SO2 fluxes from Galeras Volcano, Colombia, 1989-1995: Progressive degassing and conduit obstruction of a Decade Volcano

José Arles Zapata G., Marta L. Calvache V., Gloria Patricia Cortés J., Tobias P. Fischer, Gustavo Garzon V., Diego Gömez M., Lourdes Narváez M., Milton Ordó̃nez V., Adriana Ortega E., John Stix, Roberto Torres C., Stanley Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Galeras volcano has emitted a minimum of 1.9 Tg SO2 during the past seven-year period of re-activation from 1989 to 1995. Emissions from the volcano are almost exclusively by passive degassing and represent at least 1.4% of the annual volcanic output of SO2. The volcano was characterized by high SO2 flux during 1989-1990, frequently exceeding 2000 metric tons/day. Fluxes decreased to less than 1700 tons/day in October 1990. A further decrease to less than 1000 tons/day occurred in late 1991 after emplacement of a lava dome. Currently, SO2 fluxes are less than 500 tons/day. The general decrease of the flux with time is interpreted as: (1) progressive degassing of a single batch of magma; and (2) obstruction of the conduit by emplacement of the dome. During 1992-1993, six explosive eruptions occurred which destroyed the dome and excavated the crater. Three of the largest eruptions were immediately followed by intense long-period seismicity (up to 600 events/day) and by comparatively large SO2 fluxes. This high seismicity and SO2 flux are interpreted as rapid degassing of partially solidified magma that had been unroofed by the eruptions. Although the volcano is currently in a comparatively degassed state, the six recent eruptions demonstrate that there is still residual magmatic gas which is unable to be released freely. This can lead to pressurization, resulting in short, periodic eruptions or gas emissions that rapidly dissipate the pressure buildup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - May 1997


  • Degassing
  • Galeras Volcano
  • Sulfur dioxide flux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'SO2 fluxes from Galeras Volcano, Colombia, 1989-1995: Progressive degassing and conduit obstruction of a Decade Volcano'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this