Report on Hierro (Spain) — 11 July-17 July 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Hierro (Spain). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
27.73°N, 18.03°W; summit elev. 1500 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) reported that during 11-17 July both seismic activity and deformation at El Hierro decreased. There were 87 seismic events located, most of them offshore SW of El Hierro Island at about 20 km depth. Only six earthquakes were M 2.7 or higher, and the maximum magnitude recorded was 3.4, corresponding to two events: 14 July at 1952 and 17 July at 0746. The deformation rate decreased, with maximum values of less than 1 cm in the horizontal components.
Geologic Background. The triangular island of Hierro is the SW-most and least studied of the Canary Islands. The massive shield volcano is truncated by a large NW-facing escarpment formed as a result of gravitational collapse of El Golfo volcano about 130,000 years ago. The steep-sided scarp towers above a low lava platform bordering 12-km-wide El Golfo Bay, and three other large submarine landslide deposits occur to the SW and SE. Three prominent rifts oriented NW, NE, and south at 120 degree angles form prominent topographic ridges. The subaerial portion of the volcano consists of flat-lying Quaternary basaltic and trachybasaltic lava flows and tuffs capped by numerous young cinder cones and lava flows. Holocene cones and flows are found both on the outer flanks and in the El Golfo depression. Hierro contains the greatest concentration of young vents in the Canary Islands. Uncertainty surrounds the report of an historical eruption in 1793.