Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.
A steam-and-gas plume rises from the central cone of Reventador volcano in this March 11, 2005 aerial view from the SE. Several lava flows generated during eruptions in 2002 and 2004-2005 are visible on the south and SE flanks of the central cone. The 3562-m-high central cone was constructed within the large 4-km-wide horseshoe-shaped caldera breached to the east (lower right). The caldera was formed during a major collapse of the volcano, which produced a massive debris avalanche that swept into the Amazon basin.
Photo by Patricio Ramon, 2005 (Instituto Geofisca, Escuela Politecnica Nacional).
Last updated 2020-03-29 02:00:03
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