Report on Colima (Mexico) — 4 February-10 February 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 February-10 February 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 February-10 February 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on webcam views, Colima Tower, Mexico City MWO, and Colima Observatory notices, and satellite images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 4 February a small ash puff from Colima drifted E. Later that day an emission rose to an altitude of 7.3 km (24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, and two additional ash clouds drifted E. On 5 February multiple ash emissions, mostly diffuse, drifted E and NE. One ash plume rose to an altitude of 7.9 km (26,000 ft) a.s.l. and moved ENE.
In a 7 February bulletin, the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil reported that Colima remained active, although there continued to be a slight decrease in the number and size of lava-block avalanches. Lava flows minimally advanced, and small landslides of lava blocks were observed. Explosions continued but also decreased in intensity. Residents were warned not go within 5 km of the volcano.
Geologic Background. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the high point of the complex) on the north and the historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of late-Pleistocene cinder cones is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, producing thick debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions have destroyed the summit (most recently in 1913) and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.