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Alert level increased at Galeras 12 May 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Colombia, Galeras.
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Yesterday evening the INGEOMINAS Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto increased the alert level at Galeras from Yellow to Orange (Naranja), ‘eruption likely within days or weeks’. The special bulletin issued by the observatory at 18:35 local time on 11 May 2009 reports ‘a change in seismic activity, reflected in an increase in events associated both with fluid dynamics and with the fracturing of solid material, called Hybrids, embedded in episodes of tremor’.

Other signs giving the volcanologists cause for concern are a magnitude 2.2 volcano-tectonic earthquake on 9 May located 6 km east-north-east of the crater and at a depth of 10 km ‘which may reflect the arrival of new magma from deep levels’, a decline in sulphur dioxide emissions over the last week, and the rapid solidifying of ‘new magmatic material’ in the bottom of the crater causing a blockage of the eruptive vent.

Given the behaviour of Galeras in the recent past, INGEOMINAS scientists see an explosive event as probable, although not of course certain, in the near future.

For all our Galeras coverage: Galeras « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program – summary information for Galeras (1501-08=)
Portal Corporativo de INGEOMINAS – Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto – Pasto volcanological observatory main page

The Volcanism Blog