Bulletin of Volcanology

, 78:27 | Cite as

Field and seismic evaluation of the block-and-ash flows emplaced from eruption columns of the 2005 Vulcanian explosions at Volcán de Colima, Mexico

  • Vyacheslav M. ZobinEmail author
  • Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez
  • Víctor R. Vargas-Gutiérrez
Research Article


The May–September 2005 Vulcanian explosion sequence was the most intense of all the activity during the recent 1998–2015 unrest at Volcán de Colima, Mexico. This study presents field measurements of volume and runout distances of block-and-ash flows emplaced from eruption columns that punctuated the six largest explosions of this sequence. The energy of these explosions and the emplacement duration of the pyroclastic flows were obtained from broadband seismic signals associated with these events. The field and seismic characteristics of the 2005 explosions at Volcán de Colima and associated block-and-ash flows showed that six explosions with energy ranging between 3.0 × 1011 and 1.5 × 1013 J emplaced the block-and-ash flows with volumes ranging between 1.8 × 105 and 3.1 × 105 m3 DRE (dense rock equivalent). Analysis of durations of seismic signals associated with the movement of the 2005 block-and-ash flows emplaced from the eruption columns allowed us to quantify them as M3-magnitude events using the techniques proposed by Zobin et al. (Bull Volcanol 67: 679–688, 2005) to quantify the block-and-ash flows emplaced from the partial collapse of the lava dome at Volcán de Colima.


Vulcanian explosions Block-and-ash flows Volcán de Colima 



The comments of two anonymous reviewers and the Associate Editor Judy Fierstein helped to improve the manuscript. Judy Fierstein significantly corrected our English grammar. We thank Gabriel Reyes and the personnel of the seismic network RESCO of Colima University for providing the seismic records of the Volcán de Colima earthquakes. The processing of digital seismic signals was performed using the program DEGTRA provided by Mario Ordaz. We thank Guillermo Arias for providing a photo of the volcano. We dedicate this paper to Víctor Vargas for his unforgettable work on Volcán de Colima. He lost his life as a result of a tragic illness.


  1. Bretón M, Ramírez JJ, Navarro C (2002) Summary of the historical eruptive activity of Volcán de Colima, México: 1519–2000. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 117:21–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Calder, E. S., Lucket, R., Sparks, R. S. J. and Voight, B. (2002). Mechanisms of lava dome instability and generation of rockfalls and pyroclastic flows at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. In: Druitt, T. H. and Kokellar, B. P. (eds) The eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 1995 to 1999. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 21, 173–190Google Scholar
  3. Clarke AB (2012) Unsteady explosive activity: Vulcanian eruptions. In: Fagents A, Gregg TKP, Lopes RMC (eds) The physics and mathematics of volcanism. Cambridge University Press, Modeling Volcanic Processes, pp 129–152Google Scholar
  4. Cole, P. D., P. J. Smith, A. J. Stinton, H. M. Odbert, M. L. Bernstein, J. C. Komorowski and R. Stewart (2014) Vulcanian explosions at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat between 2008 and 2010. In: Wadge, G., Robertson, R. E. A. and Voight, B. (eds). The eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 39, 93–111Google Scholar
  5. Coombs, M.L., Katharine F. Bull, James W. Vallance, David J. Schneider, Evan E. Thoms, Rick L. Wessels, and Robert G. McGimsey (2010). Timing, distribution, and volume of proximal products of the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano. In: Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T. (eds) The 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, 145–186.Google Scholar
  6. Delle Donne, D., M. Ripepe, S. De Angelis, P. D. Cole, G. Lacanna, P. Poggi and R. Stewart (2014). Thermal, acoustic and seismic signals from pyroclastic density currents and Vulcanian explosions at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. In: Wadge, G., Robertson, R. E. A. and Voight, B. (eds) The Eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 39, 169–178. Scholar
  7. Francis P (1998) Volcanoes. Clarendon Press, Oxford, A Planetary Perspective, 443 pGoogle Scholar
  8. Freundt, A., Wilson, C. J. N. and Carey, S. N. (2000). Ignimbrites and block-and-ash flow deposits. In: Encyclopedia of volcanoes. (Ed. Sigurdsson, H.). Academic Press. Pp. 581–599.Google Scholar
  9. Hall ML, Steele AL, Bernard B, Mothes PA, Vallejo SX, Douillet GA, Ramón PA, Aguaiza SX, Ruiz MC (2015) Sequential plug formation, disintegration by Vulcanian explosions, and the generation of granular pyroclastic density currents at Tungurahua Volcano (2013–2014). Ecuador J Volcanol Geotherm Res 306:90–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kumagai H, Yepes H, Vaca M, Caceres V, Nagai T, Yokoe K, Imai T, Miyakawa K, Yamashina T, Arrais S, Vasconez F, Pinajota E, Cisneros C, Ramos C, Paredes M, Gomezjurado L, Garcia-Aristizabal A, Molina I, Ramon P, Segovia M, Palacios P, Troncoso L, Alvarado A, Aguilar J, Pozo J, Enriquez W, Mothes P, Hall M, Inoue I, Nakano M, Inoue H (2007) Enhancing volcano-monitoring capabilities in Ecuador. Eos 88:245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Morrissey MM, Mastin LG (2000) Vulcanian eruptions. In: Sigurdsson H (ed) Encyclopedia of volcanoes. Academic, San Diego, CA, pp 463–475Google Scholar
  12. Muñoz Martínez E, Saucedo Girón R, Gavilanes Ruíz JC (2006) Mecanismo eruptivo y sedimentología del flujo piroclástico generado por la erupción del 17 de julio de 2003 en el Volcán de Fuego de Colima. Geos 26:137Google Scholar
  13. Rodríguez-Elizarrarás SR, Siebe C, Komorowski JC, Espíndola JM, Saucedo R (1991) Field observation of pristine block-and-ash-flow deposits emplaced April 16–17, 1991 at Volcán de Colima. Mexico J Volcanol Geotherm Res 48:399–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Saucedo R, Macías JL, Bursik MI, Mora JC, Gavilanes JC, Cortés A (2002) Emplacement of pyroclastic flows during the 1998–1999 eruption of Volcán de Colima. México J Volcanol Geotherm Res 177:129–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Saucedo R, Macías JL, Gavilanes-Ruiz JC, Arce JL, Komorowski J-C, Gardner J, Valdéz-Moreno G (2010) Eyewitness, stratigraphy, chemistry, and eruptive dynamics of the 1913 Plinian eruption of Volcán de Colima. México J Volcanol Geotherm Res 191:149–166. doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.01.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sulpizio R, Capra L, Sarocchi D, Saucedo R, Gavilnes-Ruiz JC, Varley NR (2010) Predicting the block-and-ash flow inundation areas at Volcan de Colima (Colima, Mexico) based on the present day (February 2010) status. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 193:49–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Suzuki YJ, Koyaguchi T (2012) 3-D numerical simulations of eruption column collapse: effects of vent size on pressure-balanced jet/plumes. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 221–222:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wadge G, Macfarlane DG, Odbert HM, James MR, Hole JK, Ryan G, Bass V, De Angelis S, Pinkerton H, Robertson DA, Loughlin SC (2008) Lava dome growth and mass wasting measured by a time series of ground-based radar and seismicity observations. J Geophys Res 113:B08210. doi: 10.1029/2007JB005466 Google Scholar
  19. Woods AW, Bower SM, Bursik MI (1995) Models of explosive volcanism. Nonlinear Process Geophys 2:269–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Zobin VM, Orozco-Rojas J, Reyes-Dávila GA, Navarro C (2005) Seismicity of an andesitic volcano during block-lava effusion: Volcán de Colima, México, November 1998-January 1999. Bull Volcanol 67(7):679–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Zobin VM, Navarro C, Reyes-Dávila G, Orozco J, Bretón M, Tellez A, Reyes-Alfaro G, Vázquez H (2006) The methodology of quantification of volcanic explosions from broadband seismic signals and its application to the 2004–2005 explosions at Volcán de Colima. México Geophys J Int 167:467–478. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03108.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Zobin VM, Reyes GA, Guevara E, Bretón M (2009a) Scaling relationship for Vulcanian explosions derived from broadband seismic signals. J Geophys Res 114:B03203Google Scholar
  23. Zobin VM, Plascencia I, Reyes G, Navarro C (2009b) The characteristics of seismic signals produced by lahars and pyroclastic flows: Volcán de Colima. México J Volcanol Geoth Res 179:157–167. doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.11.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zobin VM, Melnik OE, Gonzalez M, Macedo O, Bretón M (2010) Swarms of micro-earthquakes associated with the 2005 Vulcanian explosion sequence at Volcán de Colima. México Geophys J Int 182:808–828. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04647.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Zobin VM, Peral JJ, Nava J, Bretón M (2015) Vulcanian explosions in the process of building-destruction of the lava dome of andesitic volcano: insight from the seismic signals recorded at Volcán de Colima. México Phys Earth Planet Inter 244:1–10. doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2015.05.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vyacheslav M. Zobin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez
    • 2
  • Víctor R. Vargas-Gutiérrez
    • 3
  1. 1.Centro Universitario de Estudios VulcanológicosUniversidad de ColimaColimaMexico
  2. 2.Centro de GeocienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoQuerétaroMexico
  3. 3.Posgrado en Ciencias de la Tierra, Centro de GeocienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoQuerétaroMexico

Personalised recommendations