It certainly seems like volcanoes are erupting all over the world right now, and the newest region to attract scientists’ attention, is the Canary Islands. After hundreds of mini-earthquakes were this week, experts were called in to monitor a potential eruption.
According to The Daily Mail UK, the situation could quickly become volatile. Seismic experts have been called in to carry out tests on the Canary Island of La Palma after fears that an active volcano may erupt. Hundreds of mini-earthquakes have been recorded on the island in the past few weeks, and scientists are now monitoring the seismic activity on La Palma 24 hours-a-day. Tests will be carried out on the slopes of the island’s active volcano, Cumbre Vieja, to attempt to calculate any potential risk of an eruption.
Cumbre Vieja, on the volcanic ocean island of La Palma, near Tenerife, last erupted in 1971. But the hundreds of mini-earthquakes are prompting fears that it could go again – and soon. A slew of tiny tremors beneath the volcano’s surface in just a matter of hours this week have reportedly caused lava to rise up from beneath. Scientists will sample underground water, measure PH levels, conductivity, temperature, and radon dissolved gas activity, according to The Express.
All of this new testing was launched as a “hydrogeochemical monitoring program,” will see tests conducted three times a week at four different points on the volcano. The 350 mini-earthquakes have prompted scientists to probe deeper into the volcanoes eruption potential. The National Geographic Institute (NGI) notes that a team is to be sent to La Palma to carry out CO2 profiles and structural studies of Cumbre Vieja.
A majority of the tremors were so small, that they could not be detected by scientists and were not felt by any residents on La Palma. Between October 6 and 7, more than 40 tremors were recorded, with the most powerful hitting 2.7 on the Richter scale and located at a depth of 17.4 miles. A few days without any tremors followed. Then, between October 10 and 13, seismographers on La Palma picked up another swarm of tremors, taking the total to 352 in just ten days. On October 13 alone, some 44 quakes were recorded at depths of between 9.3miles and 13.6miles, the most powerful at 2.1 on the Richter scale.
In a report published on Saturday, the NGI adds that one of the reasons for the high number of tremors could be the three new monitoring stations in the area.