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Report on Nevado del Huila (Colombia) — 29 September-5 October 2010

Nevado del Huila

Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 September-5 October 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Nevado del Huila (Colombia) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 September-5 October 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (29 September-5 October 2010)

Nevado del Huila


2.93°N, 76.03°W; summit elev. 5364 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The Popayán Volcano Observatory (INGEOMINAS) reported that during 29 September-5 October gas plumes from Nevado del Huila, observed with the Tafxnú and Maravillas web cameras, rose 2.5 km above the summit. Incandescence from the extruding lava dome and collapsing material was also noted. Based on a SIGMET issued from the Bogota MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that on 1 October an ash plume rose to an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. Later that day, a 10-km-wide gas-and-ash plume was seen in satellite imagery drifting about 30 km S. The Alert Level remained at II (Orange; "probable eruption in term of days or weeks").

Geological Summary. Nevado del Huila, the highest peak in the Colombian Andes, is an elongated N-S-trending volcanic chain mantled by a glacier icecap. The andesitic-dacitic volcano was constructed within a 10-km-wide caldera. Volcanism at Nevado del Huila has produced six volcanic cones whose ages in general migrated from south to north. The high point of the complex is Pico Central. Two glacier-free lava domes lie at the southern end of the volcanic complex. The first historical activity was an explosive eruption in the mid-16th century. Long-term, persistent steam columns had risen from Pico Central prior to the next eruption in 2007, when explosive activity was accompanied by damaging mudflows.

Sources: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)