RECENT ERUPTIVE ACTIVITY IN ECUADORIAN VOLCANOES AND ITS THREAT TO AVIATION SAFETY

Volcanoes in Ecuador are tall, gigantic volcanoes that rise over 15,000 feet above sea level, so their eruptions begin close to the flight paths utilized by local commercial airlines. The volcanoes in Ecuador have been atypically active recently. Reventador (REV) and Guagua Pichincha (GGP) have produced powerful eruptions, despite being short in duration, which generated stratospheric injections of volcanic material and superbuoyant eruptive columns. A distinctive attribute of these eruptions is that the eruptive columns split at about the tropopause due to a 180 degree change in the direction of the wind at the equatorial regions. This creates a virtual east-west volcanic ash shade for commercial routes flying north-south along the pacific coast of South America. Tungurahua (TUNG) has been generating thermals since 1999. Sangay (SANG) sent its most recent volcanic ash cloud at the start of 2004, 50 km long and traveling east at 18,000 feet. The beginning of the eruption at TUNG and GGP was anticipated, thanks to geophysical monitoring of the volcanic activity by the Instituto Geofisico (IG), and an alert was sent to commercial aviation and other responsible authorities. Due to its remote location, SANG is not monitored by the IG, and therefore Guayaquil Airport and commercial routes are threatened by it.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • These proceedings contain the abstract only of this presentation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Federal Coordinator, Meteorological Services & Support Research

    8455 Colesville Road, Suite 1500
    Silver Spring, MD  United States  20901
  • Authors:
    • Yepes, H A
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2004-11

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 1p
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety, June 21-24, 2004, Alexandria, Virginia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00988858
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 22 2005 12:00AM