Ecuador VolcanoesExpedition

Welcome to the website for our Ecuador Volcano Expedition, 2010! Thanks to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Interanational Science and Engineering (OISE) for funding our expedition of discovery. Our team consists of scientists and students from California State University Los Angeles, the University of Wyoming, the University of South Carlolina and the Instituto de Geofisico in Quito Ecuador,teaming up with classrooms in the U.S.A and Ecuador to bring science from the field into the classroom.


Our Daily Updates

Mon, 20 Dec, 2010: This morning we are going to tour the Geophysical Institute here in Quito.

Sun, 19 Dec, 2010: Today was rock cleaning day! We have a total of nearly 150 new samples from Sumaco volcano, El Reventador volcano and some of the metamorphic basement rock samples from Ecuador! That's a lot of samples! The rocks are sorted out and getting packed to go back to LA, Wyoming and South Carolina. Tonight we are going out to eat Italian food and celebrate the success of our expedition!

Sat, 18 Dec, 2010:Today Ken and Jennifer took a helicopter ride to the summit of Sumaco Volcano. After collecting 7 samples they were safely back at the Hotel Alexandera, and now it is off to Quito one last time. Jennifer and Jessica decided to take a detour to the Papallacta Hot Springs on the way to Quito. After the whole team was checked in to the Raddison Hotel we had sushi for dinner.

Sun, 13 Dec, 2010: Today we left to drive to El Reventador Volcano! We will stay the night at the Hosteria Reventador, then start climbing to the volcano tomorrow, the 14th. Unfortunately we will not have any more updates until we return to Quito on the 18th. Yesterday was all work, we are working on all the rock samples that we collected so far - they hve to be really clean before we can take them on the plane!

Sun, 12 Dec, 2010: Today we were all able to sleep in and get ready for a day of work. Chris and Jessica started on a spread sheet for the samples we collected, while Tim and Ricardo made copies of the field notebooks and organized the sample bags.

Sat, 11 Dec, 2010:. On our way back we collected samples from Antisana and at lunch at our favorite restaurant in Baeza. Then it was back to Quito; where we had dinner at an amazing Italian restraunt.

Fri, 10 Dec, 2010: Friday, our last day at Wild Sumaco lodge.  This morning we awoke to a beautiful, clear morning and we could see Antisana volcano perfectly.  We could also see a vulcanian eruption from Tungurahua volcano. On the way out of the lodge we also saw Cotopaxi volcano.  We hired a local guide to take us to a waterfall that was about an hour hike along a beautiful near a stream.  We went to another beautiful waterfall and again found lava, then on the way back we collected bread-crust bombs (volcanic bombs that cool in the air to form a hard shell, but are still molten on the inside when they impact the ground).  We headed out, then back to the hotel, where we split into two groups again.  Jessica cleaned and sorted all the rocks, Ken and I macheted our way (with guides) to another waterfall and found one good sample. Gene, Ricardo and Tim went out to map the contacts of the units that we had found on the road.

Thurs, 9 Dec, 2010: Today we split up into two groups, both groups got hit with torrential rain, my group got lost in the torrential rain and finally found our way out after an hour of pouring rain.  We forgot our rain gear and got soaked.  The other group used machetes to explore river drainages looking for lava blocks.  We have discovered that the lava here is mostly found as float in riverbeds, and mostly near waterfalls.  After lunch, my group attempted to get to a waterfall near our lodge using a machete to hack a trail, but we could not penetrate the dense jungle foliage and retraced our steps to get out.  Also, one of the dogs at the lodge had puppies, so we stopped to play with puppies on our way back.  The rest of the day we spent catching up on work at the lodge.

Wed, 8 Dec, 2010:Today we all ate hot breakfast at 6:30, then went out in search of lava.  We went to the Rio Hollin and spent a lot of time at a big lava flow at a big waterfall.  We collected samples of lava and granite (maybe basement), then drove down the road.  Today we did as much roadside geology as we could, now its time to get busy looking for lava in the riverbeds.  We stopped at the internet café and updated our Facebook page.  Tonight we ate curry at our lodge.  Delicious.

Tues, 7 Dec, 2010: We left this morning at 9am at Wild Sumaco, drove 10 minutes and found two lava flows, one of them is an olivine-bearing basalt. After spending about an hour there, then drove west along the road to Narupa.  We stopped at one outcrop that turned out to be asphaltic sandstone and shale.  As soon as we got back in the cars, it started pouring down rain. We drove back to our hotel after doing some roadside geology and looking for more lava flows.  After dinner, Jorge and Francisco arrived from IGEPN.

Mon, 6 Dec, 2010: Today we are all in for a long drive to Wild Sumaco Lodge. We stopped at a little restraunt where we all ordered fresh trout. After driving in the rain for 2 hours and missing the turn we arrived safely at Wild Sumaco Lodge, where they had dinner waiting for us.

Sun, 5 Dec, 2010: Today Tim, Chris, Jessica, and Ricardo took a taxi to the equator. We walked on the equator and we each attempted to balance an egg on the head of a nail but Chris was the only successful one, it is much harder than it sounds. Chris erned his certificate as the egg master!

Sat, 4 Dec, 2010: We have arrived in Quito! After leaving at 6am, the CSULA group met the UWyoming and South Carlolina groups at our hotel and finally settled in around 9 pm.

Wednesday, 1 Dec, 2010: We have had some changes this week to our plans. We are welcoming FOUR new members of our group. Jorge and Francisco from the IGEPN in Quito will now be joining us at Sumaco Volcano, and Brenden and Luis will be joining us at El Reventador. Please see their profiles on the "Who we are" page. Or expedition is growing all the time, and we are very happy to have more people on our expedition.

Monday, 29 Nov, 2010: Our expedition now has an official e-mail address: Send us questions and we will keep you posted about our expedition. We also have a Facebook account; friend us at Ecuador Volcanoes!

Sunday, 28 Nov, 2010: Yesterday there were two earthquakes on Reventador, and it was cloudy, which seems typical for this volcano lately. There is no activity reported for Sumaco, which is also typical since this volcano has not erupted since 1933. One week from today we will be in Quito, getting to leave for Sumaco Volcano. We are staying at the WildSumaco lodge inorder to access the flanks of Sumaco and the other two volcanoes for our study; Yanahurcu and Pan de Azucar. Went today to REI to buy a helmet and rain gear. Only 6 days left!

Saturday, 27 Nov, 2010: This weekend we are all getting ready to go. Packing, making lists of last minute things,and waterproofing my tent. I am also keeping track of the level of activity of Reventador Volcano The activity has settled down this month and it is looking good for us to do our field research! We leave next Sat, Dec 4th at 6am.

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El Reventador Volcano, August 20-08