Sabancaya erupting under moonlight


Peru's Sabancaya volcano started a new eruptive phase on November 7, 2016 after 18 years of sleep.

The volcano continues with constant emissions of steam and ash, with ashfall reported in the villages of the Colca Valley in the province of Caylloma, as far as 40 km (24.8 miles).

INGEMMET is closely watching the volcano and, with the help of the Moon, managed to capture these clear visuals of eruption during early morning hours of November 15.

Video courtesy INGEMMET-OVI

The following video shows thermal images of the eruption on November 14, 2016.

Video courtesy INGEMMET-OVI

Geological summary

Sabancaya, located on the saddle between 6288-m-high Ampato and 6025-m-high Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three volcanoes, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. Both Nevado Ampato and Nevado Sabancaya are only slightly affected by glacial erosion and consist of a series of lava domes aligned along a NW-SW trend.

The name of 5967-m-high Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua Indian language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of historical eruptions date back to 1750. (GVP)

Featured image: Sabancaya erupting on November 15, 2016. Credit: INGEMMET-OVI


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