Report on Colima (Mexico) — 10 November-16 November 2004
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 November-16 November 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 November-16 November 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 10-15 November, block-lava flows continued to travel down Colima's N, W, NW, and S flanks as they have since 30 September. Several explosions occurred daily during the report period. Block-and-ash flows spilling from the fronts of the advancing lava flows on the W flank remained within ~2 km of the summit.
According to the Washington VAAC, satellite imagery from 1615 on 10 November indicated a plume moving N from Colima to a height of ~5 km a.s.l. The plume, consisting mostly of steam and a little ash, was emitted around 1610; by 1745 it had drifted ~45 km N.
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.