Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 10 July-16 July 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 July-16 July 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, 10 July-16 July 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
IG reported that during 10-16 July seismic activity at Reventador was high; weather conditions mostly prevented visual observations of the crater. During partially clear views on 13 July, observers noted a new lava flow on the S flank. At 1500 on 15 July continuous tremor was detected, which intensified at 2000, and then decreased at midnight. Intense Strombolian activity during this time was characterized by variable-magnitude explosions and roaring. Explosions generated blocks that rolled down the flanks. Incandescence from the lava flow on the S flank was observed.
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.