This February a new observatory will be installed to monitor activity at the Colima Volcano around the clock. Monitoring the volcano will require the installation of 8 GPS systems, 6 cameras, and seismic measuring networks from CUCosta in Puerto Vallarta and Ciudad Guzman being linked together, along with a joint effort of the Center of Seismology and Volcanology CUCosta and civil protection.
The volcano is active but considered low risk for eruption at this time, even though this past November it briefly released pressure and threw ash over 2 kilometers. There was also a brief eruption in January of 2014. The volcano has a history of erupting every 100 years with a give or take of twenty years. Last year marked 100 years since its last full eruption.
The volcano has been monitored since 1999 with fieldwork and airplane overflight observations, but next month’s installation of the observation station will allow for fulltime monitoring.
“The volcano is active but currently at a low level for danger, but this could also change at any moment, tomorrow or the next day, so monitoring is important,” said Carlos Suarez Plascencia, head of the department of Geography and Regional Planning from the University of Guadalajara.
Despite its name, only a fraction of the volcano’s surface area is in the state of Colima; the majority of its surface area lies over the border in the neighboring state of Jalisco, toward the western end of the Eje Volcánico Transversal mountain range. It is about 485 km (301 mi) west of Mexico City, 125 km (78 mi) south of Guadalajara, Jalisco, and 230 miles from Puerto Vallarta. It is one of the most active and potentially destructive volcanoes in Mexico.