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Report on Tungurahua (Ecuador) — 11 July-17 July 2007


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Tungurahua (Ecuador) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (11 July-17 July 2007)



1.467°S, 78.442°W; summit elev. 5023 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

IG reported that during 11-16 July, ash plumes intermittently visible from Tungurahua rose to altitudes of 5.3-7 km (17,400-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N and W. Ashfall was reported from areas SW during 11-12 and 14-16 July. On 13 July, roaring noises were heard and "cannon shots" rattled windows of houses in areas to the W. A steam plume rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. On 14 July, fumaroles were spotted on the NW flank. On 15 July, lahars traveled down W and S drainages. Lahars in a NW drainage temporarily blocked a road. "Cannon shots" and roaring noises were heard during 15-16 July.

Geological Summary. Tungurahua, a steep-sided andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano that towers more than 3 km above its northern base, is one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes. Three major edifices have been sequentially constructed since the mid-Pleistocene over a basement of metamorphic rocks. Tungurahua II was built within the past 14,000 years following the collapse of the initial edifice. Tungurahua II collapsed about 3,000 years ago and produced a large debris-avalanche deposit to the west. The modern glacier-capped stratovolcano (Tungurahua III) was constructed within the landslide scarp. Historical eruptions have all originated from the summit crater, accompanied by strong explosions and sometimes by pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached populated areas at the volcano's base. Prior to a long-term eruption beginning in 1999 that caused the temporary evacuation of the city of Baños at the foot of the volcano, the last major eruption had occurred from 1916 to 1918, although minor activity continued until 1925.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN)