Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 23 January-29 January 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 January-29 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, 23 January-29 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 in the morning of 22 January tremor at Reventador increased significantly and signals indicating rockfalls were detected. Explosions were heard during the afternoon and evening that same day. After an explosion in the crater a gas-and-steam plume was observed rising 1.5 km above the crater. Lava flows traveled down the SW and N flanks. The lava dome had grown at least 100 m above the crater rim.
During 23-29 January seismicity remained high. Cloud cover mostly prevented visual observations; during 22-23 January lava flow were visible at night, and on 24 January a steam-and-ash plume rose 2 km. Gas plumes rose as high as 1 km and drifted NW and W on 29 January.
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.