Report on Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador) — 13 December-19 December 2000
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
13 December-19 December 2000
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2000. Report on Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 December-19 December 2000. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.171°S, 78.598°W; summit elev. 4784 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Guayaquil MWO reported to the Washington VAAC that an eruption occurred at 0148 on 15 December. No ash plume was visible in GOES-8 imagery and no further eruption details were reported. The IG reported that the high number of earthquakes that occurred during the week indicated that dome 9 continued to slowly grow.
Geological Summary. Guagua Pichincha and the older Pleistocene Rucu Pichincha stratovolcanoes form a broad volcanic massif that rises immediately to the W of Ecuador's capital city, Quito. A lava dome is located at the head of a 6-km-wide breached caldera that formed during a late-Pleistocene slope failure ~50,000 years ago. Subsequent late-Pleistocene and Holocene eruptions from the central vent in the breached caldera consisted of explosive activity with pyroclastic flows accompanied by periodic growth and destruction of the central lava dome. One of Ecuador's most active volcanoes, it is the site of many minor eruptions since the beginning of the Spanish era. The largest historical eruption took place in 1660, when ash fell over a 1000 km radius, accumulating to 30 cm depth in Quito. Pyroclastic flows and surges also occurred, primarily to then W, and affected agricultural activity, causing great economic losses.