Report on Colima (Mexico) — 20 February-26 February 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
20 February-26 February 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Colima (Mexico). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 February-26 February 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 19-24 February, avalanches of incandescent material continued to travel down the S, SW, and W flanks of Colima. They extended 2-3 km from the volcano's summit and were recorded in seismic data. Lava continued to flow down the SW flank of the volcano, extending as far as 200 m from the summit. Lava was also visible flowing down the volcano's W flank as far as 2 km from the summit. Avalanches are expected to occur from the lava-flow front travelling down the volcano's E flank. About 300 metric tons of SO2 were measured per day, which was lower than values measured in 1998 when the current eruptive episode began.
Geological Summary. The Colima 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 scarp, 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 recorded 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.