Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — 3 August-9 August 2022
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
3 August-9 August 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 August-9 August 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Nevado del Ruiz
4.892°N, 75.324°W; summit elev. 5279 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 2 August Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) reported that during the previous week the number and size of seismic signals indicating fluid movement had increased at Nevado del Ruiz compared to the week before, though they remained at moderate levels. Although seismic signals indicating rock fracturing increased in number, magnitudes were similar to the previous week. Several episodes of drumbeat seismicity were recorded, indicating continuing growth of the lava dome. Gas-and-steam emissions rose from the crater, reaching just over 2.4 km above the summit on 30 July. Several thermal anomalies in Arenas Crater were identified in satellite images during 0500-0600 on 4 August, and seismic signals indicating emissions were recorded during 4-5 August. Ashfall was reported in the municipalities of Santa Rosa de Cabal, Pereira, Villamaría, Manizales, and Dosquebradas. Tephra deposits were visible near the crater and in areas up to 3 km away. The Alert Level remained at 3 (Yellow; the second lowest level on a four-color scale).
Geological Summary. Nevado del Ruiz is a broad, glacier-covered volcano in central Colombia that covers more than 200 km2. Three major edifices, composed of andesitic and dacitic lavas and andesitic pyroclastics, have been constructed since the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern cone consists of a broad cluster of lava domes built within the caldera of an older edifice. The 1-km-wide, 240-m-deep Arenas crater occupies the summit. The prominent La Olleta pyroclastic cone located on the SW flank may also have been active in historical time. Steep headwalls of massive landslides cut the flanks. Melting of its summit icecap during historical eruptions, which date back to the 16th century, has resulted in devastating lahars, including one in 1985 that was South America's deadliest eruption.