La Palma eruption update 31st October 2021: Increased lava emission has been seen in the last 24-48 hours
In the last 24-48 hours, an intensification has been observed in the eruptive process with increased rates of emission of lava from the NW flank of the main cone, as well as periods of more intense explosive activity and ash emission accompanied with audible explosions and visible shockwaves. Regarding the lava flows, the flow to the south of the lava flow field is currently heading south and not towards the sea for now. The rest of the active lava flows run through previously covered areas in channels, contributing to the thickening of these flows. Some sections of the original flows have been estimated at >30 m thick. Despite the uptick in activity, earthquake activity has decreased relative to previous days and remains at levels similar to the 30th. 99 events were recorded mostly at intermediate depths (10-15 km), although again the day’s most powerful earthquake was deeper, a 5.0 mbLg earthquake, this time at 38 km depth.
Deformation remains stable in the proximal GPS stations after the reversal of the signal seen at the Jedey station the last few days, whilst a slight deflation of deep origin continues to be recorded in distal stations. SO2 emissions continue to show the slight decreasing trend of the last week and were measured at 4,990 tons per day, although this is underestimated relative to satellite measurements, whilst the ash and gas plume increased to 4500 m reflecting the increased intensity of the eruptive process. The tremor has decreased slightly to intermediate levels, although pulses of intensification remain. Air quality decreased throughout the day with respect to SO2. It remained good throughout the day, but during the night the alert threshold (500 µg/m³) was exceeded twice consecutively in the Fuencaliente station and five times consecutively in the Puntagorda station. With respect to PM10 levels, concentrations were good-reasonably good in all stations except Los Llanos, where very high values were recorded during large parts of the day, exceeding the daily threshold (125 µg/m³). Because of this Los Llanos residents are recommended to reduce outdoor activity if possible.
(Above) A video showing the active lava streams and lava tubes that exist near the main erupting cone. Video credit: IGME, CSIC
Sources: Government of the Canary Islands, PEVOLCA, Involcan, IGN, DSN, Cabildo La Palma, 112 Canarias, Tolouse VAAC, Copernicus EMS
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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.