Report on Tungurahua (Ecuador) — 19 December-25 December 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
19 December-25 December 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Tungurahua (Ecuador). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 December-25 December 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
1.467°S, 78.442°W; summit elev. 5023 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Volcanic activity remained relatively low at Tungurahua. Several steam emissions occurred during the week, with some accompanied by sporadic pulses of gas and ash. Steam clouds rose to a maximum height of 1 km above the volcano. Seismicity was dominated by long-period earthquakes. IG warned that mud flows could be generated at any time.
Geological Summary. Tungurahua, a steep-sided andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano that towers more than 3 km above its northern base, is one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes. Three major edifices have been sequentially constructed since the mid-Pleistocene over a basement of metamorphic rocks. Tungurahua II was built within the past 14,000 years following the collapse of the initial edifice. Tungurahua II collapsed about 3,000 years ago and produced a large debris-avalanche deposit to the west. The modern glacier-capped stratovolcano (Tungurahua III) was constructed within the landslide scarp. Historical eruptions have all originated from the summit crater, accompanied by strong explosions and sometimes by pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached populated areas at the volcano's base. Prior to a long-term eruption beginning in 1999 that caused the temporary evacuation of the city of Baños at the foot of the volcano, the last major eruption had occurred from 1916 to 1918, although minor activity continued until 1925.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)