Environment & Biodiversity

The Ubinas Volcano

  • Peru declared a state of emergency in the area surrounding the Ubinas volcano for sixty days.
  • The volcano has been erupting and has been spewing ash and gas.
  • Ubinas is an active stratovolcano in southern Peru’s Moquegua Region, roughly 60 km east of Arequipa.
  • It is located in the Andes’ Central Volcanic Zone at an elevation of 5,672 metres above sea level.

Characteristics of Geology

  • Ubinas is distinguished by its stratovolcano structure, which consists of layers of hardened lava, ash, and other volcanic debris.
  • Caldera and Crater: The volcano’s summit features a 1.4-kilometer-wide, 150-meter-deep caldera surrounded by a smaller crater. This distinguishing feature contributes to the geological significance of the volcano.
  • Ubinas I and Ubinas II: The volcano has an ascending cone shape with a prominent notch on its southern flank. The lower section is known as Ubinas I, while the steeper top section is known as Ubinas II, signifying different geological periods in the volcano’s history.

Volcanic Explosions

  • Active Volcanic History: Ubinas is considered Peru’s most active volcano, with a history of modest to moderate explosive eruptions and ongoing degassing.
  • Notable Eruptions: Throughout history, the volcano has experienced notable eruptions, notably the 2006-2007 event, which resulted in eruption columns, ash fall, health concerns, and evacuations in the region.
  • Recent Activity: Between 2013 and 2017, Ubinas had lava flow within the crater, accompanied by ash falls, necessitating additional evacuations in adjacent communities.

Emissions of Ash and Gas:

  • The Ubinas volcano has been actively releasing ash and gas.
  • Smoke Cloud and Affected Areas: The eruption’s smoke cloud has reached towns up to 10 km away from the volcano. This has generated concerns about the safety of the approximately 2,000 individuals who live in the impacted areas.
  • The “Ring of Fire”: Ubinas is located within the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” an area recognised for its intense volcanic and seismic activity.
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