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Crowd-sourcing observations of volcanic eruptions during the 2021 Fagradalsfjall and Cumbre Vieja events

Wadsworth, Fabian B.; Llewellin, Edward W.; Farquharson, Jamie I.; Gillies, Janina K.; Loisel, Ariane; Frey, Léon; Ilyinskaya, Evgenia; Thordarson, Thor; Tramontano, Samantha; Lev, Einat; Pankhurst, Matthew J.; Rull, Alejandro Galdeano; Asensio-Ramos, María; Pérez, Nemesio M.; Hernández, Pedro A.; Calvo, David; Solana, M. Carmen; Kueppers, Ulrich; Santabárbara, Alejandro Polo

Crowd-sourcing observations of volcanic eruptions during the 2021 Fagradalsfjall and Cumbre Vieja events Thumbnail


Jamie I. Farquharson

Janina Gillies
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy

Ariane Loisel
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy

Léon Frey

Evgenia Ilyinskaya

Thor Thordarson

Samantha Tramontano

Einat Lev

Matthew J. Pankhurst

Alejandro Galdeano Rull

María Asensio-Ramos

Nemesio M. Pérez

Pedro A. Hernández

David Calvo

M. Carmen Solana

Ulrich Kueppers

Alejandro Polo Santabárbara


The Fagradalsfjall1 and Cumbre Vieja eruptions were spectacular and, in the case of Cumbre Vieja, highly destructive. Over their course, the eruptions waxed and waned, fed lava flows, caused numerous felt earthquakes and explosions, localized from crack-fed fissure eruptions into discrete vents and cones, formed fountains up to hundreds of meters high and, for Cumbre Vieja, sent buoyant plumes of pyroclasts and gas to high altitudes. Importantly, both eruptions were visited by people from all over the world and broadcasted widely. While those visitors included many volcanologists, the majority were tourists and volcano enthusiasts, and included photographers, videographers, artists, content creators, and drone pilots. Just 5 years ago, the use of drones on volcanoes was the preserve of a few researchers only8. Today, drones are a mainstay of the photographer’s or videographer’s arsenal, whether amateur or professional. Thanks to the rapid increase in quality and availability of high-resolution digital photography equipment, and the increasing quality of smartphone cameras, it is possible for the enthusiastic amateur to capture natural phenomena in unprecedented detail. Here, we compare and contrast the Fagradalsfjall and Cumbre Vieja eruptions through the lens of the content creators who have visited these sites, with the aim of assessing the utility of non-specialist content for scientific purposes.


Wadsworth, F. B., Llewellin, E. W., Farquharson, J. I., Gillies, J. K., Loisel, A., Frey, L., …Santabárbara, A. P. (2022). Crowd-sourcing observations of volcanic eruptions during the 2021 Fagradalsfjall and Cumbre Vieja events. Nature Communications, 13(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2022
Online Publication Date May 13, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jul 5, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 5, 2022
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 1
Public URL


Published Journal Article (1.4 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
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