Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — 16 January-22 January 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 January-22 January 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 January-22 January 2013. 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, the Washington VAAC reported that on 16 January a diffuse plume from Nevado del Ruiz possibly contained ash and drifted almost 55 km NE. A thermal anomaly was also detected. INGEOMINAS reported significant emissions of mostly gas and steam during 14-20 January; plumes rose 1.6 km above the crater and drifted E and SE, and then W during the later part of the week.
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.