410 Quakes in 120 Hours and Climbing in Canaries


Update 17/09 – 17:05 UTC
– 84 earthquakes until 16:11 UTC
– Another 2 shallow quakes at 10 and 11 km , both in the El Golfo, Sabinosa area. The phenomena described in the last update is being confirmed with these quakes. The Sabinosa – El Golfo area has become active again. We are however unsure whether IGN has deliberately omitted the quakes in this area when the strong swarm started. If this was not the case (what we should find very normal) then we can speak of a changing pattern. The following hours will give a better idea of the situation

Update 17/09 – 15:36 UTC
– Is the crust starting to show cracks ? Why are we writing this ? If IGN data are correct, we have noticed a number of shallower earthquakes the last couple of hours. Nothing to be scared off, but this is definitely a change in patterns versus earlier today and the 2 preceding days.  From 12:27 until 14:39 (less than 3 hours) we have noticed 6 under 20 km earthquakes on a total of 17.
The shallowest being a 13 km, but also a 15 km and a couple of 18 km. Is the magma the cause ? IGN would probably know it but mostly keeps his information for international science conferences a couple of months later!
The shallowest one was recorded below the Sabinosa area, the area where the other 10 km were recorded last week.
– 71 earthquakes so far

Update 17/09 – 12:45 UTC
– 52 earthquakes so far (listed by IGN until 11:06 UTC). No change in depth patterns or epicenter area. I looks more and more that the island consists of solid rock where magma has a hard time to penetrate

Update 17/09 – 08:38 UTC
– “Only” 30 earthquakes listed by IGN this morning
– Hypocenters : no change in depth (hypocenter or focal depth or depth are indicating the same = layer in the underground (crust or deeper) where the energy is generated
– Epicenters : same area than yesterday centering in the historic crater area
– GPS deformations :
Restinga : 1 cm further uplifting (Ultra Rapid) – stabilized on the longitude and latitude axis (= earlier movement to the South-East)
Pinar : 1 cm uplift – pushed 1 cm further to the North – stabilized on the longitude axis (= earlier movement to the East)
Frontera : no more uplifting, 0,5 cm to the North – no change on the longitude axis since long time
The plotters under our readers can try to trace this way the source of the magma. Click here for the source of our data (courtesy Prof. Sagiya – University of Nagoya)
– A big Thank you to ER readers Lynn and Oliver for the support they showed to this website earlier today

Image courtesy Avcan – epicenters of the last 10 earthquakes

Vertical deformation at Pinar station – Image courtesy Prof. Sagiya

Update 16/09 – 23:55 UTC
– The day ended with 197 earthquakes, a record for the present swarm. All the hypocenters were still at 20+ km.

Update 16/09 – 22:30 UTC
– 185 earthquakes until 20:49 UTC
– 1 M1.4 earthquake at 10 km, but this was the only one today at this shallow depth
– Diario El Hierro has the stunning title that IGN is analizing the earthquakes. What else could be expected from IGN ? :)
– Canarias7 could talk to Jose Mario Blanco (IGN). She says that she do not expect the quakes to become stronger than M3.2 at the present depth. She confirms what we wrote earlier on, that the epicenters are migrating gradually to the south.
– Thanks also to ER reader Philip for again supporting our site

Update 16/09 – 19:17 UTC
– 172 earthquake right now
– The recent M3.7 earthquake is NOT related to El Hierro

Update 16/09 – 17:03 UTC
– 151 earthquakes so far today
– Epicenter of the last 10 earthquakes same area as before (see image)
– Hypocenters are still in the same 19 to 22 km layer
– And again a word of thanks to ER reader Kirsten for supporting our site

Image courtesy Avcan

Update 16/09 – 12:00 UTC
– The activity subsided a bit, but there have been some more quakes after 08:48 where IGN has stopped listing.
Thank you Jan and Virginia for your kind donation. Jan and Virginia are also multiple donors.

