On 18 August this year, a survey was conducted in order to perform a thermal monitoring of Cotopaxi volcano. The results are below. The flight took off from the airport Tababela to Cotopaxi in a Twin Otter aircraft FAE (452).
During the approach of the volcano, the continuous steam with a variable ash content was observed. The emission plumes from the entire volcano crater, reveals very little energy, just over a hundred meters above the crater, then by the action of prevailing winds, not rising to the West but down on the western flank of the volcano.
Since August 17 when the explosions and emissions began on the volcano, significant amounts of ash were deposited on glaciers spanning the flanks of the volcano, which could be clearly observed during the flight, and covering an area stretching to north of the summit, down the northwest flank on an area from the south of the summit, and then descend on the southwest flank .
In many parts of the top of some glaciers we could appreciate the presence of new cracks, mainly on the flanks E and some falling rocks, possibly recent, were also observed in the Yanasacha sector. Furthermore, it was impossible to observe emission from the crater most of the time. At some point, it could be observed in a partially free zone of gas at SW . Evidence visible and infrared images suggest this, at least in this crater area of a glacier circular (donut) that was visible before August 17 .
From the measurements made with the thermal camera, it is concluded that there is no magmatic temperatures on the outer flanks of the volcano, the presence of emissions inside the crater prevented to obtain actual temperature measurements inside the crater.
In conclusion, it can be noted that the measures with the thermal camera showed no magmatic temperatures. The maximum temperature was obvious that on the southern flank of the volcano, with a value of 41.3 ° C, which is in the same range of temperatures measured in the 2002-2015 period and which tends to confirm the level of the current activity met on the volcano .
August 23 ,2015. Cotopaxi, Equateur :
Source : PR, SV, MA
Institut de géophysique
École polytechnique nationale de Quito
Photo : Ricardo Coronel. AP.