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La Palma volcano update: No new activity - pause of eruption or end?

Mi, 15. Dez 2021, 18:15
18:15 PM | VON: T
Scientists at the crater on La Palma today (image: INVOLCAN / Twitter)
Scientists at the crater on La Palma today (image: INVOLCAN / Twitter)
Depth vs time of quakes under La Palma
Depth vs time of quakes under La Palma
No new activity has been reported at the eruption site since it ceased yesterday. Chances increase that the eruption is over, although this is far from certain (read below for more background).
The calm allowed scientists to actually approach the crater to take gas measurements and film the craters from close:

Is the eruption over?
Whether the eruption has ended or not will depend on whether magma still stored in the reservoir beneath the surface is able to ascend or not, which in turn is likely depending on two main factors:

First, whether the shallow reservoir is being re-supplied by magma from the deeper source, which should become visible with the occurrence of deeper earthquakes - lately, these have been mostly absent, suggesting that supply from the deep source has ended.
Second, the ascent of magma from the shallow reservoir is driven by gasses dissolved in the magma and forming bubbles to increase volume and pressure and eventually make the magma rise to erupt as lava.
If, and this is maybe a likely scenario, most of the gasses have already left the system or if the remaining gasses can separate efficiently from the liquid (magma), and rise and degas at the vents and through the surface, the magma will slowly start cooling down and eventually crystallize over a very long period of time.
It is also very much possible that the current pause of the eruption leads to a blockage of the upper conduits, which disables the degassing process and generates conditions that could lead to sudden explosions and allowing probably smaller batches of remaining magma to erupt in short phases of re-activation.
Nobody knows for now - the situation remains volatile and care should be taken to make any predictions of whether activity will resume or not.

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Mi, 15. Dez 2021, 16:14
Observations at La Palma on 15 December showed no lava flowing from vents at the W base of the main cone, from tubes, or at the lava delta in the Las Hoyas area. During 15-20 December tremor levels were at background levels and seismicity was very low at all depths. Sporadic gas emissions rose from the vents and from cooling lava flows. ... Read all
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