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Colima's Volcano is the most active volcano in Mexicomarker, and erupting more than 40 times since 1576.

Despite its name, only a fraction of the volcano's surface area is in the state of Colimamarker; the majority of its surface area lies over the border in the neighboring state of Jaliscomarker, toward the western end of the Eje Volcánico Transversal mountain range. It is about west of Mexico Citymarker and south of Guadalajara, Jaliscomarker.

There are two peaks in the volcano complex: Nevado de Colima (4330 m), which is older and inactive, lies 5 kilometers north of the younger and very active 3860 metre Volcán de Colima (also called Volcán de Fuego de Colima). Since 1869-1878, a parasitic set of domes, collectively known as El Volcancito, have formed on the northeast flank of the main cone of Colima's volcano.

Geological history

Colima's volcano has been active for five million years. 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. Massive collapse events seem to recur at Colima's volcano every few thousand years.

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 of the volcano, and 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 over 3 km over the volcano, and satellite monitoring indicated that the cloud spread over an area extending west of the volcano in the hours after the eruption [56474]. Pyroclastic flows travelled four-five 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 June 8, 2005, Colima's volcano erupted again in its largest recorded eruption in several decades. Plumes from this eruption reached heights of 5 km (>3 miles) above the crater rim, prompting the evacuation of at least three neighboring villages.

See also

External links


image:VolcanDeColima.JPG|Volcano as seen from Carrizalillos Parkimage:ParqueNacionalNevadodeColima.jpg|Nevado de Colima Parkimage:Volcan_de_Colima.JPG|image:Volcan_de_Colima_2.JPG|image:Colima_volcano.jpg|Image:Exhalación.jpg|from El Nevadoimage:Volcanes de Colima.jpg|


  1. Structure of the Volcancito Dome, Volcan Fuego de Colima

  • Domínguez T., Ramírez J.J., Breton M. (2003), Present Stage Of Activity At Colima Volcano, Mexico, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2003, abstract #V42B-0350

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