Sangay Volcano: Ecuador

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Sangay Volcano erupted in Eucador recently with spewing clouds of ash as high as 8,500 meters into the sky. The capital of the province of Chimborazo, Riobamba՚s (at least 50 kilometers away from the volcano) sky was overcast by an ash cloud.

Sangay Volcano: Ecuador

Important Highlights

  • Sangay volcano is among Ecuador՚s most active volcanoes and the highest active volcanoes in the world.
  • Ecuador is a part of the Pacific Rim՚s “Ring of Fire” region.
  • Sangay is the southernmost stratovolcano, a volcano built up of alternative layers of lava and ash along the northern volcanic zone of the Andes and its height is 5230 metres.
  • Among the other major volcanoes of Ecuador Cotopaxi (5,897 m) Cayambe (5,790 m) , Pichincha (4,784 m) etc. are there.
  • There have been frequent volcanic eruptions in Sangay in historic times mostly of strombolian type.
  • Dating back in the 1628, earliest report of historical eruption was there.
  • The continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916 and again from 1934 to the present.

The Andes

  • They are the longest above water mountain range in the world.
  • They consist of some of the highest peaks such as Mount Aconcagua which is 6,959 metres in height.
  • On the eastern side of the Andes mountains, in the central part of Ecuador Sangay National Park is located which is also a World Heritage Site.

Volcanic Eruptions

  • There is a discharge of lava and gas from a volcanic vent.
  • Large number of people have to shift to different places which is the most common consequence of volcanic eruptions.

Six Major Types of Volcanic Activity and Volcanic Areas


  • Moderate bursts of expanding gases.
  • Ejection of clots of incandescent lava in cyclical or nearly continuous small eruptions.
  • Stromboli volcano located on Stromboli Island off the northeast coast of Italy is also known as the “lighthouse of the Mediterranean” due to small frequent outbursts.


  • Vulcano Island near Stromboli.
  • Involves moderate explosions of gas laden with volcanic ash.
  • Dark, turbulent eruption clouds are formed by the mixture resulting in rapid ascending and expansion in convoluted shapes.


  • Explosive outbursts generating pyroclastic flows, dense mixtures consisting of hot volcanic fragments and gas.
  • These eruptions are extremely devastating since they produce fluidized slurries heavier than air with low viscosity and pour down valleys along with slopes at great velocities.


  • An intensely violent kind of volcanic eruption.
  • Enormous and nearly continuous jetting blasts are generated by the gases boiling out of gas-rich magma due to which the magma core conduit and gets ripped apart.
  • A gigantic rocket blast is directed vertically upward.
  • These eruption clouds sometimes are continuously produced for several hours and can rise into the stratosphere as well.
  • Lightning strikes are close to Plinian ash clouds and add up to the eruption activity.


  • The fluid lava flows from a volcano՚s summit and radial fissures forming shield volcanoes with large and gentle slopes.
  • Similar to the Icelandic variety.


Outpouring characterized by effusions of molten basaltic lava flowing from long, parallel fissures building lava plateaus.

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