCA continues to explain these emissions are due to the solidification of superficial magma in the conduits, rather than magma ascent. Air quality with respect to SO2 and PM10 concentrations remain stable, and largely good. SO2 concentrations were good in all stations throughout the day, except Tazacorte and San Antonio which recorded some periods at regular values. PM10 levels in all stations was good, except Los Llanos de Aridane, where reasonably good levels were recorded, although this represents a significant improvement in PM10 levels relative to previous days.

Deformation remains stable across the network, showing no trend. 22 earthquakes were recorded, peaking at M2.6. The majority of earthquakes were at intermediate depths (<20 km), with a slight increase in the proportion of deep (>30 km) earthquakes seen. 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 currently. This represented 15 out of the 22 events recorded.

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 – We will rebuild: life rekindled after La Palma volcano – here
  • RTVE – Latest on the eruption – here
  • Canarias Ahora – The volcano emits a small remnant lava flow in Las Hoyas – here

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Interactive Lava Flow Map

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Interactive Earthquake Map

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