Update 16/09 – 09:38 UTC
– 85 earthquakes so far (until 08:48). the last earthquake was a M3.0 at a depth of 19 km
– It looks like IGN is also listing weaker earthquakes now. A 0.9 figures in the list.
– Epicenters are moving a little south

Image courtesy AVCAN

Update 16/09 – 07:46 UTC
– Until 07:35 today, IGN has listed 73 earthquakes. Magnitudes vary from M1.4 (the weakest they are listing but there are hundreds more below this Magnitude) to M2.7. Maximum magnitude decreased a little bit from yesterday (up to M3.2).
– Focal depth remains the same (no penetration into shallower layers)
– Epicenter location is fairly stable (see image below and compare it to the last images yesterday)
– NO more (listed) earthquakes in the El Golfo bay at the 10 km depth layer.
– In line with what could be expected is that the deformations are up again.
– Frontera GPS station has moved North for about 1.5 cm and was also lifted with about 2 cm.
– El Pinar GPS station showed the same movement.
– Restinga GPS station moved a little eastward, did not move along his latitude axis and was inflated most of these 3 stations.
All these data were Ultra Rapid data coming from Prof. Sagiya, a GPS authority in Japan working at the University of Nagoya.
All the mentioned stations operate automatically, which means that nu human is needed to send the data to the computers of the University. Check PINA, FRON and REST stations here.
– Thank you Eve for your kind donation earlier today

Image courtesy University of Nagoya (Prof. Sagiya)

Update 15/09 – 23:55 UTC
– The day ended with 167 earthquakes, not a record but surely a strong sign of intense magma activity

Update 15/09 – 23:17 UTC
– 155 earthquakes. The earthquakes tend to go deeper instead of shallower, now in layers from 20 to 23 km. For 30 minutes we saw some tremor for about 30 minutes.
– and again a big “Thank You” to donateurs Steve and Janet

Update 15/09 – 16:12 UTC
– 110 earthquakes. Depth 20 to 22 km. All of the epicenters (last 10) below the historic main crater. It looks like the magma has settled below the current area (no thick lines on the CHIE graph)

Image courtesy Avcan

Update 15/09 – 13:57 UTC
– just received an Email stating that a M3.2 struck at El Hierro on 13:13. Epicenter, just north of El Pinar. This earthquakes was generated at a depth of 24 km some 2 km north of El Pinar . It was felt by the people.
– Today’s total has reached 97 earthquakes
– also a generous “Thank You” to our new donateurs Mary, Colin, Jouni and Penny, all of them multiple donors (do not know if it is donors or donateurs in English :) )

Image courtesy Avcan

Update 15/09 – 11:59 UTC
– 88 earthquakes listed by IGN until the time of this update, more to come
– since midnight we have counted 16 earthquakes of M2.5 or stronger
– The strongest earthquake was not a M2.8 but a M3.1, late yesterday.
– Epicenters are moving a little to the east (see and compare Avcan epicenter images of this and other updates)
– IGN has not registered any Felt earthquake so far (although this has to be taken with a grain of salt as only very few people will report this. People are getting accustomed to these more vibration like patterns, not really shakers … so far)
– We do thank Ian, Jürgen and Harald for their kind donations earlier today.

Update 15/09 – 09:43 UTC
– 2 more earthquake (for some it must be boring but we are thrilled of being present in observing how nature is behaving at El Hierro). Hard to follow up the earthquakes as IGN is constantly inserting lines into the list on earlier hours. We will keep following the total. 71 is correct at the time of this update.
– Especially for those people with mobile or slow internet connections, we have cut part of this page and archived the cut-off piece. This is the place where you can find it : Part 52 (01/09 – 11/09) – This website has probably the longest pre-eruptive story of the internet :)
– Since Friday, ER has put a CDN in front of our server. CDN is a Content Delivery Network. A CDN picks up all static content of this site and saves this content on servers all around the globe. When you are reading our pages, part of the page will come from our standard server but some other parts may come from a London CDN when you live in the UK.  This is not free of course, but we think that the comfort of our readers should always be a concern. Those wanting to help us with this cost, you know certainly where the Donote button can be found ;-) .

