Report on Colima (Mexico) — 22 May-28 May 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 May-28 May 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 May-28 May 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima reported that 51 low-magnitude explosions mainly from the NE part of Colima’s crater were recorded by the seismic and infrasound network during 11-24 May. Emissions from the explosions consisted mainly of water vapor and gas, and were the first surficial manifestations of activity since seismicity increased in the past few weeks. Footage from five drone overflights conducted on 22 May showed fumarolic activity on the inner wall of the NE part of the crater and a new small explosion crater near the center of the main crater.
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.