Report on Llaima (Chile) — 26 December-1 January 2008
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 December-1 January 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Llaima (Chile). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 December-1 January 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
38.692°S, 71.729°W; summit elev. 3125 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on pilot reports and observations of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume from Llaima rose to an altitude of 12.5 km (41,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and ESE on 1 January. Lava was visible on the E flank and fumaroles at the summit were noted. According to a news article, the Alert level was raised to Yellow affecting four nearby communities resulting in the evacuation of 150 tourists and National Forest Service employees.
Geologic Background. Llaima, one of Chile's largest and most active volcanoes, contains two main historically active craters, one at the summit and the other, Pichillaima, to the SE. The massive, dominantly basaltic-to-andesitic, stratovolcano has a volume of 400 km3. A Holocene edifice built primarily of accumulated lava flows was constructed over an 8-km-wide caldera that formed about 13,200 years ago, following the eruption of the 24 km3 Curacautín Ignimbrite. More than 40 scoria cones dot the volcano's flanks. Following the end of an explosive stage about 7200 years ago, construction of the present edifice began, characterized by Strombolian, Hawaiian, and infrequent subplinian eruptions. Frequent moderate explosive eruptions with occasional lava flows have been recorded since the 17th century.