This week's edition of Wednesday Whatzits could have been called "MiÃ©rcoles Materia" as all the updates are for South American volcano. Enjoy!
Tungurahua in Ecuador
(Note: all links in spanish)
- INGEOMINAS in Colombia is reporting that Nevado del Huila experienced 343 earthquakes over the past week, suggesting that something is brewing at the volcano. This has been accompanied by gas emissions and ash from the fractured dome. The Volcano Observatory in PopayÃ¡n mentions that more than half of the earthquakes are related to magma moving into the system. Huila remains at Level III (Yellow) alert.
- Ubinas in Peru is still having explosive events according to settlers living near the active volcano. They are also having respiratory problems due to the "high amounts of ash" that Ubinas is currently erupting. The volcano is being kept at Yellow alert status as the seismic energy being released is low, but the increased fumarolic activity and the explosions suggest a larger eruption might be in the cards.
- Finally, Tungurahua in Ecuador continues to erupt ash onto the neighboring villages. Over the last week, the volcano has had eleven explosions. The article in El Comercio is refreshing in the sense that they talk to the local villagers about the problems they've run into with daily life near a volcano. My favorite part is Carlos Rosero, a farmer, mentioning "no se cansa de pedir a Dios para que no erupcione el volcÃ¡n" ... more or less, you never get tired asking God for no eruption.
To add another source of information in Spanish (http://povi.cl/llaima/), this concerns Llaima volcano in Chile, where there has been slow lava extrusion for the past few days from a fissure high on the east flank. The lava emission seems to be carving a deep scar into the flank, and this process is accompanied by phreatomagmatic explosions and small pyroclastic flows. The whole reminds me very strongly of something we've seen at Etna on 16 November 2006, where lava flowing over a wet slope strongly interacted with the moist rock. We've written a number of publications about this, for those who have on-line access to scientific journals such as Bulletin of Volcanology or Journal of Geophysical Research, the following links might be useful: