Report on Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador) — 30 October-5 November 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
30 October-5 November 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 October-5 November 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.171°S, 78.598°W; summit elev. 4784 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on information from IG, the Washington VAAC reported that explosions occurred at Guagua Pichincha on 3 November at 2056 and 2115. They could not determine the heights of the plumes produced from the explosions, or if they contained ash, because ash was already in the atmosphere from a large eruption that day at Reventador, ~100 km E of Guagua Pichincha.
Geological Summary. Guagua Pichincha and the older Pleistocene Rucu Pichincha stratovolcanoes form a broad volcanic massif that rises immediately W of Ecuador's capital city, Quito. A lava dome grew at the head of a 6-km-wide scarp formed during a late-Pleistocene slope failure ~50,000 years ago. Subsequent late-Pleistocene and Holocene eruptions from the central vent consisted of explosive activity with pyroclastic flows accompanied by periodic growth and destruction of the lava dome. Many minor eruptions have been recorded since the mid-1500's; the largest took place in 1660, when ash fell over a 1,000 km radius and accumulated to 30 cm depth in Quito. Pyroclastic flows and surges also occurred, primarily to then W, and affected agricultural activity.