Chimborazo , Ecuador : Specialists identify areas of snowmelt at Chimborazo volcano.

Chimborazo , Ecuador : Specialists identify areas of snowmelt at Chimborazo volcano.

Specialists identify areas of snowmelt at Chimborazo volcano.
21 FEBRUARY 2016. A group of experts from the Secretariat of Risk Management (SGR), the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (Inamhi) and the Geophysical Institute (IG-EPN) National Polytechnic School conducted a flyby by the volcano Chimborazo, nestled in the Andes of Ecuador.

The event took place on board an aircraft of the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE) which departed from Cotopaxi International Airport yesterday, Saturday, February 20, 2016. The crew and six experts checked the area of the solid snowmelts.

In addition, they collected information to determine the risk areas where mudflows descend, because of melting glaciers from the volcano, located 6,310 meters above sea level. Pablo Morillo, the Zonal Coordinator of the SGR, said the flight showed the sensitive places that may potentially affect the population with the increased snowmelt.

A decline of mud and stones has been recorded since December 2015, due to the part-melting of a glacier. The community of Santa Lucia Chuquipogyo, San Andrés parish in Guano, is one of those affected by the snowmelt lahars.

“In the hour long flight, flyby pictures of all sides of the volcano were taken; these showed that there are areas that could potentially lead to the accumulation of more melting,” said Morillo. Meanwhile, IG technicians performed work with a thermal camera in the volcano.

The reports of specialists and Inamhi IG will be delivered in the coming days. The study confirmed the potential progress of the thaw in the volcano and results will be delivered to the Committee for Emergency Operations in the province of Chimborazo.

Glacier-clad, 6310-m-high Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest volcano, anchors the southern end of the country’s “Avenue of Volcanoes” 30 km NW of the city of Riobamba. The dominantly andesitic-to-dacitic structure is mostly of Pliocene-to-Pleistocene age. The volcano collapsed about 35,000 years ago, producing a major debris avalanche, whose deposits underlie Riobamba and temporarily dammed the Río Chambo, producing an ephemeral lake. Subsequent eruptions have been dominantly andesitic and constructed three edifices along an east-west line, the youngest and westernmost of which forms the current summit of Chimborazo. Although activity was at one time thought to have ceased during the very latest Pleistocene, recent work indicates that it erupted more than a half dozen times during the Holocene, producing pyroclastic surges that reached down to 3800 m elevation.

February 22,2016. Chimborazo , Ecuador :

Source : El Comercio , GVP.

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