Latest News

Volcanic Activity Report

Random Picture

World Organization of Volcanic Observatories

Return to:

Directory Table of Contents

WOVO Home Page


(was 1501-08)
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico - Pasto (OVSP) (INGEOMINAS)

Servicio Geologico Colombiano (before INGEOMINAS)
Calle 27 # 9 Este - 25
La Carolina

Telephone :

(57) (2) 7323272; 7302593; 7320752

Telefax :

(57) (2) 7325014

General Director:

Diego Gomez

Email :

Website :


General Director: Oscar Eladio Paredes Zapata
Technical Director: Marta Lucía Calvache Velasco
OVSP Coordinator: Diego Mauricio Gómez Martìnez

Observatories available to the Colombian Geological Service (formerly INGEOMINAS), to advance the missionary activity of surveillance and investigation of the active volcanoes of the Colombian territory.

The OVSP was created in 1989 as a result of the reactivation of the Galeras Volcano and has been advancing uninterruptedly its missionary work since then. The OVSP is in charge of the surveillance and investigation of the active volcanic centers that make up the so-called "southern segment" and that include the Chiles, Cerro Negro, Cumbal, Azufral, Galeras and Doña Juana volcanoes.  

The monitoring or volcanic monitoring is carried out through different geophysical and geochemical disciplines which in turn involve stations or equipment, both field (or portable) and telemetric.

Since 2009, the headquarters of the OVSP has been located in the southeastern sector of the city of San Juan de Pasto, near La Carolina neighborhood. This is in the vicinity of regional institutions such as SENA and CORPONARIÑO.

Scientific staff Volcano Monitoring – Volcanic Hazard - Modelling:
Adriana Micaela Ortega Estupiñán - Physics
Anita Patricia Ponce Villarreal - Civil Engineer
Betty Silva Parra - Physics
Carlos Muñoz Montoya - Geodetic Engineer
Darío Fernando Arcos Guerrero - Physics
Diego Mauricio Gómez Martínez - Civil Engineer
Edgar Antonio Muñoz Hidalgo - Physics
Jairo Antonio Ortiz Valencia - Electronic Engineer
Viviana Burbano – Chemistry
John Jehu Meneses Muñoz – System Engineer
Jorge Edison Mora Arroyo - Electronic Engineer
Lourdes Narváez Medina - Civil Engineer
Oscar Ernesto Cadena Ibarra – Physics
Paola Andrea Narváez Obando – Geologist
Rafael Isaac Cárdenas Santacruz - Geodetic Engineer
Richard Andrés Mier Portilla – System Engineer
Roberto Armando Torres Corredor - Civil Engineer
Support Staff

Byron Fernando Gámez Buchelli - Operative area
Carlos Alberto Estrada - Operative area
Carlos Andersson Cerón León - System area
Dexy Alejandra Chamorro – Customer Service
Hernán Alfredo Zambrano Argoti - Administrative area
Luz Elena Chaves Salazar - Secretary of Coordination
Diana Marcela Martínez - Archivist
Pablo Gonzalo Chamorro Constaín - Civil engineer (system area)
Raúl Armando Puetamán Pachajoa - Operative area

Other collaborators

U.S. Geological Survey. From July 2005 up to December 2011 it was possible to have visits or virtual interaction from scientific staff from the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program in order to provide and independent
analysis on Galeras situation and technical support, discussions and assistance to the OVSP staff.
As part of the Regional Committee for Prevention and Attention of Disasters (CREPAD), the OVSP has a permanent interaction with the coordination of this Committee and also with other local committees from municipalities around the active volcanoes located in the Provinces of Nariño and Putumayo. Through this, the OVSP has the interaction with other institutions that are part of the CREPADs. In addition it is present the work with the group of the “Galeras Process” in charge of resettlement activities for population located in the high risk zone of this volcano.
OVSP - Main subjects 
OVSP is located in Pasto, a city with a total population of about 350.000 inhabitants, situated 9 km East from Galeras volcano. The OVSP was installed in 1989 when the volcano began other period of activity. On the other hand, besides Galeras, the OVSP is incharge of monitoring other active volcanoes in Nariño Province like as: Chiles, Cerro Negro, Cumbal, Azufral and Doña Juana. In the last 3 years, the OVSP has installed seismic and deformation telemetric networks on Cumbal, Azufral and Doña Juana Volcanoes. The signals of these monitoring networks are transmitted to the OVSP headquarters in the city of Pasto.

Due to the permanent activity of Galeras volcano and the location of around 500.000 people in its influence zone, from which around 8.000 are living in the most risky area, the emphasis for the OVSP on monitoring aspects, are given to this volcano. It also implies a permanent contact with authorities and communities.

On the other hand, according with Presidencial and Gubernamental decisions, from 2004, to 2011 INGEOMINAS was the new authority in mining aspects. Due to this, OVSP was delegated as a contact point between the mining people and the regionals of  INGEOMINAS in the cities of Bogotá and Cali. The main task in this way is to provide the basic information and formats to the miner, receive their requirements and send those documents to Bogotá or Cali for the next steps of analysis.

Recently through the issuance of Decree No. 4131 of November 3, 2011, the Government National law changed the nature of the Colombian Institute of Geology and Mining - INGEOMINAS from public setting to scientific and technical Institute and also its name, by the COLOMBIAN GEOLOGICAL SERVICE, a new entity with legal personality, administrative, technical, financial and property independent, that belongs to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, stating in Article 11 that the new entity will continue to exercise all the functions that for competition or by delegation, had been assigned to INGEOMINAS during six months, it means up to May 2012.

For the continuos monitoring of Galeras volcano, the OVSP has a network composed by different kind of sensors including areas like as: seismology, deformation, electromagnetic, weather, gaschemistry, thermo images, etc. Some of these stations have been destroyed by the resent eruptive activity on this volcano (2004 – 2010).

The standard seismic network at Galeras volcano is composed by ten telemetered stations, vertical component, natural period of 1.0 seconds. Three of these stations (Crater, Urcunina and Calabozo) have 3-component seismometer. In addition, two broadband stations are installed one of them including a Guralp accelerometer.

On Cumbal, Azufral and Doña Juana volcanoes a base seismic network composed by one or two seismic stations (triaxial – vertical seismometere) are installed. The signals from these stations are transmitted to the OVSP in the city of Pasto, using two or three repeaters due to the topographic conditions in the region.

Ground deformations
The deformation network at Galeras volcano consists of four electronic telemetered tilmeters and fourteen short leveling lines. Mostly and due to morphological reasons, these stations cover the northeast flank of the volcano. In addition a network for Electronic Distance Measurements (EDM) was installed on the different flanks of this volcano. Also on Cumbal, Azufral and Doña Juana volcanoes a base deformation network composed by one or two electronic tiltmeters are installed. In addition, on Azufral volcano a network for EDM is also installed.


The geochemical monitoring at Galeras, Cumbal and Azufral volcanoes include
measurements as:
• gases from soils at volcano’s edifice;
• gases from fumaroles;
• chemical components of hot springs.

On Galeras volcano there are 21 stations for monitoring Radon-222 and CO2, emitted from soils. Actually, there is a classification of all waters of thermal springs, locales within a radio of 8.0 km from the volcano’s craters. A permanent telemeter network of three Scan-DOAS equipment was installed four years ago on the West flank of Galeras. Using DOAS mobile method, SO2 measurements are conducted around the edifice of Galeras Volcano. Hot springs are also regularly sampled on the regions around Cumbal, Azufral, Chiles and Doña Juana volcanoes.

Information supplied Feb 25 2012 - Updated May 2013

Return to:

Directory Table of Contents

WOVO Home Page