The different character of the recent eruptions of Galápagos shield volcanoes (Ecuador): La Cumbre vs. Sierra Negra

Contributors:
  1. Patricio Ramón
  2. Stephen Hernandez
  3. Silvana Hidalgo
  4. Benjamin Bernard
  5. Mario Ruiz
  6. Alexandra Alvarado
  7. Peter La Femina
  8. Gorki Ruiz

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Description: In the last year, two Galápagos volcanoes had shown eruptive activity. The three observed eruptions produced multiple lava flows along eruptive fissures and vents covering several square kilometers. After eight years of quiescence, La Cumbre volcano, Fernandina Island experienced two short-lived eruptions, on 4 September 2017 and 16 June 2018. The eruptions were characterized by very short periods of unrest that started a few hours before the initiation of the eruptive activity. On the other hand, Sierra Negra volcano, Isabela Island, began a new eruptive period on 26 June, after almost one year of persistent unrest characterized by an increase in the magnitude and number of seismic events and more than 5 meters of uplift since its last eruption in 2005. The Sierra Negra and La Cumbre eruptions were located in remote zones where access is extremely complex. Thus, satellite images allowed us to: 1) complement the continuous monitoring data of the Instituto Geofísico (IG-EPN) with remote observations such as the appearance and distribution of the eruptive plumes and the evolution of the thermal anomalies along the ongoing eruptions; and 2) do a rapid response mapping in order to identify the areas affected by the lava flows, which threaten the native flora and fauna of the islands.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

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