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El Hierro update : Sat 29th October

Sat 29th Oct 2011

Seismic activity on the Island of El Hierro intensified yesterday, with a total of 63 earthquakes being recorded by the National Geographic Institute (IGN), with an average depth of 20km and magnitudes of up to 3.3 on the richter scale, off the North-West coast of the Island.

Of the 63 quakes, 4 were recorded above 3.0, 27 between 2.0 and 3.0 with the remainder being below 2.0.

Over the past week dozens of similar quakes have been recorded in the same area - the opposite side of the Island to where the volcanoi eruption is being observed off the coast of La Restinga.

So far today the IGN has recorded 32 earthquakes, mainly around the El Golfo area, with the largest one being recorded this morning with a 3.3 magnitude.

The movements could indicate a likely change in magma flows deep underground, but scientists are still unable to say if this will result in a change of eruptive phase to the existing underwater volcano, or if a further eruption may occur.

Thel Ramon Margalef Oceanographic research ship is continuing to monitor the situation and has surveyed the underwater eruption off the south coast of the island tocheck for any changes in activity. A new Volcanic crater was discovered earlier this week 300mt below the surface measuring some 100mt high, with a cone diameter of 700mt and a crater width of 120mt. Geologists estimate that it has a cubic capacity of 12 Million Meters and could potentially produce as much as 40 Million cubic meters of magma.

Underwater lave flows have now reached 7km - the magma solidifies on the outside as it comes into contact with the cold seawater, but remains liquid and continues to flow at it's core.

Read further news stories about the El Hierro Volcano by clicking the link HERE .

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