High-level explosive activity continues at Reventador, new lava flow reported, Ecuador

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High-level explosive activity continues at Ecuador's Reventador volcano with new lava flows observed and an ash column to 4 600 m (15 000 feet) above sea level.

The new lava flow started to descend on the northeastern slopes, currently about 200 m (656 feet) long.

Near-constant ash emissions were reported up to 4 300 m (14 000 feet) a.s.l. and drifted west.

On August 11, the volcano emitted ash plume that reached up to 4 600 m (15 000 feet) a.s.l.

Image credit: IGEPN

Geological summary

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 3 562 m (11 680 feet) above the jungles of the western Amazon basin.

A 4 km (2.5 miles) wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1 300 m 4 260 feet) above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim.

It 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 took place in 2002, producing a 17 km (10.5 miles) high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km (5 miles), and lava flows from summit and flank vents.

Featured image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS, Acquired August 10.

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