Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 15 February-21 February 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
15 February-21 February 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 February-21 February 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
IG reported that activity continued at Reventador during 15-21 February. Satellite images showed a thermal anomaly on the NE flank from the lava flow that was observed on 12 February. Clouds prevented views on 17, 19, and 21 February. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported an ash plume that drifted 19 km SE on 16 February. IG observed an ash plume that rose 100 m above the crater on 18 February.
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.