A British volcano photographer has captured video footage of a dramatic eruption from a volcano in Ecuador. The Reventador — Spanish for 'troublemaker' — was seen emitting streams of lava and dark clouds of ash in early December.
Dr Richard Roscoe along with a German colleague documented the event with wide-angle videos. By using a unique filming technique at a specific rate, they were able to capture the phenomenon under natural lighting. Having been shot over a three-day period, the speed of the video was then increased to fit into less than two minutes.
At an elevation of 3,562m, Reventador is a rarely documented andesitic stratovolcano located in a horse-shoe shaped caldera in the Eastern Andes in Ecuador.
It has been particularly active in the 20th century, with significant eruptions occurring in 1922, 1926, 1929, 1936, 1944, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1972, 1973-1974 and 1976, according to Volcano Discovery. However, its most explosive eruption ever recorded took place in 2002, after 26 years of inactivity.
Lava had destroyed roads and highways between Quito and Lago Agrio and had damaged local farms. It also threatened nearby oil pipelines at the time.
"I had just gone out to get the cattle when suddenly everything went black. It looked as if there would be a rainstorm but then the thick cloud came right down on top of us," a woman from a nearby village had told Spanish Red Cross workers who visited at the time. "My husband told me that it was ash. I tried to cover myself with a plasticsheet but I was soon covered in the stuff. It kept on falling for two days and nights," she said, according to a 2003 Echo Aid release.
Most recently, the volcano erupted in November 2008 after residents of El Chaco village — about 35 km south east of the site — heard explosion sounds. The next day, strombolian explosions and two lava flows were observed descending the north and south flanks of the central cone.
Since then, the Reventador has continued emitting lava, smoke and ash from time to time. In early December, powerful strombolian eruptions were documented occurring from vents in the summit crater. Ejection of copious lava bombs, ash clouds, small pyroclastic flows around the summit and volcanic lightning were also recorded.