Reventador is waking up – Three volcanoes on alert in Ecuador


There is new activity recorded at Reventador volcano, as well as at Sangay and ongoing Tungurahua volcanoes in Ecuador. New reports are coming from nearby Colombian Galeras and Fuego volcanoes. Down North in Chile Lascar is waking up and Cordon-Puyehue Calle continues with ongoin activity.


Constant emissions of gas and steam rising about 300 m above the crater and drifting WNW was observed on January 6-7 by IG staff conducting fieldwork at Reventador volcano. The emissions originated from a growing lava dome that was a few tens of meters above the crater rim and almost filled the base.

Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real. A 3-km-wide caldera breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1,300 m above the caldera floor. Reventador has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption at Reventador 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. (GVP)


Based on information from Guayaquil MWO and a pilot report, a possible ash plume from Sangay was reported on 8 January.  The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador’s volcanoes, and its most active. The dominantly andesitic volcano has been in frequent eruption for the past several centuries. Constant eruptive activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex. (GVP)


Decreasing activity at Tungurahua was reported during 4-10 January. On 4 January steam plumes rose as high as 500 m above the crater and drifted W. Additional steam plumes observed on 8 January also drifted West. The latest eruption began in October 1999 and prompted temporary evacuation of the town of Baños on the N side of the volcano.


Washington Vulcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Here is  a list of active and extinct volcanoes in Ecuador:

Name Meters Feet Coordinates Last Eruption
El Altar/Capacurco 5405 17,730 1.68°S 78.42°W
Antisana 5753 18,870 0.48°S 78.14°W 1802
Atacazo 4463 14,639 0.353°S 78.617°W
Carihuairazo 5018 16,463 01°24′25″S 78°45′00″W Unknown
Cayambe 5790 18,991 0.029°N 77.986°W 1786
Chacana 4643 15,229 0.37°S 78.25°W 1773
Chichoca 3246 10,647 0.308°N 78.364°W
Chiles 4756 15,616 0°47′52″N 77°57′3″W 1936
Chimborazo 6267 20,560 01°28′09″S 78°49′03″W 640 AD ± 500 years
Corazón 4790 15,715 0.43°S 77.72°W Holocene
Cotopaxi 5897 19,347 0.677°S 78.436°W 1940
Cuicocha 3246 10,649 0°18′30″N 78°21′50″W 950 BC
Cusin 0.15°N 78.14°W
Illiniza 5248 17,213 0.659°S 78.714°W Holocene
Imbabura 4557 14,952 0.26°N 78.18°W Late Pleistocene
Licto 3336 10,945 1.47°N 78.67°W
Mojanda 4263 13,983 0.13°N 78.27°W Holocene
Pan de Azucar 3482 17,213 0.659°S 78.714°W Holocene
Pasochoa 0.46°S 78.48°W
Guagua Pichincha 4784 15,692 0.171°S 78.598°W 2004
Pululagua 3356 11,008 0.038°N 78.463°W
Quilotoa 3914 12,838 0.85°S 78.90°W 1797
Reventador 3562 11,683 0.007°S 77.65°W 2007
Rumiñahui 4721 15,489 0°38′0″S 78°32′0″W Unknown
Sangay 5188 17,017 2.03°S 78.34°W 2007
Sincholagua 4873 0°32′44.86″S 78°21′59.69″W
Soche 3955 12,972 0.552°N 77.580°W
Sumaco 3990 13,087 0.53°S 77.62°W 1933
Tulabug 3336 10,942 1.78°S 78.613°W Holocene
Tungurahua 5023 16,475 1.467°S 78.442°W 2011

(Source: Wikipedia)

Featured image credit: Patricio Ramon, 2005 (Instituto Geofisca, Escuela Politecnica Nacional)/Global Volcanism Program

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  1. The information regarding the volcano Imbabura is incorrect. The last eruption was in 1868 and it devastated the city of Ibarra. A lot more recent than the late Pleistocene!

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