Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — 14 December-20 December 2022
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 December-20 December 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 December-20 December 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)
Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) reported that seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz began to increase at around 1550 on 13 December. The signals indicated moving fluids within the volcano’s conduit, and some were associated with pulsating gas-and-ash emissions seen from several surrounding municipalities. Ashfall was reported on 14 December in several municipalities including Dosquebradas (40 km WSW), Santa Rosa de Cabal (34 km W), and Pereira (40 km WSW in Risaralda), Manizales (27 km NW) and Villamaría (26 km NW in Caldas), and in the Los Nevados National Natural Park sector. 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.