La Palma update 14th September 2021: Seismic swarm intensifies

La Palma update 14th september 2021: Seismic swarm intensifies

Daily summary

The seismic swarm continues to shallow as well as increase in both frequency and intensity, although the volcanic alert level traffic light for La Palma remains at Yellow. 311 earthquakes were recorded, the most on a single day since the swarm began, with the largest earthquake being a mbLg 3.5 at 9 km depth. The average depth of earthquakes continued to drop, from 10 km on the 12th to 9.2 km on the 13th to now 8.8 km on the 14th.

The total number of earthquakes since the swarm started on the 11th is now over 800, with an increasing number of events being felt by the population. The swarm represents the 9th seismic swarm in southern La Palma since anomalous seismic activity began in the area in October 2017. This current swarm is the most intense of any of these swarms, and is also significant in that the majority of the earthquakes are shallower relative to previous swarms that have taken place at 20-30 km depth. Furthermore, Helium-3 emission data, the ratios of which can be used to infer the source of the swarm, register the highest values seen in 30 years, and confirm a magmatic source for the current activity.

Sources: Government of the Canary Islands, PEVOLCA, Involcan, IGN, DSN, Cabildo La Palma, 112 Canarias

A map of the location and magnitude of the earthquakes since the start of the seismic swarm on the 11th - the earthquakes have got slightly shallower and remain in the south of the island

A map of the location and magnitude of the earthquakes since the start of the seismic swarm on the 11th. Image credit: IGN


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  • Daily Mirror – Earthquake swarm and alert level – here

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