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Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — 22 November-28 November 2023

Nevado del Ruiz

Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 November-28 November 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 November-28 November 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (22 November-28 November 2023)

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) Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales reported that the eruption at Nevado del Ruiz continued at low-to-moderate levels during 21-27 November. Seismic events indicating the movement of fluids increased in number and intensity compared to the previous week, especially with respect to the signals indicating emissions. The number of signals indicating rock fracturing decreased in both number an intensity. These events were located in areas up to 6 km in various directions from Arenas Crater, at depths of 1-8 km. The largest earthquake, a M 2, was recorded at 1949 on 25 November. Thermal anomalies on the crater floor were identified in satellite images. Ash-and-gas plumes rose as high as 1.3 km above the summit on 21 November and up to 1.7 km on 27 November. The plumes drifted WSW and SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions increased through the week. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Level III (the second level on a four-level 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.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)