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Nevado del Huila update, 4 November 2009 4 November 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Colombia, Nevado del Huila.
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Nevado del Huila - image from INGEOMINAS overflight, 2 November 2009 (copyright INGEOMINAS)
Nevado del Huila: picture from 2 November 2009 overflight (copyright INGEOMINAS). [source]

Colombian volcano Nevado del Huila remains at the second-highest level of Orange, ‘eruption likely within the next few days or weeks’.

Colombia’s state geological service INGEOMINAS has issued two bulletins about Nevado del Huila within the last 24 hours. The most recent bulletin, a brief ‘reporte extraordinario’ published at 20:30 local time on 3 November, reports a partial collapse of the new lava dome, with effects limited to the summit area of the volcano:

… during the evening, localized collapses of the dome towards its western sector [were observed], which generated small pyroclastic flows and incandescence, both limited to the upper part of the volcano, without compromising, for the moment, the Páez river.

The previous bulletin, released at 17:00 local time on 3 November, includes information from the most recent overflight which took place on 2 November. This bulletin notes that ‘in the current week 1177 seismic events were recorded’, of which 82 were rock-fracturing events, 1014 related to fluid dynamics with the volcanic system, 10 were hybrid events, and there were 71 pulses of tremor related to gas and ash emissions. Two tremor pulses are described as particularly notable:

The first occurred on 28 October at 02:00 (07:00 UTC); according to a VAAC report a column of 4 km altitude was observed from the summit of the volcano. The second pulse was recorded in the early morning today, at 02:54 (07:54 UTC). This event was associated with an acoustic signal reported by local inhabitants, and ash fall in Inzá, Mosoco, Jambaló and Belalcázar, to the south-west of the volcano. The VAAC report for this event shows a column which reached an altitude of 7 km above the summit of the volcano and that dispersed mainly towards the south-west.

Through the Nevado del Huila webcam ‘intense degasification of the system with pulsing escape of ash at the surface’ has been observed. The overflights of 30 October and 2 November monitored the growth of the new lava dome which has developed on top of the dome constructed in November 2008: ‘the volume of the new dome extruded at the surface is estimated to be about nine million cubic metres’.

A short video of the 2 November overflight (.mpg, 10.1 MB) is available from this page at the Popayán observatory website. The photograph at the top of this post was taken during this overflight and shows Nevado del Huila from the north-west. Intense degassing can be seen around the new dome, located on the western flank, and fresh ash deposits blanket the slopes of the volcano (image copyright INGEOMINAS, reproduced here for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the terms of use).

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog