01 Oct La Palma eruption update, 1st october 2021: Effusive vents open north of the main cone
La Palma eruption update, 1st october 2021: Effusive vents open north of the main cone
At 2:30 am local time, two new effusive vents 15 m apart opened approximately 600 m NW of the base of the main cone. These have formed a single fluid lava flow, which is travelling parallel to the existing flows and is expected to join them given the slope of the local topography. The three vents inside the main crater and the effusive vent on the NE sector of the main cone also remain active, as does the recent fumarole field on the NW flank. The lava delta continues to grow, and is now measured at 475 m long, reaching 30 m depth and covering 27.7 Ha. According to the latest damage assessments by Copernicus EMS, 1,005 buildings have been affected so far, and 27.7 km of roads have been damaged. Regarding air quality, the SO2 concentrations in Tazacorte, Los Llanos and El Paso reduced throughout the day to low levels, although PM10 concentrations were high in all stations across the island, although this was partially due to the intrusion of Saharan dust in the current weather system. Based on this and also the temperature inversion preventing the dispersion of gases from the combustion of fertilizers and greenhouse plastics, a confinement was ordered for some areas of El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane in the evening,
From 3:00 am local time onwards, volcanic tremor has increased, perhaps related to the opening of the two new vents. Regarding deformation, the distal stations have begun to show a slight downward trend, and the closer stations show some pulses that could be related to the eruptive activity. Earthquake activity continues to be concentrated near where the precursory seismic swarm began on the 11th September, at 10-15 km depth, as well as some earthquakes surrounding the eruptive centre. In total, 19 earthquakes were recorded, peaking at 3.6 mbLg. The ash and gas plume height has increased, exceeding 6000 m, and the SO2 emissions were last measured at 8,700 tons per day.
Above: A video showing the two new vents that opened up to the north of the main cone. Video credit: IGN Spain
Sources: Government of the Canary Islands, PEVOLCA, Involcan, IGN, DSN, Cabildo La Palma, 112 Canarias, Tolouse V
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- Financial Times – La Palma’s volcano thrills onlookers – but should the ‘lava chasers’ be stopped – here
- Sky News – La Palma volcano: third fissure erupts after eight new earthquakes – here
- El País – Volcanic eruption intensifies as new vent and lava flow starts – here
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