This is an example graphic how a CDN works – Image courtesy renesys.com

Update 15/09 – 09:22 UTC
– 8 more listed by IGN. No change in pattern

Update 15/09 – 07:58 UTC
– This morning, while having breakfast (in Europe) my smartphone’s email system did send me frequent new Canary Island notifications (my notification subscription (see below) is set to M2,5 or higher). A large number of earthquakes to start with will not come as a surprise.
– 59 earthquakes so far today (listed by IGN until 06:26). The strongest one being a M2.8. The depth is still far from being dangerous at 17 to 23 km. Some hypocenter’s (or depth locations) could not be retrieved.
– The activity is now concentrated below the island and moves gradually south east towards the La Restinga peninsula. The combined pictures below are showing the last 10 epicenters at 23:10 UTC yesterday (left) versus 07:30 UTC today (images courtesy Avcan).
– The people at the El Golfo bay will be happy that most of the action has traveled away from them
– Some earthquakes are hardly felt because of the depth of the hypocenters. If the hypocenters would go up to 10 km, a 2.5 or 2.8  will surely be well felt by those living above it.
– Vertical deformations are up at Pinar and Restinga stations, but not in a way that we can talk about a big inflation.
– The CHIE graph below seems to show tremor which is not really the case as it could be understood as part of an eruption. The strong thick lines are showing in this stage magma who is finding his way through crevasses old lava tubes etc. (when you see a gradual shift of the epicenters, these thicker lines will appear). When the magma is not able to expand anymore, stronger earthquakes will show up (at least in the present activity stage). We made a screenshot of the detailed seismic signals in between 06:00 and 07:00 UTC this morning.  This screenshot shows exactly what we were explaining.
– We are sure that IGN, Involcan, Iter and Pevolca (who combines all of them) are busy analyzing the information and if some threatening condition would evolve, the necessary measures would be taken immediately. At the present depths, there is no problem whatsoever except for a possible increase of the Magnitude of the earthquakes

CHIE graph this morning – courtesy IGN, Spain

Update 14/09 – 23:59 UTC
– The day ended with 10 more earthquakes (another 10 were added in a short time). September 14 totals 71 earthquakes, not to speak about the hundreds more which were not listed but who’s spikes can clearly be seen on the CHIE graph.

Update 14/09 – 23:08 UTC
– 11 more since our latest additions to the list. This brings todays total to 61. We will stop bringing all these details in screenshots and will only mentions how many and if something special is to report.
– All the listed earthquakes are just under or above M2.0. IGN seems to have stopped mentioning the very weak ones, like they did when the number of earthquakes was very low.

Image courtesy AVCAN

Update 14/09 – 21:35 UTC
– As you can see on the small AVCAN map below, the epicenters are gradually shifting to the south.

Update 14/09 – 21:24 UTC
– 50 earthquakes so far today (see the list of the latest additions)
– Those among you who have subscribed to our Email earthquake notifications for the Canary Islands and set the base level to M2.5, will certainly have received a couple of emails today. Find below the procedure for the newcomers.
– as said earlier, we have a totally different swarm at this moment than at the end of June. Although the depths are still in the 18 to 20 km range, the location of the activity is now right under the island and mostly SW of Frontera and under the old Tanganasoga crater area
– we stress however that there no reason at all for panic. We are sure that the IGN volcanologists are
– Joke just told us that CSIC volcanologists are meeting with English and Italian specialists about the El Hierro activity. This would have been a surprise for them. From the theory to the real stuff while they are in La Restinga.

El Hierro earthquake notification in your Email (updated for El Hierro, La Palma and Tenerife)
Earthquake-report.com has a very speedy earthquake notification service linked the most important agencies of the world. IGN is not in our data group but EMSC is as quick as IGN in reporting earthquakes (and apparently uses IGN data). As you probably have witnessed the last couple of days, earthquakes and especially strong earthquakes are playing an important role in eruption activity. Subscribing and unsubscribing to our service is done in seconds and if an earthquake above your set level occurs a notifications is being send the next minute.
How to subscribe : Click on this Canary Islands Volcanoes – Only earthquake page – Click on the banner above this listing

Next : fill in your email address, the choice of your frequency (immediately looks logical to us) and finally the email triggering level (3 or 3.5 for volcanic earthquakes seems logical to us).
Every email send will contain an unsubscribe link.
Important : This is an opt-in subscription list and after filling and sending the form, an email will be send to confirm your subscription. This Email often lands in the spam folder (although we are definitely NO spammers). Pick it up there and please reconfirm

