Report on Colima (Mexico) — 15 March-21 March 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 March-21 March 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 March-21 March 2017. 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 Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima observations, the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil de Colima reported that during 10-16 March there were three low-intensity explosions at Colima. A slight decrease of sulfur dioxide was detected. During an overflight scientists observed gas emissions from small explosion craters on the floor of the main crater; there was no evidence of a new lava dome. The report noted that the public should not enter the 6-km-radius exclusion zone.
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.