Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 20 January-26 January 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 January-26 January 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 January-26 January 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
While in the field on 15 January, IG technicians observed several explosions at Reventador that generated ash plumes which rose 1.5-2 km above the crater. A pyroclastic flow traveled 500 m down the N flank. Pyroclastic flow deposits from the previous three weeks were also noted. Activity during 19-25 January remained high. At 2200 on 19 January a major explosion, heard in El Reventador village, ejected incandescent material onto the SW flank. Gas, steam, and ash emissions rose 0.8-2 km above the crater on most days. During 21-22 January incandescent material traveled 1.2 km down the W flank.
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.