Report on Colima (Mexico) — 11 February-17 February 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 February-17 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, 11 February-17 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 satellite images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 11 February continued discrete emissions from Colima drifted NE and dissipated after 55 km. On 14 February a small eruption recorded by the webcam produced gas emissions with a low ash content that rose to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NNE.
In a 17 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. Explosions continued but also decreased in intensity, producing ash plumes that rose 2-3 km above the crater. The lava dome had been partially destroyed, forming a carter about 140 m in diameter. 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.