Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — 14 November-20 November 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 November-20 November 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 November-20 November 2012. 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)
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and reported seismic activity, the Washington VAAC issued a notice about a possible eruption from Nevado del Ruiz on 15 November. Cloud cover prevented observations of a possible ash plume but elevated seismicity was detected. A few hours later seismicity decreased and a faint thermal anomaly was detected. About six hours after that seismic activity remained low and no anomaly was detected.
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.