Volcano Photos

Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador

Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador, Volcano photo

Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador

Snow-capped Tungurahua, seen from near the town of Banos on its northern flank, rises 3200 m above steep-walled canyons.

Historical eruptions, separated by long reposes, have produced powerful explosions, sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lava flows.

All historical eruptions have originated from the summit crater, and have typically lasted for several years.

The largest historical eruptions took place in 1886, 1916, and 1918.

Tungurahua, a steep-sided andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano that towers more than 3 km above its northern base, is one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes.

Three major volcanic edifices have been sequentially constructed since the mid-Pleistocene over a basement of metamorphic rocks.

Tungurahua II was built within the past 14,000 years following the collapse of the initial edifice.

Tungurahua II itself collapsed about 3000 years ago and produced a large debris-avalanche deposit and a horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the west, inside which the modern glacier-capped stratovolcano (Tungurahua III) was constructed.

Historical eruptions have all originated from the summit crater.

They have been accompanied by strong explosions and sometimes by pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached populated areas at the volcano's base.

Prior to a long-term eruption beginning in 1999 that caused the temporary evacuation of the city of Banos at the foot of the volcano, the last major eruption had occurred from 1916 to 1918, although minor activity continued until 1925.

PHOTO SOURCE: Minard Hall, 1976 (Escuela Politecnica Nacional, Quito), courtesy of the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, used with permission.

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