Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 22 April-28 April 2009
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 April-28 April 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 April-28 April 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The IG reported that seismicity from Reventador decreased to low levels on 26 March, after the seismic network had detected an earthquake swarm the same day. On 23 April, increased seismicity was characterized by long-period events interspersed with bands of spasmodic and harmonic tremor. Observers reported that steam plumes with low ash content rose to altitudes of 5.6-6.6 km (18,400-21,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Intense noises from the volcano were also reported. A thermal anomaly and a steam plume drifting 26 km WSW were detected on satellite imagery.
Geologic Background. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.