| La Palma volcano (Canary Islands): strong seismic swarm suggests magma intruding at depth Mon, 13 Sep 2021, 09:31|
A strong earthquake swarm started under the area of La Cumbre Vieja volcano in the southern part of the Island yesterday. So far, more than 350 tremors have been detected, including 14 quakes of magnitudes above 3.0 and 226 quakes between 2.0 and 2.9.
The strongest was a magnitude 3.4 event at 00.46 am local time this morning, which was felt by nearby residents.
Most earthquakes are at shallow depths around 8-12 km, suggesting that new magma is currently intruding into a reservoir under the volcano. Whether or not this might be leading up to new volcanic activity is impossible to say at this stage, as there seem not to be other signs of significant volcanic unrest at this stage. Similar earthquake swarms have occurred in the past as well, most recently in late Dec last year; however back then, the quakes were deeper (at around 30 km depth), which could indicate that magma has now risen higher in the volcano's underground storage systems.
La Cumbre Vieja volcano last erupted in 1971, and it is considered one of the most active volcanoes of the Canary Islands. The situation clearly merits close monitoring.