Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 22 July-28 July 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 July-28 July 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 July-28 July 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 23 July IG reported that activity at Reventador remained high. A slight increase in surficial activity during the previous two weeks was characterized by ash emissions along with pyroclastic flows that descended the W, N, and NE flanks. Ash plumes rose 0.7-1.3 km above the crater rim and drifted several kilometers NW, W, and SW. Incandescent blocks preferentially rolled down the N and NE flanks, though sometimes material was ejected onto all of the flanks.
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.