Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 21 April-27 April 2010
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 April-27 April 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 April-27 April 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The IG reported that on 20 April scientists conducting an overflight of Reventador saw steam-and-gas emissions. They also observed an explosion generate a pyroclastic flow that traveled 200 m down the S flank. Deposits from previous pyroclastic flows were seen on the same flank. Explosions generated steam-and-gas plumes with low ash content during 20-22 April. Weather clouds prevented views of the volcano in satellite imagery on 23 April, although a pilot reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l. On 26 April a steam-and-ash plume rose 500 m above the crater.
Geologic Background. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.