Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 3 December-9 December 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 December-9 December 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, 3 December-9 December 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 moderate seismic activity including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and tremor at Reventador during 3-9 December. Cloudy conditions occasionally obscured views of the summit. Steam emissions on 3 December rose from the crater and drifted NW. On 4 December steam plumes with minor ash content rose 200 m and drifted S. On 5 December a webcam recorded a steam-and-gas emission associated with an incandescent lava flow on the E flank. Water vapor plumes rose 500-700 m and drifted NW on 7 December, and 1 km and drifted SW on 9 December.
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.