Report on Galeras (Colombia) — 30 November-6 December 2005
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
30 November-6 December 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Galeras (Colombia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 November-6 December 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The hazard status at Galeras was at Level III as of 5 December. Low levels of seismicity and deformation were continuing. Although poor weather conditions obscured the volcano most of the time, steam and gas emissions were photographed on 2 December coming from several locations on the active cone, including the main crater. The plume rose 1 km above the summit on 3 December.
Geological Summary. Galeras, a stratovolcano with a large breached caldera located immediately west of the city of Pasto, is one of Colombia's most frequently active volcanoes. The dominantly andesitic complex has been active for more than 1 million years, and two major caldera collapse eruptions took place during the late Pleistocene. Long-term extensive hydrothermal alteration has contributed to large-scale edifice collapse on at least three occasions, producing debris avalanches that swept to the west and left a large open caldera inside which the modern cone has been constructed. Major explosive eruptions since the mid-Holocene have produced widespread tephra deposits and pyroclastic flows that swept all but the southern flanks. A central cone slightly lower than the caldera rim has been the site of numerous small-to-moderate eruptions since the time of the Spanish conquistadors.