Report on Colima (Mexico) — 30 May-5 June 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 May-5 June 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 May-5 June 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During an excursion to Colima on 17 March by personnel from the Universidad de Colima a new crater was observed that was assumed to have been formed during the 22 February 2001 eruption. The crater was ~190,000 m3 in volume, making it the largest crater to form at Colima since the 1960s. On 26 May scientists discovered that a new lava dome that was ~150,000 m3 in volume had formed in the crater. They also noted that fumarolic activity was stronger in May than in March and fumaroles were active around the new dome mainly to the N, NE, and E. The new lava dome was the first evidence of effusive volcanic activity since the November 1998-February 1999 effusive episode.
Geologic Background. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the high point of the complex) on the north and the historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of late-Pleistocene cinder cones is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, producing thick debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions have destroyed the summit (most recently in 1913) and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.