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Report on Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador) — 30 October-5 November 2002

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 October-5 November 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 October-5 November 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (30 October-5 November 2002)


Guagua Pichincha

Ecuador

0.171°S, 78.598°W; summit elev. 4784 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Based on information from IG, the Washington VAAC reported that explosions occurred at Guagua Pichincha on 3 November at 2056 and 2115. They could not determine the heights of the plumes produced from the explosions, or if they contained ash, because ash was already in the atmosphere from a large eruption that day at Reventador, ~100 km E of Guagua Pichincha.

Geologic Background. Guagua Pichincha and the older Pleistocene Rucu Pichincha stratovolcanoes form a broad volcanic massif that rises immediately to the W of Ecuador's capital city, Quito. A lava dome is located at the head of a 6-km-wide breached caldera that formed during a late-Pleistocene slope failure ~50,000 years ago. Subsequent late-Pleistocene and Holocene eruptions from the central vent in the breached caldera consisted of explosive activity with pyroclastic flows accompanied by periodic growth and destruction of the central lava dome. One of Ecuador's most active volcanoes, it is the site of many minor eruptions since the beginning of the Spanish era. The largest historical eruption took place in 1660, when ash fell over a 1000 km radius, accumulating to 30 cm depth in Quito. Pyroclastic flows and surges also occurred, primarily to then W, and affected agricultural activity, causing great economic losses.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)