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Report on Colima (Mexico) — 27 August-2 September 2003

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 August-2 September 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 August-2 September 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (27 August-2 September 2003)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

According to the Universidad de Colima, an explosion at Colima on 28 August at 2352 produced an ash plume that rose to a height of ~3 km above the volcano's crater. The explosion was accompanied by pyroclastic flows that traveled 2 km down the S flank and volcanic blocks. Residents of the city of Colima, ~32 km from the volcano, heard the explosion and ash fell in the town of Grullo, ~60 km NW of the volcano. Seismic data revealed that this explosion was similar in size to one on 2 August.

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.

Sources: Associated Press, Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)