Explosive activity at Cumbre Vieja with falling pyroclasts and volcanic bombs, La Palma

Explosive activity at Cumbre Vieja with falling pyroclasts and volcanic bombs, La Palma

Today's activity at La Palma's Cumbre Vieja volcano, Canary Islands is explosive with falling pyroclasts and volcanic bombs, INVOLCAN reports. 1 045 buildings have been destroyed by lava since the start of the eruption.

The total area affected by lava reached 413.38 ha (1 021 acres) with a perimeter of 36.3 km (22.5 miles) and a maximum width of 1 250 m (4 101 feet) on October 5.1

The lava platform (Fajana) now occupies an area of 32.7 ha (80 acres) and it keeps increasing.

In addition, it's likely it will soon connect with the one created during the eruption in 1949, as illustrated in the image below, courtesy of Antonio Aretxabala.

Image credit: Antonio Aretxabala

Several active centers are observed inside the main crater, as well as two others located on the northwest side of the cone. The partial crater collapse on October 3 located in the northwest of the side of the cone contributed to the production of very fluid lava.

The height of the gas and ash column rose to 4.5 km (14 700 feet) on October 4.

The seismicity has increased slightly and is occurring at deep levels of the Earth's crust, which suggests a new mouth could open. 

With only little more than two weeks of activity, the eruption is significantly bigger than the two previous eruptions on the island during the past 100 years, Dr. Tom Pfeiffer of Volcano Discovery noted.2

"It was estimated that the eruption has so far emitted 250 000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2). The plume has been hovering around the Canary Islands, North Africa, the Mediterranean, parts of it drifted over the Atlantic, even reaching the Caribbean to the west and the Arctic in the north."


1 La Palma / volcanic eruption update by Departmento de Seguridad Nacional (DSN) - 06:00 UTC, October 5, 2021

2 La Palma volcano eruption already biggest on the island in more than 100 years - VD

Featured image credit: CSIC


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