Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 19 February-25 February 2003
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
19 February-25 February 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 February-25 February 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 20-21 February, heavy rain mixed with fine volcanic material on Reventador's flanks, generating mudflows that traveled down the Montana River. The mud flows obstructed travel on a highway. During 15-21 February, seismic activity remained at low levels and there was no indication of increased volcanism. IG stated that since the rainy season is beginning near Reventador, residents must be aware of the danger of possible mudflows.
Geological Summary. 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.