Report on Sangay (Ecuador) — 16 March-22 March 2022
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 March-22 March 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Sangay (Ecuador) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 March-22 March 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
2.005°S, 78.341°W; summit elev. 5286 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 15-22 March. Weather clouds and rain often prevented visual and webcam observations of the volcano, though daily ash-and-gas plumes were identified in satellite images by the Washington VAAC or in webcam views; plumes rose as high as 1 km above the volcano and drifted N, NW, W, and SW. Multiple daily thermal anomalies over the volcano were visible in satellite data. Emissions of incandescent material were occasionally visible in webcam images. The seismic network detected signals indicating descending lahars on 17, 19, and 21 March.
Geological Summary. The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador's volcanoes and its most active. The steep-sided, glacier-covered, dominantly andesitic volcano grew within the open calderas of two previous edifices which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. It towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash have been eroded by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of an eruption was in 1628. Almost continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The almost constant activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.