Reports

Eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz Volcano, Colombia, On 13 November 1985: Tephra Fall and Lahars

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Aug 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4767, pp. 961-963
DOI: 10.1126/science.233.4767.961

Abstract

A small Plinian eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia ejected 3.5 x 1010 kilograms of mixed dacite and andesite tephra on 13 November 1985, with a maximum column height of 31 kilometers above sea level. Small pyroclastic flows and surges, generated during the initial stage of the eruption, caused surface melting of approximately 10% of the volcano's ice cap, leading to meltwater floods. The erosive floods incorporated soils and loose sediments from the volcano's flanks and developed into lahars, which claimed at least 25,000 lives.

Stay Connected to Science