Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 26 March-1 April 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 March-1 April 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 March-1 April 2014. 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 activity at Reventador increased on 25 March. At 1830 an explosion was followed by a pyroclastic flow that traveled 500 m down the flanks. Strombolian activity produced gas-and-ash plumes that rose 1.5 km above the crater. During 26-29 March continuous tremor was interspersed with explosions and long-period earthquakes. Although cloud cover often prevented crater views, video cameras showed a lava flow traveling down the S flank and incandescent material erupting from the crater. Emissions with small amounts of ash rose 1 km on 28 March. Ashfall was reported in Hosteria El Reventador and camp San Rafael on the flanks. A load roar reported at 0300 on 31 March was followed by observations of incandescent material traveling 1 km down the S flank. Cloud cover prevented visual observations the next day.
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.