Nevado del Tolima

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 4.67°N
  • 75.33°W

  • 5200 m
    17056 ft

  • 351030
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Nevado del Tolima.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Nevado del Tolima.

Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

10/1988 (SEAN 13:10) Occasional seismicity; minor fumarolic activity

06/2013 (BGVN 38:06) Non-eruptive during 2005-2012; hazard assessment and glacial retreat


Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

10/1988 (SEAN 13:10)

Seismicity at Tolima was recorded in December 1987 and September-October 1988 by a telemetric station 2 km SE of the summit (figure 1). During October, as many as seven high-frequency events/day were recorded and minor fumarolic activity was observed. A 50-m-thick ice cap with an area of ~ 2 km2 covers the summit.

Figure 1. Number of earthquakes/day recorded by a seismic station 2 km SE of the summit, December 1987-October 1988. Courtesy of the Observatorio Vulcanológico de Colombia.

Information Contacts: C. Carvajal and F. Muñoz, INGEOMINAS, Manizales.

06/2013 (BGVN 38:06) Non-eruptive during 2005-2012; hazard assessment and glacial retreat

An HTML version of this report is not available, please read this report as a PDF file.

The steep-sided, glacier-clad Nevado del Tolima volcano contrasts with the broad profile of Nevado del Ruiz volcano to the north. The andesitic-dacitic younger Tolima volcano formed during the past 40,000 years, rising above and largely obscuring a 3-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera. The summit consists of a cluster of late-Pleistocene to Holocene lava domes that were associated with thick block-lava flows on the northern and eastern flanks and extensive pyroclastic-flow deposits. The summit contains a funnel-shaped crater 200-300 m deep. Holocene activity has included explosive eruptions ranging in size from moderate to plinian. The last major eruption took place about 3600 years ago. Lava dome growth has produced block-and-ash flows that traveled primarily to the NE and SE. Minor explosive eruptions have been recorded from Tolima in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1943 Mar Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1826 May 1826 Jun 17 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1825 Mar 2 (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1822 Nov (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
0260 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected)
0200 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected)
0610 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected)
1990 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed 5 Radiocarbon (corrected)
3500 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
5160 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
5310 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
7800 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.



Craters
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Hoyo, El Crater 4° 39' 0" N 75° 23' 0" W
Nevado del Tolima volcano rises to the south above the forested mountains of the Central Cordillera of Colombia. The andesitic-dacitic younger Tolima volcano formed within the past 40,000 years. The summit consists of a cluster of late-Pleistocene to Holocene lava domes that were associated with thick block-lava flows and extensive pyroclastic-flow deposits. The last major eruption took place about 3600 years ago, although moderate historical eruptions have occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Photo by Norm Banks, 1895 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The steep-sided, glacier-clad Tolima volcano is seen here from the slopes of Nevado del Ruiz volcano to the north. The summit of Tolima consists of a cluster of late-Pleistocene to Holocene lava domes and contains a funnel-shaped crater 200-300 m deep. Holocene activity has ranged from moderate explosions to plinian eruptions. The last major eruption took place about 3600 years ago. Minor explosive eruptions took place in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Photo by Tom Pierson, 1985 (U.S. Geological Survey).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Cuellar-Rodriguez J V, Ramirez-Lopez C, 1987. Descripcion de los volcanes Colombianos. Rev CIAF, Bogota, p 189-222.

Hantke G, Parodi I, 1966. Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 19: 1-73.

Huggel C, Cegballos J L Pulgarin B, Ramirez J, Thouret J-C, 2007. Review and reassessment of hazards owing to volcano-glacier interactions in Colombia. Annals Glaciology, 45: 128-136.

Mendez Fajury R A, 1989. Catalogo de los volcanes activos en Colombia. Bol Geol INGEOMINAS, Colombia, 30: 1-75.

Thouret J-C, Cantagrel J-M, Robin C, Murcia A, Salinas R, Cepeda H, 1995. Quaternary eruptive history and hazard-zone model at Nevado del Tolima and Cerro Machin volcanoes, Colombia. J Volc Geotherm Res, 66: 397-426.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano
Caldera
Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Dacite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
1,660
6,563
441,916
4,258,333

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Nevado del Tolima Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.