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Report on Sangay (Ecuador) — June 2009


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 34, no. 6 (June 2009)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Sangay (Ecuador) Occasional ash plume activity continues

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Sangay (Ecuador) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 34:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200906-352090



2.005°S, 78.341°W; summit elev. 5286 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Our most recent reports on Sangay noted occasional steam and/or ash plumes between 11 October 2006 and 28 December 2007 (BGVN 33:03) and thermal anomalies between 27 March and 4 December 2008 (BGVN 34:01). The current report continues to tabulate this persistently erupting volcano's plumes from 28 December 2007 to 31 July 2009 (table 3), and thermal anomalies from 4 December 2008 to 10 August 2009 (table 4).

Table 3. Sangay ash plume activity, reported for 29 December 2008 to July 2009. NR signifies not reported and no plumes were observed 29-31 December 2008. TA is thermal anomaly. Courtesy of the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center.

Date Maximum Altitude Bearing Remarks
05 Jan 2009 7 km S --
09 Feb 2009 7.9 -- --
10 Mar 2009 5.5 W TA detected
15 Jun 2009 -- WNW TA reported by VAAC
26 Jun 2009 7.6 W --
23 Jul 2009 7.9 -- --

Table 4. Thermal anomalies at Sangay based on MODIS-MODVOLC data during 4 December 2008 to 10 August 2009 (continued from the list in BGVN 34:01). Courtesy HIGP Thermal Alerts System.

Date (UTC) Time (UTC) Pixels Satellite
10 Mar 2009 0645 1 Aqua
10 Aug 2009 0340 1 Terra

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.

Information Contacts: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).