Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 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 Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 January-22 January 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
IG reported that during 16-21 January seismicity at Reventador was moderate; cloud cover prevented visual observations. Incandescence in the crater was observed at night during 21-22 January. Starting at 0900 on 22 January seismicity at Reventador increased and was characterized by constant low-frequency, high-energy tremor detected by seismic stations around the volcano. Observers reported lava fountains in the crater and lava flows on the flanks, both of which became more intense at 1800. Explosions produced white-to-light-gray plumes that rose 2 km and drifted W.
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.