Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 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 Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 January-5 February 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During an overflight of Reventador on 29 January scientists observed an explosion and a steam-and-ash plume that rose 1.5 km above the lava dome. Since November the dome had significantly grown to at least 100 m higher than the E rim, and about 20 lava flows had traveled down the N, SE, and S flanks.
During 29 January-5 February seismicity remained high. Cloud cover often prevented observations although emissions were observed; steam-and-ash plumes rose 2-4 km and drifted W and NW on most days. Crater incandescence was observed at night during 29-30 January.
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.