A new article published in Nature Geoscience shows that the Spanish emergency management officers were aware of magma accumulating beneath the La Palma volcano three and a half month prior the eruption and did nothing to prevent it…
AGAIN! They knew it and did nothing. What if the USGS and other offices around the world are doing the same, hiding important security data from us, the people. What if on their websites, they were only showing what they wanted us to see?
In the case of La Palma, officials have been lucky… The eruption took place in a remote area, out of large cities, claiming only one life (that of a 72-year-old man cleaning ashes)… But what if the next eruption occurred on a overpopulated island like Tenerife or Grand Canary Islands? That would be devastating…
The eruption of the Tajogaite volcano on La Palma began on September 19, 2021 on the western slope of Cumbre Vieja and was active for 85 days.
El Tajogaite caused the evacuation of more than 7,000 people, many of whom lost their homes and even their livelihoods, the destruction of roads and basic infrastructure, and the formation of lava flows that devastated more than 1,200 hectares with thicknesses that in some places reached 70 meters (230 feet). Other long-lasting consequences are the continuous gas emissions, respiratory problems, skin pathologies, as well as mental and anxiety problems in the population.
They knew something was going on before the eruption
Using a new technique to monitor magma accumulation, scientists have highlighted a shallow magma accumulation which began about 3.5 months before the eruption in a crustal volume charactherized by low density and fractured rocks at a depth of about 2.5 km from the surface.
Moreover, two months before the eruption, vertical fracturing sources (represented in yellow) began to appear at a depth of about three thousand meters, suggesting a brittle crustal response due to stronger magma ascent.
Coinciding with the seismic activity prior to the eruption, the appearance of these sources of fracturing and tension increases, which we associate with the magma dam that used that fissure to come to the surface.
In these pressure and tension structures, in addition to the main branch associated with the eruption, two other ascending branches are activated, also represented in red in the image below. These two branches are located one under the ocean to the south of Puerto Naos and the other to the west of the town of Jedey , without reaching the surface as failed magma intrusions.
The model of magmatic reservoir, magma rise and associated terrain fractures obtained in this study would also help to explain other phenomena, such as the still continuous emission of gases in the areas of Puerto Naos and La Bombilla.
Are we closer to being able to anticipate volcanic eruptions? The new technique presented in the Nature paper can help in the detection and surveillance of new episodes of volcanic reactivation.