Report on Colima (Mexico) — 14 January-20 January 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 January-20 January 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 January-20 January 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on information from Colima Tower, the Washington VAAC reported that on 14 January an emission from Colima drifted E. The next day satellite images showed a diffuse ash plume drifting NNE. On 17 January two emissions drifted 20-30 km NNE, and a thermal anomaly was detected in satellite images. A news article stated that an ash plume rose 600 m, and then later that day (at 1800) an ash plume rose 2.5 km. Ashfall was reported in Tuxpan (25 km ENE). According to the VAAC, on 18 January the México City MWO noted that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 10 km NNE; ash was not identified in satellite images. On 19 January an ash plume drifted almost 30 km NE.
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.