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In this photo released by the civil defense unit of the state government of Jalisco, the eruption plume from the initial stage of the powerful vulcanian explosion at Colima volcano on May 23, 2005, has been captured on film. The collapsing eruption column loaded with ash and rock fragments has not yet fully developed, but the flanks of the volcano are already covered by the impacts of ballistics. (AP Photo/Proteccion Civil del estado de Jalisco-HO)
In this photo released by the civil defense unit of the state government of Jalisco, the eruption plume from the initial stage of the powerful vulcanian explosion at Colima volcano on May 23, 2005, has been captured on film. The collapsing eruption column loaded with ash and rock fragments has not yet fully developed, but the flanks of the volcano are already covered by the impacts of ballistics. (AP Photo/Proteccion Civil del estado de Jalisco-HO)


Colima volcano
Stratovolcano 3850 m / 12,631 ft
Western Mexico, 19.51°N / -103.62°W
Current status: restless (2 out of 5)
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Colima volcano eruptions:
1519, 1560, 1576, 1585, 1590, 1602(?), 1606, 1611-1613, 1622, 1690, 1711, 1743(?), 1744, 1749(?),1769, 1770, 1771, 1780, 1794, 1795, 1804, 1806-1809, 1818, 1819, 1866, 1869, 1870-71, 1872-73, 1874, 1875-78, 1879-80, 1880-81, 1882-84, 1885-1886, 1887, 1889-90, 1890, 1891-92, 1893-1902, 1903, 1904-1906, 1908-09, 1913, 1926-1931(?), 1941(?), 1957-1960, 1961-62, 1963-70, 1973(?), 1975-76, 1977-1982, 1983(?), 1985-86, 1987, 1988(?), 1991, 1994, 1997-2011, 2013-ongoing
Typical eruption style:
Dominantly explosive. Construction of lava domes, vulcanian eruptions and strombolian activity. In near-constant activity since 1994.
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Volcano news: Colima Volcano (Mexico)

Colima volcano (Mexico), activity update: impressively strong vulcanian explosion evening of 19 Jan 2017

Saturday Jan 21, 2017 22:41 PM | BY: T

A second into the explosion of Colima on 19 Jan evening
A second into the explosion of Colima on 19 Jan evening
A minute later, a large ash plume rises while bombs have impacted all over the cone
A minute later, a large ash plume rises while bombs have impacted all over the cone
Vulcanian-type (sudden, but very strong) explosions continue to occur at the volcano. Following the powerful eruption early on Thu 19 Jan, another, an even stronger explosion - one of the most energetic in recent years - occurred in the evening of the same day at 22:16.
It started with a violent cannon-shot like explosion that propelled incandescent bombs to heights well over 2000 meters and covered the whole cone and its lower flanks with impacts, igniting bush fires. Pyroclastic flows from collapsing material also descended the flanks and an ash plume rose to several kilometers height:

A similarly impressive explosion had already occurred in the early morning the same day (around 04:30 am):


Following this event, the volcano has been calmer, still having explosions, but only of small to modest size. Whether the two powerful eruptions on 19 Jan have (temporarily) drained the energy (and emptied the magma column) will remain to be seen.
Previous news
Saturday, Jan 21, 2017
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]
Saturday, Jan 21, 2017
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]
Vulcanian explosion at Colima on 19 Jan 2017 (image: Hernando Rivera)
Friday, Jan 20, 2017
The series of strong vulcanian explosions continues. ... [more]
Friday, Jan 20, 2017
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]
Thursday, Jan 19, 2017
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]

Background:

Colima volcano is one of the most active in North America and one of the potentially most dangerous ones. It has had more than 30 periods of eruptions since 1585, including several significant eruptions in the late 1990s. Scientific monitoring of the volcano began 20 years ago. 

The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt.  It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the 4320 m high point of the complex) on the north and the 3850-m-high historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. 
A group of cinder cones of probable late-Pleistocene age is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the Colima complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches.  Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, and have produced a thick apron of debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex.  Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century.  Occasional major explosive eruptions (most recently in 1913) have destroyed the summit and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.
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Source: GVP, Smithsonian Institute - Colima information

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