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Report on Colima (Mexico) — 10 July-16 July 2019

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 July-16 July 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, 10 July-16 July 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (10 July-16 July 2019)



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 intermittent steam-and-gas emissions, mainly from the NE side of the crater, and two small explosions were recorded during 5-12 July. Five lahars descended the Montegrande ravine. An overflight on 9 July revealed that the diameter of the vent had slightly increased, likely caused by subsidence, and other areas of minor subsidence within the crater were noted. An area of collapsed material on the outer W wall was also identified. Temperatures inside the crater were 116 degrees Celsius, lower than the temperature of 250 degrees Celsius recorded in May. The temperatures in the fumarolic area decreased from 202 degrees Celsius in May to 169 degrees. A thermal camera located S of the volcano recorded thermal anomalies associated with fumarolic emissions. Weather conditions sometimes prevented observations of the 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.

Source: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima