Volcan de Colima, Manzanillo, Mexico | CruiseBe
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Archived source link; base map from CIA, 2003; volcanoes from Simkin and Siebert,">
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Volcán de Colima


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The Volcán de Colima, also known as Volcán de Fuego, is part of the Colima Volcanic Complex (CVC) consisting of Volcán de Colima, Nevado de Colima (Spanish pronunciation: neˈβaðo ðe koˈlima) and the eroded El Cantaro (listed as extinct). It is the youngest of the three and as of 2015 is one of the most active volcanos in Mexico and in North America. It has erupted more than 40 times since 1576. One of the largest eruptions was on January 20–24, 1913. Nevado de Colima, also known as Tzapotépetl, lies 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of its more active neighbor and is the taller of the two at 4,271+ meters (14,015+ ft). It is the 26th-most prominent peak in North America.

Despite its name, only a fraction of the volcano's surface area is in the state of Colima; the majority of its surface area lies over the border in the neighboring state of Jalisco, toward the western end of the Eje Volcánico Transversal mountain range. It is about 485 km (301 mi) west of Mexico City and 125 km (78 mi) south of Guadalajara, Jalisco.

Since 1869–1878, a parasitic set of domes, collectively known as El Volcancito, has formed on the northeast flank of the main cone of the volcano.

 

Geological history

In the late Pleistocene era, a huge landslide occurred at the mountain, with approximately 25 km³ of debris travelling some 120 km, reaching the Pacific Ocean. An area of some 2,200 km² was covered in landslide deposits.The currently active cone is situated within a large caldera that was probably formed by a combination of landslides and large eruptions. About 300,000 people live within 40 km (25 miles) of the volcano, which makes it the most dangerous volcano in Mexico. In light of its history of large eruptions and situation in a densely populated area, it was designated a Decade Volcano, singling it out for study.

Current activity

In recent years there have been frequent temporary evacuations of nearby villagers due to threatening volcanic activity. Eruptions have occurred in 1991, 1998–1999 and from 2001 to the present day, with activity being characterised by extrusion of viscous lava forming a lava dome, and occasional larger explosions, forming pyroclastic flows and dusting the areas surrounding the volcano with ash and tephra.

The largest eruption for several years occurred on May 24, 2005. An ash cloud rose to more than 3 km over the volcano, and satellite monitoring indicated that the cloud spread over an area extending 110 nautical miles (200 km) west of the volcano in the hours after the eruption. Pyroclastic flows travelled 4-5 km from the vent, and lava bombs landed 3–4 km away. Authorities set up an exclusion zone within 6.5 km of the summit.

On November 21, 2014, the volcano erupted again. An ash column was sent 5 km into the air, covering towns as far as 25 km away in ash. No fatalities were reported, and no evacuations took place. There were eruptions on January 10, 21 and 25, with the ash from the January 21 eruption falling in towns more than 15 miles(24 km) away. On 10 July 2015, there was another eruption.

Volcanological center

This volcano is being permanently monitored by Colima volcano observatory installed in University of Colima, Mexico, there is a specialized team that analyze, interpret and communicate every event produced by this volcano.

Last year a webcam was installed very close to the volcano, and everybody is now able to see the last status of volcano activity in real time.


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