Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 18 March-24 March 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
18 March-24 March 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Reventador (Ecuador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 March-24 March 2020. 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 17-24 March seismic data from Reventador’s network indicated a high level of seismic activity, including explosions, long-period earthquakes, and signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash emissions were observed almost daily, though cloudy weather often prevented views of the volcano; IG and the Washington VAAC reported gas-and-ash emissions rising around 500-900 m above the crater rim, and as high as 2 km, and drifting NE, SE, S, and W. Ashfall was reported in San Rafael (8 km ESE) on 17 March. Incandescent blocks rolled 900 m down the S and SE flanks during 23-24 March.
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 about 1,300 m 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 constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the scarp. 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.