Volcano Watch: The Canary Islands ‘mega-tsunami’ hypothesis, and why it doesn’t carry water

  • La Palma is a basaltic shield volcano in the Canary Islands. Like Hawaiian volcanoes, La Palma typically erupts lava flows. This aerial photo, courtesy of Radio Television Canaria, shows lava flows that are being generated by a fissure eruption upslope on La Palma. One of the lava flows is entering the ocean, creating new land called a lava delta. Lava deltas are built by the accumulation of lava near the base of the sea cliff at an ocean entry. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

“Volcano Watchers” are probably aware that an eruption began on La Palma in the Canary Islands on September 19. The eruption style is similar to Hawaiian eruptions, and both locations share the potential for flank collapse and tsunami.