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Report on Colima (Mexico) — 30 January-5 February 2013

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 January-5 February 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 January-5 February 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (30 January-5 February 2013)


Colima

Mexico

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 29 January an ash plume from Colima drifted 55 km NE at an uncertain altitude. A thermal anomaly was also detected.

According to news articles, residents up to 20 km away reported a loud noise, shaking ground, and rattling windows at about 0400 on 29 January. Colima ejected incandescent material and an ash plume that rose 3 km. Ash fell in several communities.

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: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), El Economista, El Occidental, La Prensa (Mexico)