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Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 21 October-27 October 2009


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 October-27 October 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Reventador (Ecuador) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 October-27 October 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (21 October-27 October 2009)



0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The IG reported that on 21 October, steam-and-gas plumes from Reventador with little to no ash content rose 2-4 km above the crater and drifted NW, W, and S. An explosion that day ejected incandescent material from the crater; blocks rolled down the flanks. On 22 October, a few explosions generated ash-and-steam plumes with little to no ash content that rose 4 km and drifted NW, E, and SE. Observations during an overflight revealed a small lava flow on the N flank and a larger flow with four branches on the S flank. Some of the base of the lava dome had been removed, and small spines were present, especially on the S side of the dome. Thermal images revealed that material in the crater was 400 degrees Celsius and the lava-flow fronts were 250 degrees Celsius. Cloudy weather prevented visual observations during 23-26 October. Roaring noises were heard on 25 October.

Geological Summary. Volcán El 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 stratovolcano has 4-km-wide avalanche scarp open to the E formed by edifice collapse. A young, unvegetated, cone rises from the amphitheater floor to a height comparable to the rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions visible from Quito, about 90 km ESE. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have left extensive deposits on the scarp slope. The largest recorded 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.

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