A new eruptive phase has started at Reventador volcano in Ecuador, IGP reported. Increasing tremor was registered and steady ash emissions were observed on March 25, 2014. At night, incandescent blocks could be seen and heard rolling down from the crater where probably a new lava dome has started to appear.
Small pyroclastic flows descended on the eastern, southeastern and southern flanks of the volcano, probably as a result of re-mobilization of fresh lava and tephra deposits. These so-called secondary pyroclastic flows reached lengths of 500 m below the summit.
IGP assumes the most likely scenario for the evolution of the new eruptive episode is that activity continues at similar levels for a while. So far, lava avalanches and pyroclastic flows have been confined within the caldera, near the flanks of the main cone. So far, no reports of ash falls became available from communities in the nearby areas, suggesting that the eruption is still small. An important hazard remains in the form of lahars (mud flows), which can be generated by re-mobilization of loose material during heavy rainfall and would most likely threaten the bed and banks of the Quijo river. (VD)
Continuous ash emission and incandescent avalanches on Reventador's eastern flank (image: G. Taipe / IGP)
"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 Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim.
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)"
Featured image: Continuous ash emission and incandescent avalanches on Reventador's eastern flank (image: G. Taipe / IGP)