Strong puffs at Sabancaya volcano, volcanic ash to 9.1 km (30 000 feet) a.s.l., Peru

Strong puffs at Sabancaya volcano, volcanic ash to 9.1 km (30 000 feet) a.s.l., Peru

Strong puffs are taking place at Sabancaya volcano, Peru since 14:10 UTC on July 2, 2019, with ash emissions rising up to 9.1 km (30 000 feet) above sea level.

The eruptions continued into July 3, with continuous emission detected in satellite imagery rising up to 9.1 km (30 000 feet) a.s.l. and drifting mostly NE at 08:00 UTC.

Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported an average of 12 explosions per day were recorded at Sabancaya from June 3 to 7. Ash plumes rose 2.9 km (9 500 feet) above the crater rim. On June 7, explosions generated ash plumes that drifted 30 km (18.6 miles) S and SW.

The public was warned to not approach the crater within a 12-km (7.5 miles) radius.

Volcanic ash rising up to 9.1 km (30 000 feet) a.s.l. above Sabancaya volcano, Peru

Geological summary

Sabancaya, located on the saddle between 6288-m-high (20 629 feet) Ampato and 6025-m-high (19 800 feet) 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 (19 600 feet) 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 July 3, 2019. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East

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