Update 14/09 – 19:49 UTC
– 3 more earthquakes have just been added to the IGN list. the ones we have mentioned below are not yet listed here

Update 14/09 – 19:41 UTC
– another set of earthquakes happened at 19:34 UTC, we expect in the M2.3 range

Update 14/09 – 19:33 UTC
– HT has subsided again. We expect more earthquakes later today as we seem to have reached a new uprise in action.
– GPS data tomorrow will tell us whether this was a short-lived action or whether more is expected
– The local press (like Diario El Hierro, Canarias7) just reports increased seismicity today
– We will keep looking at it for the rest of the evening

Update 14/09 – 18:49 UTC
– Some limited harmonic tremor shows in the El Hierro graphs. The tremor might indicate that magma is on the move below the island. To the positive site, we have to stress that all the earthquakes which are listed below (and thus happened before the tremor) are in the 17 to 19 km depth range. Only one at 10 km = no immediate danger based on the listed earthquakes.
– We hope that IGN will give the people of El Hierro enough information to understand what currently is happening

Image courtesy IGN, Spain

Update 14/09 – 15:55 UTC
– As reader Pascal noticed a little earlierf, a lot of micro-quakes can be seen on the CHIE graph. They are mostly not strong enough to get enough data to be listed (or, as some people say, IGN does not want to list them to avoid frightening the people).  Honestly, we do not know it.
– We guess that IGN is about 2 hours behind listing the earthquakes
– The activity can well be seen on the CHIE graph. Clean graphs the last days or weeks with only a spike now and then, but today a lot of (mostly small) vertical lines.

Image courtesy IGN

Update 14/09 – 15:15 UTC
– 5 more earthquakes which brings today’s subtotal to 20!
– We have a totally new pattern right now as the stronger quakes are deeper, but instead of epicenters near the lighthouse and at the western tip of the island, all the epicenters are concentrated in the El Golfo bay (below land) or in the old crater area. This means that we have 2 layers of activity in the same area : a) the weaker shallower layer mostly in the bay and in the Sabinosa area and b) the stronger deeper layer in the same greater area but so far almost all below the island itself.

Update 14/09 – 13:00 UTC
– 13 more earthquakes in a very short time, but this time with mixed depths (some around 10 km, others 18 to 20 km)
– Some people are referring to a stronger tremor signal but we cannot confirm this. The stronger quake action can be seen at the CHIE graph

Update 14/09 – 07:55 UTC
– 2 earthquakes listed by IGN so far this morning
* At 04:48, a M1.4 earthquake occurred at a depth of 11 km West of Frontera
* At 05:36, a M1.1 earthquake occurred at a depth of 18 km West of Frontera

Update 13/09 – 19:30 UTC
– “Only” one additional earthquake since this morning. A M 1.1 at a depth of 11 km.

Update 13/09 – 08:10 UTC
– 11 earthquakes so far today

Image courtesy IGN, Spain

Update 12/09 – 22:35 UTC
– 1 more earthquake at 21:42 tonight. A M0.7 at a depth of 10 km

Update 12/09 – 17:45 UTC
– “Only” 1 more until the time of this update. A Magnitude 0,7 quake at a depth of 10 km. Every time we think that the number of earthquakes will go up, it suddenly stops again … and this can go on for a long time.

Update 12/09 – 07:45 UTC
– 5 earthquakes have been listed by IGN so far today. One earthquake was at a depth of only 6 km, not yet at a potential eruption level, but this is already the 3th shallower earthquake in 2 days.
Deformations are still up and down with approx. the same values. Yesterday 2 cm deflating, today 2 cm inflating as one can see at the Prof. Sagiya graph below

Vertical deformation at Frontera station – Image courtesy Prof. Sagiya, University of Nagoya, Japan


One Response

  1. Morris Townson says:

    It looks like the IRIS Seismic Monitor has been taken down. Updates on earthquake activity at all…http://www.iris.edu/dms/seismon.htm

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