Report on Reventador (Ecuador) — 15 February-21 February 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 February-21 February 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Reventador (Ecuador) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 February-21 February 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
IG described the ongoing eruption at Reventador as moderate during 14-21 February. Seismicity was characterized by explosions, long-period earthquakes, periods of harmonic tremor, and signals that indicated emissions. Steam, gas, and ash plumes were observed in IG webcam images and described in Washington VAAC volcanic activity notifications during 14-19 February; weather conditions occasionally prevented views. The plumes rose as high as 1.6 km above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. A lava flow on the NE flank was visibly active during 14-15 February. Crater incandescence was visible almost nightly and incandescent blocks were seen rolling as far as 800 m down the flanks in all directions during the beginning of the week. Weather clouds prevented visual observations of the volcano during 20-21 February. Servicio Nacional de Gestión de Riesgos y Emergencias (SNGRE) maintained the Alert Level at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).
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 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 left extensive deposits on the scarp slope. 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.