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Report on Colima (Mexico) — 18 February-24 February 2015


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 February-24 February 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Colima (Mexico) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 February-24 February 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (18 February-24 February 2015)



19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Based on satellite images, Mexico City MWO, METAR and Colima Tower notices, pilot observations, and a webcam, the Washington VAAC reported that during 18-24 February multiple gas-and-ash plumes per day from Colima rose to altitudes of 5.5-7.3 km (18,000-24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Ash drifted as far as 350 km SE (on 19 February).

In a 24 February bulletin, the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil reported that the number and size of lava-block collapses at Colima remained low during the previous week. Lava flows showed no evidence of movement. Explosive activity was low to moderate and generated plumes that rose 2-3 km and drifted downwind. Ashfall in nearby areas was persistent. Residents were warned not go within 5 km of the volcano.

Geological Summary. The Colima complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the high point of the complex) on the north and the historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of late-Pleistocene cinder cones is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide scarp, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, producing thick debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent recorded eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions have destroyed the summit (most recently in 1913) and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.

Sources: Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil de Colima, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)