Report on Colima (Mexico) — 4 March-10 March 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 March-10 March 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, 4 March-10 March 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 satellite images and wind models, the Washington VAAC reported that on 4 March an ash plume rose from Colima to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 65 km NE and ENE. The webcam recorded an ash plume rising from the crater and drifting NE later that day. On 5 March the webcam recorded an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NNE. Gas emissions with some possible ash continued to be recorded. An explosion at 1546 on 6 March generated an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NNE. Satellite images detected a plume drifting almost 65 km E at an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. The webcam recorded continuing ash puffs on 7 March drifting NW. A wide ash plume rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and fanned out N and NE. On 9 March the Mexico City MWO reported an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. Webcam views indicated that the emission rose higher. Multiple ash emissions were detected later that day, and one was detected on 10 March.
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.