Report on Colima (Mexico) — February 1994

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 19, no. 2 (February 1994)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Colima (Mexico) SO2 flux measurements

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1994. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 19:2. Smithsonian Institution.

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19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 22 January, ultraviolet correlation spectrometer (COSPEC) measurements taken by Fisher, Williams, Siebe, Delgado Granados, [and Komorowski] from an aircraft yielded 260 ± 80 metric tons/day (t/d) SO2. For comparison, during the interval 24-30 April 1991 twice-daily measurements averaged 300-600 t/d (Williams, 1991). On 23 January, members of the same team ascended to the summit and reported "diffuse degassing of not very acidic gases and a measured temperature of 360°C in the innermost part of the dome."

Ignacio Galindo reported that SO2 flux estimates are expected to continue on a monthly basis at Colima. Measurements will be made with their COSPEC instrument and personnel from a plane provided by the Civil Protection Authorities.

Reference. Williams, Stanley N., 1991, 1991 (February-June) eruption of Colima volcano, Mexico [abs.]: Geological Society of America Abstracts with programs, v. 23, no. 5, p. A-396.

Geologic Background. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the 4320 m high point of the complex) on the north and the 3850-m-high historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of cinder cones of late-Pleistocene age is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the Colima complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, and have produced a thick apron of debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions (most recently in 1913) have destroyed the summit and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.

Information Contacts: Tobias P. Fisher and Stanley N. Williams, Arizona State Univ, USA; Claus Siebe and Hugo Delgado Granados, Instituto de Geofisíca, UNAM; J-C. Komorowski, IPGP Observatoires Volcanologiques, France; Ignacio Galindo, CUICT, Universidad de Colima.