Home > Earth science > Volcano erupts in Ecuador, Singapore volcano erupts twice in one day

Volcano erupts in Ecuador, Singapore volcano erupts twice in one day

Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano began to erupt last Friday, Feb. 26, sending ash and smoke into the atmosphere in a series of explosions. This BBC video shows some of the action:

Tungurahua is a stratovolcano – a stratified, conical volcano that is both aesthetically pleasing and very dangerous. Stratovolcanoes, also called composite volcanoes, tend to be concentrated in areas where a plate of Earth’s crust subducts below another.

schematic of stratovolcano

This schematic diagram shows the internal structure of a typical stratovolcano. Image courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

Tungurahua is part of a chain of volcanoes that populates the Andes mountains. The Andean Volcanic Belt is a consequence of the subduction of the Nazca and Antarctic plates below the South American plate.

The mountain, whose name may mean “throat of fire,” is one of 28 active volcanoes in Ecuador.

All of that South American country’s volcanoes are part of the Ring of Fire. That belt of volcanoes largely encircles the Pacific Ocean and includes 452 volcanoes, about 75 percent of the world’s total.

The mountain has a peak more than 16,000 feet above sea level.

Tungurahua has now erupted three times since 2010. Those eruptions are part of a cycle that began in 1999. Prior episodes of eruptive activity occurred in 1773, 1886, and 1916-1918.

More than 20,000 people live within ten kilometers of Tungurahua. Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, is about 140 kilometers north of the volcano. Tungurahua is located within Sangay National Park.

Tungurahua eruption at night, July 2015 - photo courtesy E.P.N. Geophysics Institute

Tungurahua is shown erupting at night during July 2015. Photo courtesy National Polytechnic School, Geophysics Department.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung erupted twice last Friday, Feb. 26. That volcano sent ash to a reported 14,000 feet in the atmosphere. This BBC video shows footage:

Mount Sinabung is also a stratovolcano and is located on the island of North Sumatra. Before eruptions in 2010, 2013, and 2014, the volcano was last active in the 1600s. There are four craters on the mountain. Mount Sinabung’s peak sits at an elevation of about 8,069 feet.

More than 13,000 people live within 10 kilometers of Sinabung, according to the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program website.



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