Report on Galeras (Colombia) — 25 November-1 December 2009
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
25 November-1 December 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Galeras (Colombia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 November-1 December 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 27 November, INGEOMINAS lowered the Alert Level for Galeras to III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity"). During the previous few days, seismicity was low and occasionally punctuated by signals indicative of minor gas and ash emissions. An overflight on 26 November revealed gas emissions from the interior walls of the main crater and thermal anomalies with temperatures of 200 degrees Celsius. During 27 November-1 December, seismicity remained low; signals indicated gas emissions.
Geological Summary. 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.