Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 30 April-6 May 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 April-6 May 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 April-6 May 2014. 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 a small pyroclastic flow traveled a few meters below Reventador’s crater on 29 April. Cloud cover occasionally prevented visual observations during 30 April-6 May. An ash plume rose 3-4 km and drifted W on 1 May, and a steam plume with some ash rose less than 1 km the next day. People in Camp San Rafael (8 km ESE) reported that an explosion at 2040 on 4 May ejected a large amount of incandescent material onto the flanks, and generated an ash plume that rose 4-5 km above the crater and drifted NW. Explosions on 5 May produced ash plumes that rose 4 km. At 0925 an explosion vibrated windows in the camp. On 6 May explosions again rattled windows in the camp and a gas plume was observed rising 1 km and drifted W.
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.