Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 12 August-18 August 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 August-18 August 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, 12 August-18 August 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 a high level of activity continued to be recorded at Reventador during 11-17 August. Gas, steam, and ash emissions observed sometimes multiple times a day with the webcam or reported by the Washington VAAC rose as high as 1 km above the summit crater and drifted NW and W. Cloudy weather sometimes prevented views of the volcano. Incandescent blocks rolled 500-700 m down mainly the NE and E flanks during 12-13 and 15-16 August. A lava flow traveled 200 m down the NE flank on 13 August. The flow lengthened to 300 m by 15 August and remained active, though did not advance, through 18 August. A small pyroclastic flow descended the NE flank during 15-16 August.
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.