Report on Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador) — 13 December-19 December 2000
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
13 December-19 December 2000
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2000. Report on Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 December-19 December 2000. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.171°S, 78.598°W; summit elev. 4784 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Guayaquil MWO reported to the Washington VAAC that an eruption occurred at 0148 on 15 December. No ash plume was visible in GOES-8 imagery and no further eruption details were reported. The IG reported that the high number of earthquakes that occurred during the week indicated that dome 9 continued to slowly grow.
Geological Summary. Guagua Pichincha and the older Pleistocene Rucu Pichincha stratovolcanoes form a broad volcanic massif that rises immediately W of Ecuador's capital city, Quito. A lava dome grew at the head of a 6-km-wide scarp formed during a late-Pleistocene slope failure ~50,000 years ago. Subsequent late-Pleistocene and Holocene eruptions from the central vent consisted of explosive activity with pyroclastic flows accompanied by periodic growth and destruction of the lava dome. Many minor eruptions have been recorded since the mid-1500's; the largest took place in 1660, when ash fell over a 1,000 km radius and accumulated to 30 cm depth in Quito. Pyroclastic flows and surges also occurred, primarily to then W, and affected agricultural activity.
Sources: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)