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Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — 7 February-13 February 2024

Nevado del Ruiz

Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 February-13 February 2024
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert. Written by Zachary W. Hastings.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2024. Report on Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) (Hastings, Z W, and Sennert, S, eds.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 February-13 February 2024. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (7 February-13 February 2024)

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 unstable eruptive activity at Nevado del Ruiz continued during 30 January–6 February. Seismic events indicating rock fracturing remained similar to the previous week in both number of events and seismic energy released. These events were mainly located in areas up to 5 km to the NE, SE, S, and SW of Arenas Crater, and at depths of 1-7 km. The largest event, a M 1.1, occurred at 0648 on 2 February and was located about 2 km SSE of the crater and at a depth of 4 km. Seismicity associated with gas-and-ash emissions remained at similar numbers as the previous week but were more intense, and several ash emissions were observed through cameras. On 5 February an ash plume rose to a maximum height of 1.8 km above the summit. Sulfur dioxide emissions varied but continued at a low level overall. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Level III (the second level on a four-level scale), and the public was warned to stay out of the restricted areas around Arenas Crater.

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)