Sangay Volcano | John Seach



2.03 S, 78.34 W
summit elevation 5230 m

Sangay is one of the world's most active volcanoes. It is located in the eastern cordillera of Ecuador. Large eruptions at the volcano consists of Strombolian activity, ashfall, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars. During an eruption in 1628, ash fell at Riobamba, 50 km NW of the volcano. This eruption covered pastures and caused cattle to starve.

The volcano is surrounded by uninhabited land, so only large Plinian eruptions will represent a hazard to land 30-100 km west of the volcano. Access to the volcano is very difficult, and approaching the summit is dangerous because of the need to constantly dodge the stones and material ejected into the air from the crater.

Due to its remote location the level of surveillance less than other more dangerous volcanoes in Ecuador. There are no monitoring instruments on the volcano.

2013 Eruptions
On 22 February 2013 a pilot reported an ash plume from Sangay volcano rising to altitude of 25,000 ft.

2012 Activity
On Monday 23rd January 2012, there was an increase in volcanic activity at Sangay volcano. Pilots reported ash emissions drifting south of the volcano. Satellite images showed the present of a hotspot at the volcano on 24th January.

2009 Activity
Ash emissions occurred at Sangay volcano in June 2009 and reached a height of 25,000 ft above sea level.

2003-2004 Activity
The volcano continued its activity, which was characterised by frequent explosions from the central crater, and directed southward. During 2003 there were no new lava flows or pyroclastic flows. On 14th January 2004 there was a large emission of ash from the central crater.

1976 Eruption
On 12th August 1976 and eruption killed two people and seriously injured three, from a British expedition team.

Further reading
Valverde, Viviana, et al. "Enormous and far-reaching debris avalanche deposits from Sangay volcano (Ecuador): Multidisciplinary study and modeling the 30 ka sector collapse." Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2021: 107172.

Lees, J.M. and Ruiz, M., 2008. Non-linear explosion tremor at Sangay, Volcano, Ecuador. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research176(1), pp.170-178.

Monzier, Michel, et al. "Sangay volcano, Ecuador: structural development, present activity and petrology." Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 90.1-2 (1999): 49-79.

Sangay Volcano Eruptions

2015-2021, 1934-2013, 1728-1916, 1628.