Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — June 1990
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 15, no. 6 (June 1990)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) Seismicity at low levels; no ash emissions
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1990. Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 15:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199006-351020.
Nevado del Ruiz
4.892°N, 75.324°W; summit elev. 5279 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Seismic activity was at low levels during May and June, with a decrease in seismic energy in early June, then an increase to moderate levels during the second half of the month. Earthquake locations were aligned with the Palestina fault at depths of 0.5 to 12 km, or were oriented oblique to the fault and at shallower depths. Pulses of low-energy tremor were also recorded. There was no significant deformation, although there was a slight increase at the Refugio Station (7 km W of the crater). Glacial measurements indicated a decrease in ablation. June SO2 flux was relatively high, averaging 5,985 t/d as determined by COSPEC.
Geologic Background. Nevado del Ruiz is a broad, glacier-covered volcano in central Colombia that covers more than 200 km2. Three major edifices, composed of andesitic and dacitic lavas and andesitic pyroclastics, have been constructed since the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern cone consists of a broad cluster of lava domes built within the caldera of an older edifice. The 1-km-wide, 240-m-deep Arenas crater occupies the summit. The prominent La Olleta pyroclastic cone located on the SW flank may also have been active in historical time. Steep headwalls of massive landslides cut the flanks. Melting of its summit icecap during historical eruptions, which date back to the 16th century, has resulted in devastating lahars, including one in 1985 that was South America's deadliest eruption.
Information Contacts: C. Carvajal, INGEOMINAS, Manizales.