Logo link to homepage

Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — September 1990


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 15, no. 9 (September 1990)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Reventador (Ecuador) Low-temperature fumarolic activity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1990. Report on Reventador (Ecuador) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 15:9. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199009-352010



0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Abundant small fumaroles were observed 17-19 August, within the crater and in concentric cracks near the rim. These fumaroles emitted little gas and were fairly quiet. Fumarole temperatures, measured using infrared thermometry, reached 71.0°C (figure 1).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Sketch map of the crater of Reventador showing fumarole locations (solid circles), sizes, and temperatures, August 1990. Courtesy of Sean Hodges.

Geological Summary. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.

Information Contacts: S. Hodges, Univ of Oxford. The Oxford field team also included J. Bass, S. Crampton, J. Dinares, S. Hart, R. Hartley, C. Mandeville, M. More, K. Ogden, J. Scarrow, and A. Whittingham.