Cotopaxi volcano news & activity updates:
Cotopaxi volcano update: Crater temperatures increase
wo, 9 sep 2015, 16:4116:41 PM | DOOR: T
Thermal image of Cotopaxi's crater on 3 Sep (image: P. Ramón IG/EPN)
Image of the crater
The activity at volcano continues, but has been less intense during the past days. Weak to moderate intermittent explosions produce ash plumes that vary in height from a few hundred to 1000 meters.
Current seismic trace (BNAS station)
The ash was analyzed in a Belgian laboratory and apparently consists only of fragmented older rocks from the upper conduit. This means that the activity so far has been phreatic in origin and not involved fresh magma. It remains uncertain whether or not it will lead to magmatic activity, i.e. whether or not fresh magma arrives at the vent.
During an aerial survey on 3 Sep, IGEPN staff observed that the temperature of the ash plume has risen by 33% compared to a previous measurement from 26 August. New warm spots have appeared on the upper flank of the volcano as well. One possible (but not necessary) interpretation could be that the magma batch inside the volcano has been rising. On the other hand, seismic activity, although still high, has decreased and not shown a clear trend towards getting shallower.
The observed increase in temperature could also reflect the effect of thermal erosion by increasing hydrothermal activity (heated circulating fluids in the upper part of the edifice), without actual magma movements.
In the meanwhile, authorities continue preventive measures in case of evacuations becoming necessary: maps with designated evacuation routes have been distributed to over 2000 families, shelter facilities set up and a network of local coordinators established.
Fri, 4 Sep 2015, 08:17
IGPEN estimates that the total volume of ash erupted so far is about 630,000 m3 weighing about 700,000 tons. This would make the eruption rank so far as VEI 1 only. Lees alle
Fri, 4 Sep 2015, 08:10
Activity continues at similar levels as during the past days, with emissions of steam and ash, rising to heights of 1-4 km and drifting into westerly directions where fine ash fall occurs and accumulates to now several millimeters in places. ... Lees alle
Mon, 31 Aug 2015, 15:59
Activity at the volcano remains high while seismic activity has been showing a decreasing trend today and been described as moderate by the Geophysical Institute. ... Lees alle
Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 07:13
No significant changes have occurred. The volcano continues to produce near-continuous ash plumes that rise 1-2 km above the summit and drift into westerly directions. Lees alle
Tue, 25 Aug 2015, 15:55
The eruption continues with similar activity as during the past days, with a gradually increasing trend. Accompanied by near-continuous tremor, the volcano now produces almost constant, dense ash plumes rising up to 2 km and drifting into westerly directions, reaching the Pacific Ocean. ... Lees alle