Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — 14 July-20 July 2010
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 July-20 July 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 July-20 July 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Nevado del Ruiz
4.892°N, 75.324°W; summit elev. 5279 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Washington VAAC reported that a plume at an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. from a possible eruption from Nevado del Ruiz on 17 July was stated in a Bogota MWO SIGMET notice. A second VAAC report less than an hour later noted a brief seismic signal alert had been issued and that meteorological cloud cover prevented observations of the volcano. Ash was not seen in satellite imagery later that day nor were there any additional reports of activity. [INGEOMINAS later confirmed that no eruption had occurred.]
Geologic Background. Nevado del Ruiz is a broad, glacier-covered volcano in central Colombia that covers more than 200 km2. Three major edifices, composed of andesitic and dacitic lavas and andesitic pyroclastics, have been constructed since the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern cone consists of a broad cluster of lava domes built within the caldera of an older edifice. The 1-km-wide, 240-m-deep Arenas crater occupies the summit. The prominent La Olleta pyroclastic cone located on the SW flank may also have been active in historical time. Steep headwalls of massive landslides cut the flanks. Melting of its summit icecap during historical eruptions, which date back to the 16th century, has resulted in devastating lahars, including one in 1985 that was South America's deadliest eruption.