Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 21 March-27 March 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
21 March-27 March 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, 21 March-27 March 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 during 21-25 March storm clouds prevented observations of Reventador. During 25-26 March incandescence from a high part of the volcano was observed. On 26 March a steam emission rose 500 m above the crater. Based on analysis of satellite imagery and seismic data, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume drifted 25 km NNW on 26 March. Later that day the ash had dissipated and seismicity decreased.
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.