Report on Galeras (Colombia) — 15 October-21 October 2008
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 October-21 October 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on Galeras (Colombia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 October-21 October 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 21 October, INGEOMINAS reported that during the previous week pulsating white plumes occasionally tinged gray rose from Galeras to altitudes of 4.6-7.4 km (15,100-24,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S. On 20 October, a M 2.3 earthquake located 600 m SSW of the main crater occurred at a depth of less than 1 km.
Geologic Background. Galeras, a stratovolcano with a large breached caldera located immediately west of the city of Pasto, is one of Colombia's most frequently active volcanoes. The dominantly andesitic complex has been active for more than 1 million years, and two major caldera collapse eruptions took place during the late Pleistocene. Long-term extensive hydrothermal alteration has contributed to large-scale edifice collapse on at least three occasions, producing debris avalanches that swept to the west and left a large horseshoe-shaped caldera inside which the modern cone has been constructed. Major explosive eruptions since the mid-Holocene have produced widespread tephra deposits and pyroclastic flows that swept all but the southern flanks. A central cone slightly lower than the caldera rim has been the site of numerous small-to-moderate historical eruptions since the time of the Spanish conquistadors.