Scientists detect signs of depletion of magma contributions from the La Palma volcano


The spokeswoman for the scientific committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), Carmen López, explained that all the observable data (chemical composition of the plume, seismicity and deformation of the ground) point to the fact that the feedback system “is loosening” and the reservoirs “are getting smaller”.

It has abounded in that “all the observable data agree that the deepest part” of that system that feeds the volcano “is being less active and has less capacity to nourish magma, to feed the eruption for a longer time.”

One such indication is downward trend in the carbon / sulfur ratio of the plume, whose last measurement shows a sulfur dioxide (SO2) rate of between 16,600 and 23,100 tons per day.

The others are one seismicity and a sign of volcanic tremor “lows”, as well as a downward trend in ground deformation.

In spite of everything, Carmen López has indicated that “we have to wait a while” for these stability parameters to become a trend and suggest that the end of the eruption is closer.

You recalled that a few days ago a soil deformation near the eruptive foci, as well as intense earthquakes that invite you to “be cautious”.

In this regard, Francisco Prieto, from the technical direction of Pevolca, has agreed that although parameters such as deformation and gas emission can register some daily peaks, in general all the components are descending, which leads to suspect a change of trend in the eruptive process.

Today the trade winds continue to blow intensely during the day, which will favor the diversion to the west of the ash and gas plume, which has a height of about 2,500 meters in a southwesterly position, a favorable scenario for aeronautical operations.

Air quality is extremely unfavorable in five municipalities due to the concentration of particles below 10 microns, which reflects the incidence of eruptive dynamics and winds, and also in one of these locations, Puntagorda, the hourly thresholds for sulfur dioxide.

Seismicity remains relatively low compared to previous weeks, and the maximum magnitude that was recorded yesterday reached a value of 4.6, with an intensity of IV, and was located at 37 kilometers.

Regarding the laundry, almost all the lava flow is reaching first, the one that reached the sea and formed the fajana, and the number 5 is also receiving some contribution, of which there is still no indication of how it will evolve.

Those of greatest concern are number 8, which has remained unchanged since October 21 and is the one that affects the La Laguna area, and number 11, which could close access to Puerto Naos and force a readjustment of the entrances and exits to the town.

This has meant that the area affected by the lava has changed little, which is 984.85 hectares, and the width of the lava flows remains at 3,100 meters, and in principle no further progress is expected on this day.

The destroyed or damaged buildingsAccording to the data provided by the Cadastre, there are an estimated 1,452 buildings, of which 1,177 are for residential use, 147 for agriculture, 67 for industrial use, 33 for leisure and hospitality, 13 for public use and 15 for other uses.

While, 467 people are staying in hotels of Fuencaliente and Los Llanos de Aridane, and 43 dependents continue in centers of the Cabildo de La Palma.

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