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Report on Villarrica (Chile) — August 1992

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 17, no. 8 (August 1992)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Villarrica (Chile) Phreatomagmatic explosions and intense fumarolic activity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1992. Report on Villarrica (Chile). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 17:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199208-357120.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Villarrica

Chile

39.42°S, 71.93°W; summit elev. 2847 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic explosions 300-400 m high were observed from a town 15 km from the volcano every two minutes beginning at 1350 on 11 September. Fumarolic activity was intense. Activity decreased on 14 September. Seismicity was recorded earlier this year during March-May.

Geologic Background. Glacier-clad Villarrica, one of Chile's most active volcanoes, rises above the lake and town of the same name. It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain. A 6-km-wide caldera formed during the late Pleistocene. A 2-km-wide caldera that formed about 3500 years ago is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesitic cone at the NW margin of the Pleistocene caldera. More than 30 scoria cones and fissure vents dot the flanks. Plinian eruptions and pyroclastic flows that have extended up to 20 km from the volcano were produced during the Holocene. Lava flows up to 18 km long have issued from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions, documented since 1558, have consisted largely of mild-to-moderate explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. Glaciers cover 40 km2 of the volcano, and lahars have damaged towns on its flanks.

Information Contacts: G. Fuentealba and M. Murillo, Univ de la Frontera.